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Ruby In Steel and Visual Studio 2008

Getting ready for Orcas
by Dermot Hogan
Monday 16 July 2007.

Yes – it does indeed work. After a good bit of poking around in the innards of the new ProjectAggregator, I managed to get a version of Ruby In Steel to run well under Orcas (aka Visual Studio 2008).

A few weeks ago I downloaded the new Visual Studio 2008 Beta 1 and its associated SDK - a hefty 7 GB or so. Even with a decent broadband link it took some time. Things did not go smoothly however. The main problem was with the new ProjectAggregator which is supplied as an integral part of Visual Studio instead of the current hack of providing a separate DLL which has to be installed before the main package.

The trouble seemed to center around finding a GUID for the COM interface for the aggregator – it wasn’t in the right place. After a bit of head-scratching I just added a registry entry in what looked like a likely spot and it worked! It is a beta after all, so I’m not complaining.

So what’s different? Well, not a lot as far as I can see. Yes, there’s LINQ but that doesn’t affect Ruby very much - though, as a matter of fact, I do have a few ideas for database IntelliSense. And there’s a new HTML Editor. The current HTML Editor in VS 2005 is OK – but it’s not great. I’m particularly interested the new HTML Editor because the new Visual Rails Workbench (due in Ruby In Steel 1.2) works quite closely with the standard HTML designer (not the Web browser control, btw – that’s something quite different). The problem with the current Visual Studio HTML designer is that it’s a closed world. There’s little or no documentation on how to use it, the interfaces are not documented. In general, it’s a real PITA to work with.

So I’m hoping that the new HTML designer will be a bit more amenable to tweaking – ideally, I’d like it to be like the Visual studio Core Editor which is the basis for much of the RiS functionality. However, there’s no documentation on the new HTML designer yet (and I’m not holding my breath). But there’s one really nice feature to look forward to – JavaScript IntelliSense (see HERE).

For my point of view, VS 2008 is much less of a jump from VS 2005 than moving from VS 2003 to VS 2005. There are some nice new features, and much better licensing conditions on building applications with VS 2008. Fundamentally there doesn’t seem to be much work to do in moving from VS 2005 to VS 2008. Hopefully, we should be in a position to trial some beta versions of RiS with VS 2008 beta 2. Though, this does depend very much on the VS 2008 SDK.

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  • Ruby In Steel and Visual Studio 2008
    21 September 2007, by John Mark

    Hi Dermont

    Could you please give us the steps to follow to make the Ruby In Steel work with Visual Studio 2008? Some of us are both new in Visual Studio and Ruby In Steel.

    • Ruby In Steel and Visual Studio 2008
      21 September 2007

      Hello John,

      I think all that’s needed is to copy over a few registry keys from the 8.0 hive to the 9.0 hive and it might work. I haven’t tried this though.

      What I’ve done so far is compile and build RiS using the new VS 2008 SDK and run that (works fine, though I can’t say I’ve thoroughly tested it). Unfortunately, that’s no good for you because I can’t get a Product License Key (PLK) from MS until VS 2008 is released.

      I’ll have a go this weekend and see if it works. If it does I’ll either post a small program to do the copy or an ’edge’ release that uses the 9.0 hive.

      See here for a little more info.


      • Ruby In Steel and Visual Studio 2008
        24 September 2007

        There’s now a version that runs with VS 2008 beta 2 in the downloads area.

        Also, see the forum entry I’ve just posted for instructions (especially the registry patch that’s needed).


  • Ruby In Steel and the MS Ruby DLR
    15 September 2007, by Philippe Monnet

    First things first: I absolutely love your product. The IDE integration is mind-blowing! I am not sure how many people realize the engineering feast behind it, so major kudos!!!! Having cut my teeth in the mid-80s on Smalltalk, Ruby had re-energized me after years of COM, Java and .NET. Over the last few years I have mostly used .NET. So with Microsoft now implementing Ruby on the DLR (Dynamic Language Runtime), are you thinking of integrating Ruby In Steel with the Ruby DLR? I think the Ruby DLR is going to be very exciting for .NET developers like me since everything will be running in the confines of the CLR!

    • Ruby In Steel and the MS Ruby DLR
      15 September 2007, by Huw Collingbourne

      Thanks for the comments. As for the DLR and IronRuby, that’s certainly something we are watching closely. In fact, we already have a functional Visual Studio form designer (unreleased) which we originally developed to use with John Lam’s Ruby CLR Bridge and which could be used for IronRuby when IronRuby is sufficiently mature.

      We don’t feel the time is right at the moment to announce any firm plans for support of IronRuby. However, as IronRuby itself progresses, we may have more to say here on the Blog. ;-)

      best wishes


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