Can RoR replace a Clipper app?

I developed a clipper app years ago, and am considering updating it. I’m
considering Ruby on Rails for this project, but would like advice before
jumping in regarding the capabilities of Ruby.

  1. Would Mysql be a good replacement for a xbase database?
  2. Can I build pick lists on the fly from data?
  3. Can i develop a networked data entry system with Ruby
  4. Is there a graphical library for Ruby that can generate line drawings
    with postscript text to screen and print?
  5. Is there report writing programs for Ruby and Mysql?

Keep in mind that it will replace a Clipper 5.3b application with a
graphics library and a postscript printing library.

If Ruby on Rails isn’t a good fit for repalacing Clipper, what would you
recommend (hopefully open source)

Thanks

  1. Would Mysql be a good replacement for a xbase database?
    Yes
  1. Can I build pick lists on the fly from data?
    I don’t know exactly the meaning of this, but Ruby is a very powerful
    object-oriented language. So I’m sure the answer is yes.
  1. Can i develop a networked data entry system with Ruby
    Rails is all about networked applications (the network is sometimes
    referred to as the Internet, maybe you’ve heard of it). :slight_smile:
  1. Is there a graphical library for Ruby that can generate line drawings
    with postscript text to screen and print?
    Many including SVG, PDF, and others. There are even complete libraries
    of classes for building Ruby based desktop GUI applications.
  1. Is there report writing programs for Ruby and Mysql?
    Yes, several. Take a look at
    http://wiki.rubyonrails.com/rails/pages/HowtoGeneratePDFs
    for several options available to you.

I don’t know Clipper, but if you want to learn Ruby you’ll need to
know something about Object Oriented Programming (OOP). Ruby is a pure
object language. Basically everything you interact with in Ruby is an
object, and you’ll be writing many of your own objects (classes). You
should also familiarize yourself with the Model-View-Controller design
pattern. This is the governing pattern of a Ruby on Rails application.
Other things to note are Representation State Transfer (REST), and
Structured Query Language (SQL) for interacting with your database.
You generally don’t write SQL code directly in Rails (although you can
if you really need it).

On Apr 10, 5:15 pm, Walter J. [email protected]

I haven’t developed in Clipper since the late 80’s - early 90’s maybe,
but I’m hard pressed to think of anything the Clipper language could do
that Ruby/Rails won’t do…

  1. Would Mysql be a good replacement for a xbase database?

MySQL is eminently usable

  1. Can I build pick lists on the fly from data?

You can use collections built in the controller to feed your select
lists

  1. Can i develop a networked data entry system with Ruby

You just need to host your rails app on a machine your networked users
can access

  1. Is there a graphical library for Ruby that can generate line drawings
    with postscript text to screen and print?
  2. Is there report writing programs for Ruby and Mysql?

As for libraries for graphing or reporting, there are several graphing
libraries available, and a reporting engine or two if I recall
correctly. Check out RubyForge for available tools.

Jasper reports will fulfill all your reporting needs. There is a
fairly steep learning curve though.
Rails can do anything Clipper can do. The main difference is that
Clipper is compiled to an exe. At this time Rails is not. Also rails
is web based.

On Apr 10, 2:15 pm, Walter J. [email protected]

Robert W. wrote:

  1. Would Mysql be a good replacement for a xbase database?
    Yes
  1. Can I build pick lists on the fly from data?
    I don’t know exactly the meaning of this, but Ruby is a very powerful
    object-oriented language. So I’m sure the answer is yes.
  1. Can i develop a networked data entry system with Ruby
    Rails is all about networked applications (the network is sometimes
    referred to as the Internet, maybe you’ve heard of it). :slight_smile:
  1. Is there a graphical library for Ruby that can generate line drawings
    with postscript text to screen and print?
    Many including SVG, PDF, and others. There are even complete libraries
    of classes for building Ruby based desktop GUI applications.
  1. Is there report writing programs for Ruby and Mysql?
    Yes, several. Take a look at
    http://wiki.rubyonrails.com/rails/pages/HowtoGeneratePDFs
    for several options available to you.

I don’t know Clipper, but if you want to learn Ruby you’ll need to
know something about Object Oriented Programming (OOP). Ruby is a pure
object language. Basically everything you interact with in Ruby is an
object, and you’ll be writing many of your own objects (classes). You
should also familiarize yourself with the Model-View-Controller design
pattern. This is the governing pattern of a Ruby on Rails application.
Other things to note are Representation State Transfer (REST), and
Structured Query Language (SQL) for interacting with your database.
You generally don’t write SQL code directly in Rails (although you can
if you really need it).

On Apr 10, 5:15�pm, Walter J. [email protected]

up

visit a rubyonrails website :http://www.rorchina.net
wolf union program club :http://wolf.rorchina.net
China Rubyonrails club: http://bbs.rorchina.net

Walter J. wrote:

I developed a clipper app years ago, and am considering updating it. I’m
considering Ruby on Rails for this project, but would like advice before
jumping in regarding the capabilities of Ruby.

First, Ruby is the language, while Rails is a framework for building web
applications. If you intend to build your new project as a web app then
ruby and rails might be a good fit. If you simply want a client server
n-tier app without having to go through the htt protocol then ruby is
fine but rails may not be the route to take. You may just want to pull
in ActiveRecord and drop the rest (pardon the pun).

  1. Would Mysql be a good replacement for a xbase database?

Rails does not force you to use MySQL. Depending on the application’s
data size, even SQLite3 might be a good replacement database for your
purpose. The backend DBMS selected has more to do with how big the data
set is and how many users you expect to be hitting the data store.
Besides MySQL, you can use PostgreSQL, SQLite3 and a variety of others.

  1. Can I build pick lists on the fly from data?

Yes, but the implementation details are left as an exercise for the
user. If you go down the web app route then there are javascript
libraries and rails plugins available to accomplish this in the browser.
I expect similar tools exist for straight Ruby apps but I do not know of
any.

  1. Can i develop a networked data entry system with Ruby

You can do almost anything with Ruby that can be done in any other
language, often faster. However, you probably want to research how much
of the structure you can get from frameworks. Again, Rails is meant for
web apps and expects the GUI to exist inside one of the popular web
browsers.

  1. Is there a graphical library for Ruby that can generate line drawings
    with postscript text to screen and print?

Whatever graphical libraries exist for C have been or can be wrapped for
access through ruby.

  1. Is there report writing programs for Ruby and Mysql?

Ruby is a language. There are extensions / plugins for Ruby / Rails
that assist in producing some forms of output, PDFWrite for instance, or
RuPorts. But you have to write the programs yourself.

For stand alone reporting from different DBMS there are no doubt a
number of OS projects and commercial products to choose from, Crystal
Reports for instance. But whether these are suitable depends upon what
form of networked application you are talking about.

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