Configuring Gedit for Rails

I haven’t kept my feelings about IDEs hidden, I’m a big believer in using text editors instead.

I know, I should earn my chops and become a Vim guy, and some day I hope to sit down and make that conversion, but for now it’s all about Gedit for me. With a few plugins and a little TLC gedit can be a lighter version of the more powerful, more intensive ide.

The first thing we’re going to install gMate, an addon designed to make Gedit run like TextMate

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-on-rails/ppa

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install gedit-gmate

Additionally we’re going to install the standard plugins package

sudo apt-get install gedit-plugins

Now lets fire up Gedit and turn on our preferences.

To get to our plugins go to Edit > Preferences > Plugins.

We’re going to enable the following options:

  • Snippets
  • Code Comment
  • Embedded Terminal
  • Find in Files
  • Rails Extract Partial
  • Rails File Loader
  • Session Saver (Optional)
  • Smart Indent (Optional)
  • Tab Switch (Optional)
  • TextMate Style AutoCompletion

This is going to enable a lot of different functionality, and while this is the setup I use, it may be more than you need.

Now if you’re in a ruby file and you type def, tabbing over will add the end and place you straight on the method name, control+tab will switch between documents, and syntax highlighting will work correctly in html.erb files.

Also, going to view > bottom pane will display a terminal window that I find convenient for running irb.

While these instructions will enable a lot of different useful environments, and the target of this post was rails, I do have to sadly add that Google Go, which I cover quite often, does not, to my knowledge, have a plugin for Gedit currently.