On RubyRef - Ruby Doc on iPhone

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Just learnt from @IndianGuru‘s tweet about RubyRef – it’s an iPhone app for Ruby Doc.

Sound like a nice idea – however redundancy was already a thought by the time I went to the Appstore to check it out. However I am spoilt by free iPhone app already – and seeing a tag of $0.99 I didn’t care to even try it. Here’s why –

1) There’s hardly any time I am coding Ruby/Rails I am not online. And there’s really great free doc (rubybrain, railsbrain, and the excellent one stop shop gotapi). When I have these at a keypress away, why will I turn to the iPhone?

2) I find myself copy-pasting most of the time I am looking up some obsecure Ruby functionality. Agreed, Ruby makes it concise. It’s not like you have to a) code up an Iterator, b) have a while loop to go thru it c) and finally iterate, like in some other languages – Ruby is good at being concise. But still, you gotta cut-paste sometimes right?

3) I find myself working with different Ruby/Rails versions all the time. Ruby 1.8.7/Rails 2.2 at home, Ruby 1.8.6/Rails 1.2 at work (don’t get it started on why) – so I find rubybrain/railsbrain very useful for this purpose. I haven’t tried RubyRef yet – but looking at the screenshots it probably supports one version. Especially with Rails evolving all the time, we definitely need something like that

4) I haven’t talked about ri/irb combo yet – I find them very useful for Ruby docs. Right in the shell, no context switch to move to the browser/phone. Even if you don’t use them, having a downloaded copy of the doc (from rubybrain for example) will probably be much more easier to refer to than the iPhone.

I mean, I don’t see myself coding Ruby/Rails without a computer (at least now). As long as I have a computer won’t ri/irb/rubybrain/downloaded-doc be easier to refer than the iPhone?

I had all the intentions of trying the app out – but given so many good, free alternatives I don’t think I’ll try a 99 cent app.

What about you?