About a year ago in Smalltalk Browser Goes Jurassic I lamented the fact that the Smalltalk browser UI was caught in a techno-aesthetic time warp and cheered the possibility that it might escape to the future and in doing so completely skip a whole generation of UI effort-waste and bad taste (e.g. Eclipse Rich Client Platform) and move directly to Web-technology UI currency. I ended with this:
How long will it be before a complete IDE is delivered as a web application? To varying degrees, Eclipse and IntelliJ IDEA are stuck on the same island that Smalltalk was. Theyâ€™re all trying to be graphically rich and run on many platforms. Theyâ€™re all expending lots of resources maintaining UI toolkits (think of Eclipseâ€™s Rich Client Platform). And the resultant UI technology, while often innovative and sometimes pleasing, suffers a â€œcredibility gapâ€ when compared with platform-specific technology on the Mac or Windows. When will the IDEâ€™s throw their weight behind the DHTML+AJAX crowd and embrace the â€œthird platformâ€?
Well there is renewed hope – but it looks like Ruby and Rails may arrive before Squeak does. Gyre is an honest-to-goodness Ruby on Rails IDE delivered through the browser complete with source-level interactive debugging, project navigation, and an interesting syntax-aware text editor.