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I am writing a small desktop GUI application using Ruby and Gtk2. I am using RubyMine 3 on Linux (Fedora). I created a simple class to create a Gtk Window but now I feel it takes more time to just keep adding code for a Button, Drop Down and TextBox etc. I need to write even more code if the DropDown needs to be populated at run-time.

Is there any Ruby Gtk IDE which supports adding Controls with simple drag-n-drop? At least I can focus on the business logic instead of just defining position and sizes of controls.

One more question. I subscribed to Ruby-Forum mailing list but it is often flooded with Spam. Which is the official Ruby forum? Recently NetBeans has withdrawn support for Ruby. Is it worth to learn Ruby seriously and use it in commercial environment or not?

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2 Answers

Usually when building GUIs using GTK+ they design the application in Glade and then import it into the code via GtkBuilder. From the Glade website.

Glade is a RAD tool to enable quick & easy development of user interfaces for the GTK+ toolkit and the GNOME desktop environment.

The user interfaces designed in Glade are saved as XML, and by using the GtkBuilder GTK+ object these can be loaded by applications dynamically as needed.

By using GtkBuilder, Glade XML files can be used in numerous programming languages including C, C++, C#, Vala, Java, Perl, Python,and others.

And then you would use Gtk::Builder to import the XML into the equivalent Ruby code. For a barebones example you can read this Stack Overflow question.

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I haven't tried it myself, but when asking similar questions about doing GTK layouts in Ruby on StackOverflow, I was recommended VisualRuby.

It looks fairly solid to me, though unfortunately it was recommended after I finished doing my layouts (and considering that this answer is coming late, I fear the same may be true for you). It looks like it's basically a convenient text editor/layout editor that merges ruby and glade/gtk together. Seems like it'd get the job done.

As for Netbeans, I'm not positive, but I think you can still get ruby support as a plugin.

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