Yes, tools matter

Sometimes people comment to me that I will change my mind rather quickly. I admit that this is sometimes true: life is a little like a game of chess, and you 'play the current position'.

Anyway, I have been perhaps too smug with Ruby and Netbeans 6.0: really a fairly good development environment for a very good language. Anyway, I have really been enjoying using Ruby+Netbeans - so much better than using TextMate or Emacs.

That said, Patrick Logan's blog on Dynamic Languages: Should the Tools Suck? made me do a double take. The first thing that I did was to fire up Squeak Smalltalk and run Patrick's message sender example. I am grateful to the developers of Netbeans and especially the Ruby support plugins, but yes, Ruby IDE support is still weak compared to Smalltalk - but hopefully getting better faster. (BTW, Squeak is almost as slow as Ruby, execution wise. Commercial VisualWorks Smalltalk is a lot faster if you need the extra speed.)


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