Geany IN, Komodo OUT

First of all, I’d like to deny the rumor that I am dead.

I’m struggling since day #1 to find a good code editor for ruby. Mac users are happy with their textmate… but what’s left for us linux users? I tried gedit, vim, scribes and eclipse (with the aptana plugin) but wasn’t happy enough with any of them. I thought I found a real gem in Komodo edit, but that’s just not doing it for me anymore. Komodo is a great editor but it is plagued with a huge problem : it is slow and unresponsive. Sometime you start typing code and you won’t see what you just typed on the screen. Wait a few seconds and boom, here is your code… full of typos.

Now that my honey moon with Komodo is over, I searched the web and found Geany, a light-weight code editor that works for linux and windows. I’m very satisfied with it so far. Instead of making a half-assed review of the editor, I think you should try it by yourself and decide if you like it or not.

Off topic note :

Those who liked the “in depth” posts I was doing in the early days of this blog might be disappointed with the kind of posts I’m doing now. I’m thinking about this for some time and I can say that I am planning to start writing like those early days. Why? Well, simply because I found it more enjoyable. The problem however is finding the time to write longer and more in-depth posts. I am currently quite busy with TimmyOnTime and other projects so unfortunately RubyFleebie is suffering from it. I want to thank you for your patience… it amazes me that I still have all those subscribers and daily readers.

  • Drew

    Hey! I recently came across this site, I think it’s great, I’m sudo new to Ruby and the Rails framework but I’m loving it and finding a lot of your posts very useful.

    I too was looking for a good Ruby editor and had settled with gedit and the plugins but Geany is pretty great. Eclipse with the Aptana plugin and then the RadRails plugin was just so slooooooow…..

    Thank you for this gem of a find :]

  • Frank

    Hey drew,

    Eclipse with Aptana was my worst try at finding the perfect RoR editor. Like you said it was so extremely slow that it was getting on my nerves.

    Thank you for your support and I’m glad you found some of my posts useful!

  • James Cash

    You say you’ve tried “gedit, vim, scribes and eclipse”, but no Emacs? There may be a bit (*cough cough*) of a learning curve, but when you get used to it…

    TONS of support for Ruby/Rails stuff in Emacs too, if you look for it…

  • Frank

    I think i once tried Emacs but probably got turned off by this cough-cough learning curve.

    I’m happy enough with Geany

  • Scott

    Just curious, but what problems did you find with vim? I haven’t used it for Rails development, but I’ve used it for just about everything else from assembly language up through Java and Ruby.

  • Jamal Hansen

    I’ve been going back and forth between NetBeans, kate and vim, but haven’t come to a conclusion. I like having the NetBeans IDE for long sessions. For shorter sessions I find that I’m using kate. Finally for quick one-offs and server side I’ll use vim. One of these days I’ll make a decision on a single editor.

  • Frank

    Jamal, the lack of a *perfect* code editor is something that us linux users are badly missing. I’m still using Geany but I can’t wait until the ultimate editor for linux comes to life. :)

    Scott, I’ll give another try to vim. I tried it for my rails applications a long time ago and I didn’t like it at the time. I’ll try it with the rails plugin Thanks for your suggestion!

  • Frank

    Scott, I tried vim yesterday. At first I thought : Hey, Scott is right. gVIM is the perfect code editor for linux! Then, with the hours passing by, I became extremly frustrated with all the complicated shortcuts to do simple things like “multiple line indentation” . I feel this code editor is too “hardcore” for my taste. There is not much you can do with the GUI. I also don’t like the fact that you have to switch between “modes” (visual, visual line, insert, replace) all the time to do different things. I know I would probably learn to like vim if I would take the time to learn all the shortcuts but I don’t have the courage to do it now… so I’ll go back to Geany for now :)

  • charlesz

    is there any rails plugin for geany? i cant seem to find any..just ruby support

  • Frank


    Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any ruby on rails plugin for Geany. I understand it can be a turn off for some.

  • prashanth