IDEA and Ruby

After reading this post yesterday, I started looking into ‘extending’ IDEA. I never had to do this before. I was quite happy with what IDEA offered me. (And with all my Ruby coding right now, I’m pretty happy with any small text editor – as long as I can configure it to support my shortcuts.)

Well.. On a recent project I implemented a J2ME slideshow framework. It used some Ruby script to define the slideshow and a simple Ruby compiler to create the J2ME code from it. I used JRuby for testing, Ruby for ‘driving’ the build.

Anyway, it never really occurred to me that there is no good support for Ruby in IDEA. Well, it was good enough for me. (Update: What I mean is that I never had a problem with the limited support in IDEA.) I had my “Ruby Script Files.xml” which made IDEA aware of the fact that .rb files contain some kind of code. It hilights comments and strings properly, as well as some keywords. But there seem to be some weird limitations. Not all keywords work.. Funny enough this never bothered me.. :)

Out of curiosity I started looking at what the Codehaus guys are doing with the GroovyJ plugin. First impressions: WTF!? I guess it’s not so much the Codehaus guys.. it’s more about the complexity of the IDEA API or more precise the ‘possibilities’ of IDEA.

Now I wonder: Shouldn’t it be easier to add simple support for a new filetype? Like the XML filetypes if they would work properly?

I find that quite interesting. I hope I’ll find some more time to look into this a bit more..


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