IDE - asp.net v. RoR for new programmer?

Not trolling here, but genuinely trying to figure out what to use for a
project I’d like to create. I’m very new to programming (some intro
classes at university) and am debating between learning asp.net versus
ruby on rails to create the project.

I’d very much prefer to learn ruby, but it seems like the asp.net IDE is
better for someone new to web programming like myself. The ability to
use a wysiwyg design view in visual studio is a big plus to me since I
don’t know how to seriously code pages, buttons, drop downs, tree menus,
and other stuff. Sure, I could learn this given some time, but I
actually have limited time and would prefer not to attack all of this
from the ground up.

I tried loading textmate and, while I appreciate how great it would be
if I knew what I was doing, there seems to be less “hand-holding” for
someone like myself. I was pretty daunted by the big blank page in the
middle! My first impression of Visual studio was that it seems to
provide more support and have more tools I can use like properties
dialogs, the wysiwyg design view, etc. There was just more I could
immediately relate to as opposed to textmate.

I assume I’m missing something here and am looking for help. Is there a
good integrated IDE that allows me to code RoR and also do wysiwyg
design to cut corners on the web design aspects of things?

Thanks in advance.

msm

Marcus M. wrote:

I’d very much prefer to learn ruby, but it seems like the asp.net IDE is
better for someone new to web programming like myself. The ability to
use a wysiwyg design view in visual studio is a big plus

We have a Wysiwyg Rails designer for Visual Studio in Ruby In Steel.
Sounds as though that’s what you are looking for :wink:

http://www.sapphiresteel.com/GUI-Drag-and-Drop-Development-For

best wishes

Huw C.

SapphireSteel Software
http://www.sapphiresteel.com

FWIW I’ve used dot net and am currently learning Ruby/Rails. No simple
answer to your qns but you might want consider some other factors
besides IDEs etc (BTW - try Netbeans IDE for Ruby R. - free and
pretty good but no page designer AFAIK). (or Ruby In Steel if you
have Visual Studio), Other things that I think are important:

  • type of app you are developing - dot net is much more corporate/
    institutional; ruby/rails is more startup, open source etc.
  • coding/languages - pick your poison here (Ruby vs VB or C#) (I
    prefer Ruby/Python; Static vd Dynamically typed language). Be sure to
    learn some Ruby coding before jumping into Rails.
  • try writing and debugging a couple of small programs in both
    languages and see which you prefer - I like the clean syntax of Ruby/
    Python (no braces) vs C#. FWIW I think you can code faster in Ruby
    once you get going - but there is a learning curve.
  • perhaps most important - surrounding ecosystem (fellow coders,
    support, community etc) for when you need help.
  • maybe it’s just me, but I get the sense that the dot net world is
    more about business and definitely more corporate - Ruby/Rails is more
    for the independent minded out there - more about coding for the fun
    of it.
  • Hosting - I think dot net hosting is (a little) more expensive than
    Ruby/Rails/MySQL hosting - difference might be small - but with dot
    net you may also need SQL Server hosting which adds a bit more
    expense.
  • other things you stand to learn - if you go with ruby chances are
    you will pick up some cross platform skills with complementary
    technologies (e.g. Linux, MySql etc.). With dot net you are more
    likely to live in the Windows/Microsoft world. Nothing wrong with
    that, but as a developer it’s a good idea to have a variety of skills
    vs a single Platform skill set.

Either way you won’t go wrong - just do your homework and make an
informed decision. The big investment is your time.

Hope this helps,
Brendan

On Aug 1, 1:54 pm, Marcus M. [email protected]

Marcus M. wrote:

Not trolling here, but genuinely trying to figure out what to use for a
project I’d like to create. I’m very new to programming (some intro
classes at university) and am debating between learning asp.net versus
ruby on rails to create the project.

Unless you use Mono, ASP.NET locks you into Windows. That’s a huge
strike against it right there – Windows is not a suitable platform for
serious server-side development in the 21st century.

