Ruby on Rails for designers


The folks at Gluttonous have posted a really good article that explains the wonderful Ruby on Rails web development technology in a way that designers can understand how it fits into their works. Well worth reading for anyone interested, not just designers.

That's perfect timing, actually, as the latest v1.1 release of Ruby on Rails is just getting ready for public edification with its first release candidate. Test early, test often.

TIP: Installing Sqlite-Ruby causes errors


After installing Instant Rails on one of my machines I then set to install Sqlite, an extremely simple to use database program, and the connector to link it to Ruby. Simple enough, I thought, there's a Gem for it right there. While it was simple to install, there was a little problem with it that it took me a moment to realize what was going on. During the install it said the following:

D:\InstantRails\rails_apps>gem install sqlite3-ruby
Attempting local installation of 'sqlite3-ruby'
Local gem file not found: sqlite3-ruby*.gem
Attempting remote installation of 'sqlite3-ruby'
Updating Gem source index for:
Successfully installed sqlite3-ruby-1.1.0-mswin32
Installing RDoc documentation for sqlite3-ruby-1.1.0-mswin32...
lib/sqlite3/database.rb:637:65: Skipping require of dynamic string: "sqlite3/driver/#{driver.to_s.downcase}/driver"
lib/sqlite3/database.rb:642:59: Skipping require of dynamic string: "sqlite3/driver/#{d.downcase}/driver"

As it turned out the errors listed ("skipping require of..") turns out to be not too serious. As you can see above those lines it has said that the basic install succeeded ok, where it got stuck was automatically generating the documentation, which really isn't a big deal for Rails usage as we won't be hitting the Sqlite functions directly.

Start off slowly with Ruby on Rails (UPDATED)


Ruby on Rails can seem like a complicated beastie to newcomers, even though its learning curve is much lower than most similar technologies it is still there, so what's better than an expertly written tutorial that shows you exactly how to get started? Three of them, that's what, one each depending on whether your computer runs Windows, OSX or Linux. With one of these under your belt you're sure to be churning out excellent web software in no time!

UPDATE: If you are running OSX 10.3 (Panther) you need to follow these instructions to get the current version of Ruby to install, the other link has instructions for 10.4:

"Getting Real" on project development


The folks behind Ruby on Rails, 37Signals, have compiled ninety essays on almost every aspect of project development and are making it available as a $19 PDF "book" called Getting Real. As a taster they have four essays available for free, which give a good idea of what to expect in the rest of the book, and so far it looks like it'll be well worth reading, just looking at the table of contents is enough to get me salivating.

MSFT looses brain learning AJAX


While developing their competition for Google Maps, MSFT seem to have forgotten how to develop good applications and gone back to the philosophies they used to develop Bob. I present, to you, one of the worst pieces of crud ever:

While it is true that this maps application is still under development, there's almost no way they could turn this into something usable without throwing out probably two-thirds of its functionality, which I doubt they'll do. Yet another example of why MSFT drastically needs to learn the concepts of KISS, as others have to great effect: Google Maps and GMail, 37 Signals's Basecamp, Campfire, Backpack, TaDa List and Writeboard, Carson System's DropSend, etc, etc, etc.



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