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Ruby In Steel - New Free Edition includes Visual Studio

Ruby and Rails development in VS 2008
by Huw Collingbourne
Monday 6 October 2008.

SapphireSteel Software today released a free edition of Ruby In Steel, the Ruby and Rails IDE for Microsoft Visual Studio 2008.

IMPORTANT: Please note that this article refers only to the free Personal Edition which was release in October 2008. This edition has a very small subset of the features of the Developer Edition. If you have technical comments and queries about either edition, please leave these in THE FORUM rather than as comment threads to this article.

Ruby In Steel Personal Edition (PE) 2008 provides all the tools needed to develop and maintain Ruby or Rails projects including syntax sensitive customizable code coloring and code folding, numerous coding tools such as auto-indenting, code reformatting, bracket and keyword matching and integrated consoles to allow users to interact with the Ruby interpreter in docked or floating windows. Ruby In Steel PE 2008 even includes a free copy of Visual Studio 2008 for Ruby!

Ruby In Steel PE 2008 is available for personal or commercial development. It does not require registration and it does not time out. It comes with an ‘All-in-One’ installer to allow users to install all the software required including: Visual Studio 2008 (‘Shell edition’), Ruby, Rails, MySQL and Ruby In Steel. Alternatively, users who already own a commercial edition of Visual Studio 2008 may install Ruby In Steel into that.

The ‘All-in-one’ installer

Ruby In Steel PE 2008 provides numerous features for Ruby and Rails developers such as:

- Code Coloring (Ruby)
- Code Coloring (Erb/RHTML)
- Code Folding (Ruby)
- Code Folding (Erb/RHTML)
- Color schemes/customization
- Bracket matching (move cursor)
- Bracket highlighting
- Keyword..end matching (move cursor)
- Block comment/uncomment
- Multi-level undo/redo
- Tabbed (multi-file) editing
- Split-window editing
- Auto Indent/outdent
- Smart Indenting
- Auto end-completion (e.g. auto add ‘end’ after ‘def’)
- Code Reformatting
- Project Management in the Solution Explorer
- Open command prompt in selected directory
- Dockable IRB Console
- Run Ruby in integrated interactive console
- Comprehensive PDF User Guide/Manual
- Integrated Help
- All-in-one Installer
- Supports Ruby 1.8.6 and 1.8.7, Rails 1, Rails 2.1


IMPORTANT: Be Sure To Read The Documentation!

The following documents are all included in the zip file:

- ReadMe_Personal_Edition.html
- Installation Intructions.pdf
- Ruby In Steel Manual 1_1_5.pdf

The zip archive also contains a free eBook (PDF) Ruby tutorial, The Little Book Of Ruby, plus all the source code ready to load as a single project into Ruby In Steel. The source code is contained in

Ruby In Steel PE 2008 includes provides project management in the Visual Studio Solution Explorer (top right), has interactive docked Ruby and IRB consoles (screen bottom) and includes a powerful Ruby editor with code coloring, code folding, auto-formatting, bracket-matching, keyword-end matching, smart indenting, block commenting and much more...

The editor also supports Rails template files (.ERb or .rhtml). You can import existing Ruby or Rails projects using the Import Wizard

The editor is highly customizable. You can create your own named color schemes or use one of the ready-to-go color schemes supplied with the software

Ruby In Steel PE 2008 is a subset of our entry-level commercial IDE, Ruby In Steel Text Edition. It does not include the integrated debugger supplied with the Text Edition, nor does it come with a library of Ruby auto-expanding code snippets. Please note that no technical support is offered for Ruby In Steel PE 2008.

For information on our commercial IDEs, please refer to the Ruby In Steel Developer Overview, Ruby In Steel Text Edition Overview, The Feature List and The Download Page (where you can download free 60-day trials of Ruby In Steel Text and Developer editions).

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  • Ruby In Steel - New Free Edition includes Visual Studio
    2 June 2011

    Too bad - didn’t work that sh... :( if I try to install rubyinsteel, the windows install-manager gets a problem ... vs 2008 express ed. is installed - tried more versions of rubyinsteel - that sucks!!!

    • Ruby In Steel - New Free Edition includes Visual Studio
      3 June 2011, by Huw Collingbourne

      If you have problems, please come over to the forum to discuss them. There is usually a simple solution but we would need to know your exact details to help us to help you.

      best wishes


  • Ruby In Steel - New Free Edition includes Visual Studio
    11 October 2009, by steller


  • Double-clicking on latter lines of Ruby error output does not bring you to the line of code
    29 July 2009


    ./foo.rb:34:in `contains’: undefined method `<=’ for
    nil:NilClass (NoMethodError)
    from ./foo_bar.rb:23:in `find!’
    from ./foo_baz.rb:28:in `allocate?’
    from ./main.rb:200:in `find’
    from ./main.rb:154:in `create?’

    When you double-click on any other line, in the "Ruby Console" of VS2008, it does not bring you to the line and file in question. It only works on the top line. I believe this feature is essential.

    • Double-clicking on latter lines of Ruby error output does not bring you to the line of code
      29 July 2009, by Dermot Hogan

      I’ve just looked at the the code that does the error navigation from the console - and I have to fess up to the fact that it isn’t very clever. It’s stuff I wrote when I first started on RiS when I didn’t know how to handle Visual Studio very well.

      I’ve entered this as a bug and I’ll probably fix it in version 1.5.


