I decided last week to see what all the hype was about and have a look at Ruby On Rails. I’ve been meaning to catalogue my DVD collection on my site for a good while now but nothing ever materialised, so I’ve got something to work towards and if RoR delivers what it promises I should get something up and running quite quickly.
The first thing to do was to track down some kind of reference material to learn from and this book seemed like the right place to start. I had a lot of fun printing a warez’d PDF of it out on the office’s malfunctioning lazer printer and then binding it, but the end product will more than fill my needs.
Getting all the software goodness installed was thankfully a lot less painful than I expected. Slackware Packages provided me with the current version of Ruby and once that was installed downloading and setting up RubyGems was effortless. The only problem I had was using RubyGems to install the Rails framework, but after scratching my head and googling like a fiend I found out that RubyForge was offline and when I came back from my lunch break it was up and running again and I could finish setting up my Ruby On Rails installation.
So far I have read through the introductory material and the Ruby language summary and have started working on my movie project while following the shopping cart case study. The best term I can think of to describe my first impressions of this system is weird. The language seems so foreign compared to what I am used to but I do like the idea of having a MVC architecture built in from the start of a project. I don’t know a huge amount about design patterns so I’m hoping to learn a bit here and hopefully apply the principles to future endeavours.
Most of what I have achieved so far has been through blindly following the text and without a huge amount of understanding and I don’t yet know if I even like this stuff but I do intend to stick it out for this project and share the results here. Web 2.0 here I come!