Starting a new task at a major company, I was given a PC running windows 7 (believe it or not, they never bothered to ask me for preferences) for developing an internal rails app.
I took the challenge – here’s my story.
I quickly found two editors for windows I wanted to try out: E TextEditor and Sublime Text. I tried out E and it seemed to work very nice and a lot like my beloved TextMate for mac. First problem solved.
On to ruby, rubygems and native extensions. Welcome to hell.
First obstacle: there doesn’t seem to be a decent console/terminal application for windows, I tried cmd, powershell and console 2. Simple stuff like copy/paste is a pain. Really discouraging.
Then, I tried it all. Starting out with cygwin I managed to almost get there. Actually got SQLite 3 running and managed to create, migrate and run a scaffold rails app. Installing MySQL proved to be the show stopper. After having tried every trick in the book, I ended up with the compiler crashing due to a type error when trying to compile the mysql client from source. I started looking for alternative solutions.
But wait, there is a ruby installer for windows. Native windows ruby – why not? Ruby installs allright, but then trouble emerges. I didn’t manage to get anything running, and I don’t remember the exact problem anymore. I quickly handed over the workstation to helpdesk to get it reinstalled with Debian.
In conclusion: DO NOT use windows for Rails development.