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Ruby Core, Ruby Standard Library, and Rails API


There are three more views related to documentation in RadRails: Ruby Core API,
Ruby Standard Library API, and Rails API. Unlike the RI view, these ones look for
the information over the Internet, so you will not be able to use them unless you are
on-line.


On the other hand, the information is displayed in a more attractive way than
with RI, and it provides links to the source code of the consulted methods, so if
the documentation is not enough, you can always take a look at the inner details of
the implementation.


The Ruby Core API view displays the documentation of the classes included in Ruby’s
core. These are the classes you can directly use without a previous require statement.
The documentation rendered is that at http://www.ruby-doc.org/core/.

You are probably familiar with this type of layout, since it’s the default RDoc output.
The upper pane displays the navigation links, and the lower pane shows the detail
of the documentation. The navigation is divided into three frames. The one to the left
shows the files in which the source code is, the one in the middle shows the Classes
and Modules, and in the third one you can find all the methods in the API.


The Ruby Standard Library API is composed of all the classes and modules that
are not a part of Ruby’s core, but are typically distributed as a part of the Ruby
installation. You can directly use these classes after a require statement in your
code. The Ruby Standard Library API View displays the information from

http://www.ruby-doc.org/stdlib.

In this case, the navigation is the same as in Ruby Core, but with an additional area
to the left, in which you can see all the available packages (the ones you would
require for using the classes within your code). When you select a package link, you
will see the files, classes, and methods for that single package.


The last of the documentation views displays information about the Rails API.
It includes the documentation of ActiveRecord, the ActionPack, ActiveSupport,
and the rest of the Rails components. The information is obtained from

http://api.rubyonrails.org.

In this case the layout is slightly different because the information about the files,
classes, and methods is displayed to the left instead at the top of the view. Apart
from that, the behavior is identical to that of the Ruby Core API view.


Since some of the API descriptions are fairly long, it can be convenient to maximize
the documentation views when you are using them. Remember you can maximize
any of the views by double-clicking its tab or by using the maximize icon on the
view’s toolbar. Double-clicking again will restore the view to the original size
and position.


Servers View


We went briefl y over the Servers view when creating our first application and also
when talking about debugging. This is a fairly simple view, but it’s also a very useful
one. Basically, you can start and stop your Rails servers (WEBrick, Mongrel, or
LightTPD), launch the built-in browser, or start a debugging session.

The Servers view displays all the available servers for the current workspace, and
not only for the current project. This view provides a ‘project’ column, so you can
know to which project your server is associated at a glance.


The very first time that you open RadRails after a fresh installation this view will
be empty. By default, when you create a new Rails project, RadRails will select the
option to create a Mongrel server for it. Unless you manually uncheck this option at
the New Rails Project dialog, whenever you create a RadRails project you will see a
new server in this view.


If you chose not to create any server from the New Rails Project dialog, nothing
would appear in this view, and you wouldn’t have a way for starting your server
from the IDE, having to switch to the command line for that operation.


In that case, you can add a new server for your project from this view. The first icon
in this view’s toolbar is the one for adding a new server. You can click directly on the
icon, or open the drop-down with the small arrow by its side, and then select Rails
Server
. There are also options for adding a new server both in the context menu of
the project in the Ruby Explorer and from the New option under the File menu. No
matter how you choose to add your server, a pop-up will appear prompting you to
fill in the server properties.

For the Project name you have to select a project from the drop-down box. Note that,
only open projects will display in the list, so make sure your project is open before
trying to add a new server for it. The name of your server will be the one showing in
the Servers view, so it’s in your interest to provide a meaningful name, especially if
you have many projects in the same workspace.


The type of project must be one of the three available options: WEBrick, Mongrel,
or LightTPD. The onl y arguments you can provide to the server are the IP address
or Host name, the the server port number, and the Rails environment. RadRails will
default the port number to the first port starting from 3000 on which you don’t have
any other server configured. If you want, you can change this value and configure
two different servers to use the same port.


The new server will be listed in the Servers view. After adding a server, you can at
once start it, start it in debugging mode, or stop it. You can perform these operations
directly from the view’s toolbar or from the context menu by right-clicking on the
project name. When you start a server, its output will be displayed at the Console
view, providing the same information you would get when starting from the
command line.


If you prefer to have access directly to your server logs, you can open the context
menu and select the Open Log option. This will display your server’s log in the Tail
view. Later in this chapter you can find a section dedicated to this view.


If you need to restart the server, you could just stop and start it or you can use the
convenient restart option. If you want to change the properties of your server (port,
environment) you can use the Edit option or just double-click on the project’s name
and enter the new settings. Observe that you cannot edit the server’s properties while
it’s running, so you would need to stop it first.


As we have seen already in previous chapters, when your server is started you can
easily open the built-in browser pointing to the home page of your project from the
Launch Browser option of the context menu.


If you are a user of the Professional version, the Server view will also display
an option for launching under profile mode to identify the bottlenecks in your
application. Profiling is not available under the RadRails Community version,
so we will not cover it in this book. You can find more information in the online
documentation of Aptana.


Starting a Server with Additional Arguments


Usually , the only options you need to use for starting your Rails server are the port
and environment. However, there are some cases in which you want to provide
extra arguments like the mime-types definition file or the timeout for Mongrel, for
example. In these cases, you cannot use the built-in Servers view, but it doesn’t mean
you cannot use Eclipse for managing your server anyway.


If you need to pass extra parameters to the ‘script/server’ command, you can use the
Rails Shell View that we will be explaining later in this chapter.


If you want to launch your server with extra parameters and without using
‘script/server’, for example when using mongrel cluster, you can still do it from
Eclipse by configuring it as an external tool. We will be learning more about this
option later in this chapter.


Managing Non-Rails Servers from the Servers View


Since version 1.0, the Servers view has support for Apache, MySQL, and generic web
servers. This means you can start or stop your servers and have access to the logs
directly from the Servers view.


Please note that your MySQL or Apache will need to be installed and properly
configured before trying to start your servers from this view. Installation of MySQL
and Apache are out of the scope of this book, so refer to the documentation of those
tools if you have any questions about how to set them up.


To add a MySQL or Apache web server to your servers list, use the Add Server icon
from the Servers view toolbar, and select MySQL or Apache instead of the Rails
Server option. A dialog will display asking for information about your server.

You need to provide information about where the executable is located, and where
the log file is. Depending on your server, there will be some extra options you can
configure. These options are pre-filled with default values that should work fine for
the typical user.


After you click OK, a new entry will be listed in your Servers view, and you will be
able to start, stop, and browse the logs in the same way as with any Rails server.

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About Krishna Srinivasan

He is Founder and Chief Editor of JavaBeat. He has more than 8+ years of experience on developing Web applications. He writes about Spring, DOJO, JSF, Hibernate and many other emerging technologies in this blog.

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