Learning Ruby on Rails Day 1

This is Day One of me journaling about learning Ruby on Rails. I started learning both Ruby and Rails before Christmas. I picked the fabulous book Simply Rails as my teacher. I stopped reading the book several times and for long enough that I needed to rewind and read the same chapters over and over again. I have to understand the ins and outs in whatever I learn, not because I'm curious, but because it's the only way that any computer stuff will stick into my brain. I have trouble learning about things when I do not understand how they work.

RoR is a great subject to journal about. Ruby is a beautiful language, and Rails is an extremely sexy framework. My long-term relationship with Drupal has nicely prepared me for it. There's an endless list of equivalences between Drupal and Rails.

Colon cleansing journaling is by far more interesting to most people, to me included, but I'm not cleaning my colon these days. Actually, as an aside, I am on Day 2 of a very expensive homeopathic detox regimen (oh that sounds bad I know), and the 3 products I'm using don't contain any laxative or fibers. I can't say for sure that it's doing me any good. I feel as sick as ever. So, I'll report on that as well. Short story: I asked a sales woman at Supermarket Avril “What's your favorite detox product”, and one thing lead to an other.

Ok, back to Ruby and Rails. Here is what I use:
  • I am on Windows. I hate Linux and speak from experience. My chum has Ubuntu and is a Linux geek fini. He spends every now and then way too much time trying to make things work on his Thinkpad thanks to free Ubuntu.
  • I use E – TextEditor. The chum uses Eclipse Rad Rails, and I gave that a chance for 2 years. E – TextEditor is nothing other than Textmate for Windows. The bundles that are used for one can be used with the other. There is so much automation, and it is so light-weight! Also, it opens instantly, unlike the runs-with-Java Eclipse Monster. Did you know that you can select code in an *.html.erb template and create a partial from it by simply pressing Alt-Shift-H? And add your own copyright by pressing c) Tab. You can also add <%= %> to your template by pressing Shift-Alt-dot, and if you press on the same keys again it will 'toggle' the output to a scriptlet, etc. I also know how to find a file by name in my project just like in Eclipse, by using Ctrl-Shift-T, and, yes, the Find in Project (search for a string in all your project's files) is not as great as in Eclipse, but it's the only thing that's not up to par.
  • I use Instant Rails. I updated the Rails gem to 2.3. So, I'm using Rails 2.3. By the way, with Rails 2.3 (and maybe since 2.2, not sure) you have to restart your server when you create a new controller. This is new, and I found out the hard way.

I have since bought many other books, well 2. The ugly but I assume useful because everyone swears by it Agile Web Development with Rails, Third Edition. And O'Reilly's Learning Rails, which contains many errors (not typos), so many that I will not bother reporting them to the publisher as it would be too much work. I'm also reading the entertaining Head First Rails on Safari, and it's not as bad as many have reported it's actually very good. I respect how the information is presented, it follows the Head First “your code gets better when you know better” routine: not necessarily starting with the absolute best practices in the world, but moving on to them when and because you understand their usefulness.

Last edited by Caroline Schnapp about 12 years ago.


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