Posted by Codejoy Mon, 14 Aug 2006 17:18:00 GMT
First of all, I have never done web programming before, and really never had the inclination. That all has changed with Ruby on Rails. For many reasons, first and foremost is the price of entry. It is relatively easy to get started in RoR and deployment to a webhost isn't to bad. My host is HostingRails.com. They have some sweet deals for free or near free web hosting and very helpful staff. I recomend them a great deal.
Warholit! was my first forray into Ruby on Rails. For the other newbie rails users, I would like to distribute some tips and lessons learned. (this is a lessons learned from warholit, mostly a stupid list of all the gotchas that I ran into while stepping into the Ruby on Rails waters with this project):
- Keep your development machine and webhosc always running at the same version
- Remember on your web host, if your application just doesnt seem to start from the web browser, try from the command prompt of your web host % >script/console
- Something in particular this project: RMagick has two modes Q8 and Q16, if you are doing an operation on your dev machine that looks funky on the web host, double check what version you have of RMagick and find a work around for converting.
- Multiple Applications can run on a single host usually, though you have to do funky stuff. I put this here cause i was never sure if this was true or not, it indeed ist rue and the host should help you to set that up. Typically it invovles haveing one RoR app that contains another ina subdirectory, the routes and perhaps some other stuff make setting this up difficult at times, but well worth it. I am currently running typo, and within that my RoR flickr toy "Warholit"
I would also like to take a moment to state that Typo (what powers this blog) is awesome. It's adminstrative functions are lovely and very web 2.0 :). So I guess my number one tip for those new to Ruby on Rails is first, spend some time developing simple and fun Ruby scripts. Then after that, find a great book that shows you Ruby on Rails, I hear "Ruby for Rails" is a great book (though I learned all my stuff using the "Agile web development with Rails" book (not so bad)). The biggest trouble I had when starting out was learning how to pass arguments from web page to Ruby script and back again. I will release some sourcecode to my warholit app after it has matured a bit more to demonstrate this. (I also found it quite difficult at first to figure out how to use check boxes and option boxes).
All in all I am happy with Ruby on Rails. It is a fun new way to code, and as someone who has always wanted to write web apps makes the barrier to entry very low. My biggest concern was how I was going to coax my webhost into allowing me to host multiple rails applictions (like this typo blog AND my warholit app) but with some help and some knowhow, it was a very doable thing at no extra cost. For those who have always wanted to try Web Development, I think ruby on rails is the way to go, but now I guess I am officially a biased opinion :)