Dreamweaver 8 and Ruby on Rails CodeHints

By August 8, 2009Ruby on Rails

I am so used to coding help (intellisense) from Visual Studio, that not having an IDE with this type of functionality is a major inconvenience when working with the Ruby on Rails framework. There are editors that offer syntax highlighting and project management options, but all of them lack the intellisense (aka. code completion or coding hints) functionality.

The closest editor is jEdit. It offers code hints for the current class and has ruby RDOC add-in. However, I have not found a way to add the ROR API to it. So it’s a shame…

Jedit and ROR
jEdit and Ruby on Rails

Welcome Dreamweaver 8

If you have worked with DW before, you will know that it offers syntax highlighting for many languages. It also has something similar to intellisense built-in for PHP and ASP. It will not complete your custom attributes or methods, but it can list the most used API calls (for instance Session… or Request… in ASP). Too bad they don’t offer Ruby or ROR codehints…


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, with a little bit of hacking, you can actually get syntax highlighting and codhints working in DW 8.

First, follow these instructions to get syntax highlighting. For DW 8, I had to add the rules to the file in my profile directory and not in the global file in Program Files dir.


The toughest part of getting Ruby on Rails codehints into DW 8 was actually to get them out of the RDOC Html format. Last thing I wanted to manually copy and paste hundreds of lines J. Unfortunately, either I don’t understand how to use RDOC correctly or this thing is completely broken. RDOC output to HTML work fine, but the output can’t be easily used to get a list of all the APIs. The XML output could be used, but…it will NOT list the actual methods and parameters. Anyhow here is, after a few hours of trying to get the HTML template to behave the way I want it to, a file with some of the most used APIs in DW format ready to be added to “C:Program FilesMacromediaDreamweaver 8ConfigurationCodeHintsCodeHints.xml”

End Result

Ruby on Rails in DreamWeaver
Dreamweaver CodeHints

Alternative Code completion

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