I’d very much prefer to learn ruby,

Then do! Ruby is a fantastically well designed language, and Rails is
an equally well designed application framework.

but it seems like the asp.net IDE is
better for someone new to web programming like myself.

Don’t choose a language based only on IDE. Rails is not well suited to
conventional IDEs, since it’s deliberately designed for ease of use and
minimal configuration (I just use KomodoEdit and a bunch of terminal
windows). I’d almost go so far as to say that if a framework needs an
IDE, something is wrong with the design of the framework.

The ability to
use a wysiwyg design view in visual studio is a big plus to me since I
don’t know how to seriously code pages, buttons, drop downs, tree menus,
and other stuff.

Hold it. Stop right there. If you don’t know HTML, you have no
business coding Web applications yet. Learn HTML well before you even
think about doing any server-side programming.

Sure, I could learn this given some time, but I
actually have limited time and would prefer not to attack all of this
from the ground up.

Sorry, it doesn’t work that way. The Web is built with HTML. If you’re
going to work on the Web, you have to be completely comfortable creating
HTML code. If you rely on a pretty drag-and-drop interface builder
without understanding the HTML it is generating for you, you will wind
up with bad HTML – computers are just not smart enough to do it for
you.

I tried loading textmate and, while I appreciate how great it would be
if I knew what I was doing, there seems to be less “hand-holding” for
someone like myself. I was pretty daunted by the big blank page in the
middle!

Welcome to creative work of any sort. (I’m a composer as well as a
programmer. The big blank page of staff paper is still daunting after
30 years of composition.)

My first impression of Visual studio was that it seems to
provide more support and have more tools I can use like properties
dialogs, the wysiwyg design view, etc.

Don’t rely on stuff like that. They should be tools (to help with
things you already understand, but that are tedious), not crutches (to
prevent you from having to think or learn).

There was just more I could
immediately relate to as opposed to textmate.

I assume I’m missing something here and am looking for help. Is there a
good integrated IDE that allows me to code RoR and also do wysiwyg
design to cut corners on the web design aspects of things?

Well, you can use any WYSIWYG HTML editor you like. But only do that
once your HTML is good enough that you are absolutely sure that you
understand the HTML being generated. Do not rely on automatic tools
to save you from learning – they won’t. If you use them without
understanding what is being automated, you will simply wind up in a heap
of trouble without really understanding how you got there or what to do
to get out.

Please don’t choose a language based on the presence of idiot-proof IDEs
and cute WYSIWYG editors. Those aren’t the things that will matter
after 3 months of learning. Language design, however, will be with you
every step of the way – that’s what you should be looking at.

Thanks in advance.

msm

Best,

Marnen Laibow-Koser
http://www.marnen.org
[email protected]

Can’t agree more with what has been said here. I’m a C#.Net developer
that is transitioning to Ruby (finally! Bought the pickaxe three years
ago and never got around to it…). Yes VS is a fabulous productivity
tool, but I’ve seen plenty of new developers get stumped for lack of
understanding of the HTML, Javascript and C# that goes behind it.

If all you want to do is learn programming, then it’s a matter of
personal preference. If anything, getting your hands “dirtier” in Ruby
will make you a better programmer, as without the comfort of VS you’ll
have to go deeper :slight_smile:

The real issue that experienced programmers will point out about
anything that comes with a giant IDE is that, ultimately, the IDE is
an absolute necessity. Many of the frameworks supported by heavy IDEs
are so verbose that it’s simply impossible to set everything up by
hand (see the current state of Java web apps for an example - XML 'til
it hurts!).

Furthermore, quite a bit of the functionality in Visual Studio -
things like creating app skeletons, etc - is essentially covered by
the CLI generators that packages like Rails provide. Maybe not as
glitzy, but they work.

Finally, the value of having the entire platform’s source code can’t
be overstated - it may be intimidating at first, but reading the Rails
source can be extremely valuable to a new developer. It’s also the
documentation of last resort… :slight_smile:

–Matt J.

On Aug 1, 4:54 pm, Marcus M. [email protected]

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