What and why are .idea/ files being created in RubyMine

What is this? It's annoying. I don't want extraneous files to commit into my repos

Where did they come from? How do I stop it without having to do a gitignore file???

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Hello,

those files are used for storing project settings, please refer to our documentation:

https://www.jetbrains.com/help/ruby/2017.1/project-and-ide-settings.html

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The documentation has broken links. It still is unclear what the files are and how to stop them from being created. 

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Your documentation has broken links and does not give a clear concise way to disable the .idea files being created. 

How are they disabled?

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Could you please specify what exactly is broken? As for .idea files, at the moment there's no other way to store your project settings, please vote for the corresponding issue:

https://youtrack.jetbrains.com/issue/IDEA-170102

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