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In the terms of RubyMine, content is a collection of files with which you are currently working, possibly organized in a hierarchy of subfolders. The folder which is the highest in this hierarchy is called content root folder or content root (shown as ) for short. A project has at least one content root folder, by default it is the project folder itself.
Having several content roots enables you to work with files from several directories that do not have a common immediate parent. This is helpful when you use some static contents, for example, icons. You can just save them all in a folder and then specify this folder as an extra content root in several projects.
Content root types
By default, all the files in a content root folder are involved in indexing, searching, parsing, code completion, etc. To change this status, folders within a content root can be assigned to the following categories:
Test source roots
(or test source folders; shown as ).
Test scripts and fixtures generated for the Rails applications are automatically added to the test roots.
The files under the test roots are interpreted according to their type. RubyMine can parse, inspect and compile the contents of these roots.
(shown as ) are ones that RubyMine "almost ignores".
These roots contain files and folders ignored by RubyMine when indexing, searching, parsing, watching etc.
Excluded roots are not visible to RubyMine. Usually, one would like to exclude temporary build folders, generated output, logs, and other project output. Excluding the unnecessary paths is a good way to significantly improve performance.