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04/01/06: JavaScript and Ruby support in IDEA

In addition to Ruby, I've been doing a lot of JavaScript programming lately, and I've just moved from Eclipse to IntelliJ IDEA 5.1. Their new JavaScript plugin works like a dream. It makes me hope for an IDEA Ruby plugin.

Here's a short list of what works:

  • Shift-F6 - Rename classes, methods, variables
  • Renaming a file searches references and changes them (e.g., script tags in jsunit test files)
  • Dot completion, Ctl-Space - gives you a list of all methods, and narrows down.
  • F4 / Ctl-B / Ctl-Click - go to the definition of the method or class you're looking at
  • Ctl-Shift+Alt+N - search across all JS files for any variable, class, constant, method, or other symbol. Goes to to the definition when you hit enter.
  • Ctl-Shift-N - go to file (equivalent of Ctl-Shift-R in Eclipse)
  • Ctl-F12 - jump to a class or method in your current JS file
  • Red syntax error squigglies - You know how you're run jsunit all those times where it just freezes because you have a syntax problem? Steve and I have gone 5 days without having that problem. I expect we won't see that again for some time.
  • Alt-F7, on classes and methods - Find usages. YAY.
  • Ctl-Alt-L - apply code style (reformat)
  • Ctl-Shift-V - multi-level paste
Now, a few things are a little rough -- e.g., Rename is a bit aggressive, so I've started doing Preview to make sure it doesn't delve into libraries when I'm renaming symbols with popular names like "execute" or "element". And sometimes it's a bit too liberal in its autocomplete suggestions. But overall it's fantastic. This vast success gives the lie to the common wisdom that you can't build good refactoring support for a dynamic language.

So now it seems Sixth and River may make a Ruby plugin for IDEA. See River of Code: Ruby in IDEA?. Let's flood their blog post with "me too"s to get them in the mood.

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