Too Cool for Internet Explorer

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Who cares about Git ? Or Mercurial ?

I do of course, most of you do I know, but that is not the point.

Why are Git and Mercurial being so popular ?

Why is so important where the code is, if it is inaccessible anyway.

Inaccessible here means you can’t easily access the code you need just because it is on this or on that repository.

There is an interesting article about Git and Mercurial in Technological Wasteland.

The current situation is: I’m learning Rails, in fact, more: I’m learning all this web application development stuff, having chosen Ruby as a language and Rails as a framework.

I was just trying to follow the 14th lesson from LearningRails, thanks to the BuildingWebApps guys, when this subject, about DVCS (Distributed Version Control System), comes up.

Why ? Just because one of the plugins I need to accomplish that lesson (“acts_as_textiled”) changed from SVN, which is a Centralized Version Control System, to GIT.

Well, I’m one of these members of the dumb majority who uses Windows.

Yes I have used it for years developing in VB, then more recently don’t need to change when developing in Java, and see no reason to change now (OK, OK, may be I see some reasons, but I’m a lazy 50 years old developer, Windows will be).

The point is: I use Windows and I use Netbeans, and none of them give nice and easy support for Git.

That was the first point of changing my mind, installing a Rails plugin into a Rails project through Netbeans, is ease, you just need to right click the project, open the plugins pane add the plugin project URL and install it.

It works fine for SVN stored plugins, but what the hell, appears to me now, every single project in the world is going into Git !

Planned support for Git in Netbeans ? Yes, but may take a while.

Support for Git in Windows, Yes, but you need to install Cygwin which was the first reason I give up from e-Editor, because it needs Cygwin for “advanced features”.

To be honest I’m not a command line fan, but since the changes on this Rails Web App community are so fast, you must be an agnostic IDE guy, or turn yourself into a command line fan.

Anyway, I give a Try on “Komodo Edit”, which appears to be a good option to Windows users.

After a full day of research about how to install an already downloaded Rails plugin through Netbeans, I give up; I just copied the plugin into the project vendor folder, restart the IDE and it appear to work. I will see soon.

After a few months using Netbeans, I start thinking I’m becoming productive on this Windows environment. But now, I’m not so sure…

I need to start testing some “command line” + “simple program editor” options on Windows environment.


Mike D said...

I stumbled across this article whilst looking for a git plugin for Netbeans/Rails, but as you mentioned there are none which provide support for Rails plugins, so kind of pointless really.

I would certainly recommend learning the the command line ruby/rails commands, it aided my understanding and helps if/when you move to another platform or IDE as the commands are pretty much the same.

I have tried all the IDEs for Windows, (including 3rdRail), and I would stick with Netbeans, it is reliable, has great features, and has an active development community which guarantees support. I switched from PC/Windows to Mac/OSX three days ago and I am still using Netbeans 6.1.

Jakub Narebski said...

You don't need Cygwin to use Git on MS Windows; you can use Git from msysGit project.

I don't know how you could have missed it, as it is mentioned on in the "Download: Binaries" section, on, and on Installation page on Git Wiki.

Marcos Ricardo said...

Thanks Jakub,

I will try that in the future.

But at this point of my "Learning Rails" process, Git or SVN are just on my way.

I have done just "birds eye" reading on that.

I think I'm 4 to 5 lessons from the VCS topic.

I like to know that windows users are not being forgotten.

Best Regards.

Anonymous said...

Did you see this new plugin, NbGit?
"NbGit is a module for the NetBeans IDE that adds support for working with the Git version control system." You'll find it here:

It is very simple for now, but it should still be enough for you.