  • Debugger Error in Developer Edition
    26 July 2009

    The debugger seems to be failing to evaluate the expressions for local and ivars.

    Sample error msg:

    failed: expecting "EOF", found ’|’ : argnets|nil|NilClass|0|args|[#

    where ... continues on with the rest of my obj information

    Am I doing something wrong?


    • Debugger Error in Developer Edition
      26 July 2009, by Huw Collingbourne

      This seems to indicate that this is some object type which, for some reason, cannot be ’inspected’. Can you let me know exactly what type of object this is?

      By the way, which version of Ruby In Steel are you using? Also, what is the project type (pure ruby, Rails etc.) and exactly which version of Ruby are you using (e.g. 1.8.5. or 1.8.6)?

      best wishes


      • Debugger Error in Developer Edition
        26 July 2009

        Hi thanks for the speedy reply. I am using Ruby in Steel Dev Trial 1.4 . Ruby 1.8.6 installed from the Windows one-click. The project type was an empty Ruby proj from which I loaded my .rb files typed up before. There is absolutely no "rails" involved (its not even installed on my system).

        My class is a custom class, if thats what you meant? I mean, the IVARS themselves are a mix - some are custom classes, some are simple arrays or built-in types.

        — does this mean I need to define a inspect method stub for my classes in order for Cyclon to parse?

        • Debugger Error in Developer Edition
          26 July 2009, by Huw Collingbourne

          We probably need to step through this with you in more detail. Can you contact support using the address or link on this page:

          If you can mail us a sample of some code that would be perfect. We will at least need to know more about your custom class. There are unfortunately many versions of ’inspect’ which Ruby developers have implemented and the format of the data returned by ’custom inspectors’ can often be very difficult to parse so the more details you can give us the better.

          best wishes


  • ERROR Creating New Ruby Proj for Ruby In Steel PE with VS 2008
    4 July 2009

    I am using Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition.

    Error Msg:

    The project file ’G:\Program Files\SappireSteel Software\Ruby in Steel\v1.0\Templates\Projects\Empty Ruby Project.stproj’cannot be opened.

    The project type is not supported by this installation.

    Thanks for any help.

    • ERROR Creating New Ruby Proj for Ruby In Steel PE with VS 2008
      4 July 2009, by Huw Collingbourne

      Can you check this FAQ and let us know if this is the solution:

      best wishes


      • ERROR Creating New Ruby Proj for Ruby In Steel PE with VS 2008
        22 July 2009

        Yes this fixes it ; however, I just realized that there is no intellisense for either default Ruby classes or user-created ones — if there were such a feature, I would gladly pay for your product :)

        • ERROR Creating New Ruby Proj for Ruby In Steel PE with VS 2008
          22 July 2009, by Huw Collingbourne

          Be aware that the features of the free edition do not represent those of the Developer Edition. Ruby In Steel Developer has fast IntelliSense for both standard and user-written classes, objects, methods and parameters. In fact, our IntelliSense analyses code as it is written so if you have an object xxx in two places in the same code and its class is different in both places, the IntelliSense will show this when code completion lists appear. See our overview of Ruby In Steel Developer then be sure to download and try out our 60-day evaluation copy.

          best wishes


          • ERROR Creating New Ruby Proj for Ruby In Steel PE with VS 2008
            26 July 2009

            Actually, how do you see instance vars of the obj’s scope you are currently in when debugging? I only see local vars in the "Locals" window — I can see ivars of the local vars, but not the ivars of the obj I’m in...


            • ERROR Creating New Ruby Proj for Ruby In Steel PE with VS 2008
              26 July 2009, by Huw Collingbourne

              Are you using the Watch window? The Locals window shows (literally) local vars. You can enter (or drag and drop) anything into the Watch window, though. Alternatively, just hover your mouse over the variable name in the code editor and use the debug tooltip to look inside the object.

              This tutorial may help clarify some of the debugging options:


              best wishes


  • Ruby In Steel - New Free Edition includes Visual Studio
    15 October 2008, by jj

    That’s great, I’m testing it right now... However, it seems like the fonts and coloring are "wrong" (the background color is an ugly dark blue in ERB for example) and loading a different style doesn’t change that. Is that intentional?

    • Ruby In Steel - New Free Edition includes Visual Studio
      15 October 2008, by Huw Collingbourne

      This can occur in some circumstances if the Visual Studio font cache is not correctly built or refreshed. In most cases, selecting the ’Refresh Fonts and Colors’ option from the Ruby menu will fix this (you may need to restart VS afterwards). If not, see this FAQ:

      best wishes


  • Installing VS2008 on a machine with VS2005 already installed.
    7 October 2008, by BGriffin

    I don’t see any comments regarding whether installing VS 2008 will interfere with an existing installation of VS 2005 on the same drive..??

    • Installing VS2008 on a machine with VS2005 already installed.
      7 October 2008, by Huw Collingbourne

      VS2005 and VS2008 can be installed on a single drive.

      However, you may only install 1 copy of Ruby In Steel per PC. So if you have VS2005 already installed, you can also install Ruby In Steel PE using its copy of VS2008 (for example). But if you later decided to buy a VS2005 version of Ruby In Steel for your existing Visual Studio 2005 installation, you would have to uninstall Ruby In Steel 2008 first.

      best wishes


© SapphireSteel Software 2014
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