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the guys over at sapphiresteel software released ruby in steel text edition, a full-featured ruby on rails IDE built on the visual studio 2008 shell.

as a microsoft developer interested in looking at ruby on rails early on, i loved when the sapphire project was first released.  i had played with earlier version and after re-paving my machine need to take a look at the updated versions.

if you don't own a copy of visual studio 2008, when you get the ruby in steel text edition, you get visual studio 2008 (ruby language support only) -- so this isn't an add-on only, it is a full deal.  if you already have vs2008, this will install into your current environment.  it has all the goodness you'd expect of an IDE: color coding, snippets, code folding, integrated debugger, and interactive consoles.

the sapphire guys also have the developer edition which is a little more full featured, and includes a faster debugger and few other features like dynamic update intellisense.  DHH was quoted as saying:

"Ruby In Steel is particularly interesting to developers coming over from the Microsoft world as Visual Studio is a familiar environment to them. That'll likely ease the transition." source: InfoWorld

i think this is great for people interested in learning new environments as well as new languages.  already being familiar with a tool like visual studio may help you understand about ruby without having to learn any new tool.

and no, it doesn't run on a mac.

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codenamed 'sapphire,' componentone was one of the first to the market with their plans of silverlight user controls.  initially they put a bunch out there on their lab site to play with, but now you can sign up for their alpha version.  that's right, get your hands on some silverlight controls from componentone!

now named Studio Enterprise Silverlight Toolset, they are taking alpha sign-ups.  to me, this is definitely a product you want to look early at.  they've got:

    • buttons
    • containers
    • lists
    • sliders
    • text input
    • datagrid
    • chart

see what i mean?  definitely worth looking at.