RailsFTW is suitable for the following situations:
bundle installto finish
|RailsFTW (Rails 3.2)||RailsInstaller 2||RailsFTW (Rails 3.0)|
|DB Adapter Gems||sqlite3, mysql2||sqlite3, pg, tiny_tds
(MS SQL Server)
|Additional Features||-||git, DevKit||-|
|Internet Connection Required?||No (Bundler will fail to connect to server but new apps will still work)||Yes||No|
Free book on Rails 3.0 written by yours truly.
(Given away because the current version of Rails is 3.1)
No brainer here. Git is the standard version control system for Rails apps. Whether you need to deploy something to Heroku or just need to add version control to your project, msysgit (aka Git for Windows) will do the job quite well.
For those who are used to TortoiseSVN, you might want to look at TortoiseGit.
If you want to try using MySQL instead of SQLite in your Rails apps, XAMPP is probably the most convenient way to do so. Both its portability and the bundled PHPMyAdmin for database administration makes using MySQL relatively hassle-free.
Since you're only using XAMPP for the DB, getting the Lite version will save you bandwidth and disk space.
But if you're one of those Rails developers who doesn't use TextMate but instead uses vim or emacs (e.g. me) you know how lucky you are when faced with a task that requires you to move between OSs: you know your editor skills still translate well in those other platforms.
Yes, the learning curve for those editors are pretty high, but it's never too late to learn them. There are a lot of good articles out there that talk about using vim for Rails and it's just a matter of trying them out. Here's a recent article on moving from TextMate to vim while here's a relatively old one which talks about using vim with Rails on Windows.
I've always wondered if it was possible to have those colored console output (e.g. server logs, Cucumber/RSpec results) in Windows. Thanks to a recent thread over at RubyInstaller, I discovered this little tool that provides those colors.
PowerShell has compatibility problems with Ruby so we're stuck with the boring cmd.exe. Console makes Windows CLI a little more interesting by adding some useful features like multiple tabs, shell management (i.e. you could use cmd.exe, ANSICON, msysgit bash, and even Cygwin side by side), and appearance customization.
You should verify the checksums of the installers after downloading them to make sure that you have the correct files. The FCIV utility allows you to calculate for MD5 and SHA-1 hashes under windows.
rails-ftw-v0.11-1.9.3-3.2.8.exe MD5 Checksum: 0b4d37bcfc810135e24190ea879ee1a6
rails-ftw-v0.10x-1.9.3-3.2.1.exe MD5 Checksum: 4c504dce1d83792748e32c20273158e2
rails-ftw-v0.9-1.8.7-3.0.10.exe MD5 Checksum: 9148e859d1c473a5b26be0af0e0b3adc