Tag Archives: rails

Learning Ruby and Rails Resources

The last week has seen a flurry of activity in the Ruby and Rails world where there is a buzz about geting newbies up and running easily. Some of these are new ones, while others have been around for a little while but as I’ve not come across them before I wanted to make sure I noted them down here for later use.

RailsBridge is a new project underway as a resource for people to learn Rails via a variety of paths and tools. Over time new practicals and tutorials should appear that people can follow to learn Rails and Ruby.

Rails Tutor will provide the courseware for RailsBridge in a number of bitsize chunks that people can work through as needed. It should cater to those who are new to programming, as well as those who have done programming before and are just new to Rails and Ruby.

Ruby Challenge will provide exercises and games in Ruby to make learning fun. This could be the nice ‘extra’ to the whole RailsBridge package. If it works well, then this will be a bit of fun to add to classes for students.

While watching the mail list for RailsBridge I saw a few interesting sites pop up, which I should mention here too.

Ruby Learning (.org) provides a number of on-line classes for people to take, and provides mentors to help people with the work. This looks quite useful for guided learning.

Ruby Learning (.com) provides a class in Ruby that is all there laid out for you, and you can work through it yourself and read the notes at your own pace. In addition to the on-line tutorials, you can also download an e-book that looks like it goes over the same material.

Ruby at About.com also provides a lot of materials and how-to guides for those learning Ruby as well as Rails. This covers obvious resources, plus adds more of its own too, which is nice. They will also be helping out with RailsBridge too.

All in all, it’s a good time to be learning Ruby and Rails.

Scotland on Rails 2009

Getting ready for Scotland on Rails in Edinburgh from Thursday to Saturday. I’m giving a presentation on Friday about teaching Rails. Ran it by the person currently teaching the MSc conversion students Ruby, and he thought it fine, and mentioned that he was real pleased with how it’s been going. The students are learning lots, not getting stuck too much, and that a number have installed everything neatly to their laptops without too much hand-holding by him and his colleague. Phew.

If you’re not there and want to follow the action on Twitter than you can see the stream of tweets at hashtags, or using search at twitter.

I’m quite looking forward to it as there should be some good conversations about mobile web using Rails, and also about the industrial project ideas I floated last week. Stay tuned for more on that by the way. I’m seeing more people about that next week.

Macbook rebuild part four

ImageMagick now works fine thanks to the instructions noted in part three. Hurrah. I just added all of the export statements to my .bash_profile file, and all was well. If you don’t have a .bash_profile file, then create one, but be sure to have it start with the ‘.’ or it won’t work. That’s a relief.

MySQL was a non-event. It’s now so trivial. This is a big relief. It’s even easier than described by Paul Sturgess in his blog post on doing Rails and MySQL on a Mac. Now all you need to do is grab the dmg file from MySQL for MySQL 5.1.x and all works as it should. Nothing hung, or didn’t work. What a joy. Then open up the .bash_profile file, and the path to the bin direcrtory for mysql and you’re done. 

So now my complete .bash_profile file looks like this:

export PATH=”$PATH:/usr/local/mysql/bin”

export MAGICK_HOME=”/Applications/ImageMagick-6.4.8″

export PATH=”$PATH:$MAGICK_HOME/bin”


So that covers the main things for Rails development. Onto Java in the next one.

Macbook rebuild part two

Updating rails should have been easy as ruby and rails are included in Leopard. I should have only had to do

sudo gem update --include-dependencies

And then it would all be right as rain. However, as Rails has recently made some big changes, and changed its gem repository from rubyforge to http://gems.rubyonrails.org, I needed to fix a few other issues too, and add in some more gems to make it all happy. Thanks to the details at the google group for rubyonrails, and the note to add in the gem update for rack (yes, rack, not rake), all is happy and I’m now at rails 2.3.0. Ok, still need to do mysql.