Add to Google Reader or Homepage |
~ pjvenda / blog
$home . blog . photography

08 October 2006

Rails is sweet


I've been busy at work during the past few weeks. Not that I'm not usually busy, but this has been a "different" kind of busy. This is the fourth week in a row that I'm doing full time software development. I'm still a technical security consultant, but because I am one of the most qualified and, more importantly, available resources to do the job, I was the one that took the task of writing a web application for a project of ours.

After a little research, I and a colleague, came to a preliminary conclusion that ruby on rails would be the way to go. I've been curious about the (hyped) framework and wanted to try it out for some time, but now I had the perfect opportunity to learn and do some serious work with it. Of course, before rails comes ruby, but for people like me, another language isn't much more than just another syntax.

With the two bibles (the PickAxe or "Programming Ruby: The pragmatic programmers' guide" and the "Agile Web Development with Rails"), we got our hands dirty and before no time, a bigger-than-I-thought-possible-in-no-time application came to life.

Ruby is a very pragmatic language, with lots and lots of included libraries and tons of bindings to other languages and frameworks. It's elegant, easily readable(*) and allows for very quick and well structured software to rise - from simple things not much more than shell scripts to elaborated and sophisticated tools. The integrated testing framework, documentation tool, interactive ruby shell and the quick help tool complete a very good programming toolkit. I really really really like ruby now! It has my respect!

Rails is, like Eric Cartman would say, *sweeeeeet*. I've been thinking of tens of web applications I'd like to write in rails to assist me and to enhance my website. Rails is just too cool! It feels like developing apps just for the kicks - rails is *that* good!

For everyone that's on the edge of trying it out, here are some tips that came out of my experience:


Eclipse, with rdt for ruby integration and radrails for rails integration. I'd strongly advise developing with a subversion version control repository, integrated with eclipse via subclipse. The eclipse package manager allows the remote installation of all these tools. It's great!


MySQL. Local or remote - doesn't matter. Enough said.

Development Platform

This is, of course, a personal matter. Do your coding in whatever operating system you feel most confortable with. I use Linux.


I would recommend the reference paper books "Programming Ruby. The Pragmatic Programmers' guide" and "Agile Web Development with Rails".

Cheers, PJ.

No comments: