Forum: Ruby on Rails EXTREME Newbie Qestion - Is RoR the right tool?

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Joe P. (Guest)
on 2006-03-10 01:34
So, the question for you who are RoR Gurus: is RoR the way to go?

Here's the challenge...
A community service site (application?) that includes:
  * Community Forum
  * Blog (kind of - more like an editoral comment section)
  * Weather Forecasts by locale
  * Road Conditions
  * real time weather data
  * Searchable, by category & locale, Business Directory
  * Live Camera feeds
  * Searchable, by category & locale, Things do Do & See
  * Searchable, by category & locale, Events Calendar
  * Very tightly integrated with Google Maps
  * All elements very tightly integrated with one another
  * Highly interactive / responsive (Ajax no doubt)

I'm not looking for help with any of these specific elements.

These are not separate pages (or Views) but elements available and
emphasized to one degree or another in different Views.  One of the
directions I would like to head is that much of the View emphasis
re-construction be done with JS on the client based on XML data made
available in the background.

I've built a site with many of these components (No Ajax, No background
data loading) using hand written PHP / XHTML and Open Source scripts,
but it's becoming to unwieldy to maintain or modify.  Also, integration
with Google Maps will already require a re-write of many elements.

I do not have a deadline (this is a quasi hobby someday to become a
business) so I don't mind taking the time to learn.  I just don't want
to spend a lot of time learning only to find out that this is totally
the wrong tool set.

BTW, what is the difference between a web "site" and a web
"application"?
Thanks very much, and please forgive my ignorance.
joe
François B. (Guest)
on 2006-03-10 05:11
(Received via mailing list)
Hello Joe,

2006/3/9, Joe P. <removed_email_address@domain.invalid>:
> I do not have a deadline (this is a quasi hobby someday to become a
> business) so I don't mind taking the time to learn.  I just don't want
> to spend a lot of time learning only to find out that this is totally
> the wrong tool set.

Looking at your requirements, I believe Rails would work perfectly
well.  Rails handles Ajax very well, and provides some tools to help
write the JavaScript.

> BTW, what is the difference between a web "site" and a web
> "application"?

A site is pretty much static.  If you have any dynamic content, then
that becomes an application.  At least, that's my theory.

> Thanks very much, and please forgive my ignorance.

Ignorance is never a problem.  Failure to combat ignorance is the
problem :)

Bye !
Joe P. (Guest)
on 2006-03-10 07:33
François Beausoleil wrote:
<snip>
>
> A site is pretty much static.  If you have any dynamic content, then
> that becomes an application.  At least, that's my theory.
>
>> Thanks very much, and please forgive my ignorance.
>
> Ignorance is never a problem.  Failure to combat ignorance is the
> problem :)
>
> Bye !

Thanks Francois!
My "application" is very dynamic!  The only element that is not updated
as a function of time or user input is the editorial comment section,
and even that should be more dynamic than it currently is (or
eliminated).

As far as the battle goes... I appear to be loosing.  The more I learn
the more I realize I don't know and the older I get the less I remember
of what I've learned.

Thanks for the input.
Joe

P.S.  I got my first RoR dynamic app runing today (Agile Web D.
first exercise).  I still have to figure out how to get Apache to run
RoR as well as my existing PHP based site so I can develop the new while
maintianing the old.
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