Question to all you newbies (others welcome)


#1

Hello everyone,

As you hopefully know, I founded http://RubyMentor.rubyforge.org, a
project that offers volunteer help to Ruby newbies.

My question is where would it be most effective to advertise
RubyMentor? What are the places newbies go to first when deciding to
learn Ruby these days? How can I make sure that every newbie knows
RubyMentor exists, just like they probably know that the Pickaxe I is
free online and that Rails has some very helpful screencasts?

Any feedback appreciated from newbie and veteran alike,

Aur S.


#2

The first place i looked was google, then signed up for this list and
a couple of help forums. So, i guess, get a good page rank with
google.
i think your idea is a cool one. btw

sk


#3

Page rank for what keywords?

Page rank means having people link to it…

Anybody with a relevant site willing to help with that?

Aur


#4

2007/4/7, SonOfLilit removed_email_address@domain.invalid:

As you hopefully know, I founded http://RubyMentor.rubyforge.org, a
project that offers volunteer help to Ruby newbies.

My question is where would it be most effective to advertise
RubyMentor?

Your project is really interesting. IMHO that’s the better way to
learn something. I think Ruby is the only language with a mentor
concept. So, ruby-lang.org could use it as a marketing argument. imho
ruby-lang.org is the better way to advertise about it.
“Ruby is only programming language with one-to-one mentor helping
people to learn”
That’s a poor sentence, but you get an idea :slight_smile:


#5

On 4/7/07, Simon R. removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

concept. So, ruby-lang.org could use it as a marketing argument. imho
ruby-lang.org is the better way to advertise about it.
“Ruby is only programming language with one-to-one mentor helping
people to learn”
Hmm are we already there? I was contacted once but it was completely
outisde my expertise, I tried to find an interested mentor but there
was nobody, no big deal, we tried at least;)
But it might be wise to get some feedback before boldly going where no
one has gone before;) e.g. stating thar Ruby has a Mentor Concept,
which seems slightly exaggerated to me, right now, any different
opions about this ?
Cheers
Robert


#6

On 4/7/07, Robert D. removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

learn something. I think Ruby is the only language with a mentor
opions about this ?

You see things; and you say Why?
But I dream things that never were; and I say Why not?
– George Bernard Shaw

I agree, we should wait a bit, and see how it works before we start
advertising on ruby-lang.org. The wiki leads me to believe that it
has only actually happened once. It would be neat if we could get it
on maybe the mailing list subscribe page, and on ruby-forum, as just a
little hint. something like Remember: There is a community driven
one-on-one mentor program you can sign up for, try it! It’s easy!


#7

On Apr 7, 10:04 am, SonOfLilit removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

My question is where would it be most effective to advertise
RubyMentor? What are the places newbies go to first when deciding to
learn Ruby these days? How can I make sure that every newbie knows
RubyMentor exists, just like they probably know that the Pickaxe I is
free online and that Rails has some very helpful screencasts?

As so many new users seem to post to the mailing list/discussion group/
newsgroup via http://www.ruby-forum.com/, I would see if you can get
it on there.


#8

I totally agree, what people say about a single-entry-point: ruby-
lang.org. We just love, when we have one instance, where we can start
(gentoo had this problem too years ago, and many open-source-projects
also suffer of too many websites).
Remember, we have raa, ruby-doc, ruby-quiz etc.etc. A primary website
like ruby-lang.org should also be used to bundle some of them or at
least link to those pages in an appropriate way… An open wiki for
everything would also be very useful, as we could put some tutorials
for other ruby-related topics in there (tk, sdl, mysql)


#9

ChrisKaelin wrote:

An open wiki for
everything would also be very useful, as we could put some tutorials
for other ruby-related topics in there (tk, sdl, mysql)

RubyGarden.org has been hosting the Ruby community wiki for, what, 7
years now?

Shame more people don’t know to use it.


James B.

“If you don’t write it down, it never happened.”

  • (Unknown)

#10

SonOfLilit wrote:

Any feedback appreciated from newbie and veteran alike,

Aur S.

Hello Aur:

About 6 weeks ago, when I started looking at Ruby, I went to Google and
typed “ruby programming”. The first hit was the
http://www.ruby-lang.org/ page and I clicking on it. So, I’d suggest
placing something on that page.

On that page there is a “Get Started, it’s easy!” section on the top
right. I’d suggest putting a “Get Help”, “Get Help from a RubyMentor”
or something like that in that section.

I didn’t trip over the other Ruby sites and books like Pickaxe until
many hours or days later because I was busy looking at all the stuff on
the ruby-lang.org page.

Michael


#11

On Apr 7, 4:30 pm, James B. removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

RubyGarden.org has been hosting the Ruby community wiki for, what, 7
years now?

Shame more people don’t know to use it.

Hi James,

Well, actually the rubygarden.org home page’s main article is dated
from 2005, which makes it look likes nobody cares about the site
anymore.

The “New R. Users Survey”, the top link in the right-hand sidebar,
has a different css applied to it and seems to be from 2004. For
being the top link, these two facts deter users from thinking they’ve
found a good place for Ruby information.

The second link, “FAQ” probably a popular thing for newbies to click
on, is broken.

The “Ruby Wiki” link, the third link, leads to the wiki and it looks
really promising… but then the very first Getting Started link
gives me a redirect notice that does not resolve automatically…
again not confidence-inspiring.

Same goes for the next link, the “Ruby N.” information.

That’s when I stopped trying to use rubygarden.org, and perhaps that’s
been the experience for others as well. I don’t think it’s because I
“don’t know how to use it.” :slight_smile:

Please don’t take this the wrong way… I bet there’s a lot of good
information on the wiki, and obviously many people have donated time
and effort to it. But at least right now, it doesn’t seem to be a
good resource for new Ruby users.

Just my two cents.

Jeff
softiesonrails.com


#12

On Apr 7, 11:51 pm, “Jeff” removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

from 2005, which makes it look likes nobody cares about the site
anymore.
For me too, that’s why I did not look at it very long. Sorry for my
ignorance, but I was thinking a bit more of an easy “how-to” style
wiki. “How to include Enumerable into your classes” etc.

I’d really love to contribute my tiny bits of knowledge there.


#13

Jeff wrote:

anymore.
Valid point. Given that there’s a new Ruby or Rails
blog/article/forum/aggregator/zine popping up every other day it’s not
surprising. Hard to get new content.

The “New R. Users Survey”, the top link in the right-hand sidebar,
has a different css applied to it and seems to be from 2004. For
being the top link, these two facts deter users from thinking they’ve
found a good place for Ruby information.

<lengthy_critique_snipped />

Please don’t take this the wrong way…

I won’t. I don’t run that site. If I had time to write up a lengthy
critique, I might consider lending a hand to help those who do run it.

I bet there’s a lot of good
information on the wiki, and obviously many people have donated time
and effort to it. But at least right now, it doesn’t seem to be a
good resource for new Ruby users.

A wiki is what its users make it.

Still, the main page of the wiki

http://wiki.rubygarden.org/Ruby

has numerous links for getting started, under the first section, Ruby
for the Nuby.

I won’t dispute that the site could be improved, both in content and
layout. But, like most Ruby sites, it’s a volunteer community effort.

I get all sorts of comments about ruby-doc.org, most helpful, but some
are just lists of complaints. To those, my answer is (almost) always,
“Where’s the patch?”


James B.

“Blanket statements are over-rated”


#14

On 4/8/07, Jeff removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

I totally agree, and that’s why I never said anything before, because
I know I wouldn’t have the time to contribute. It’s only the
answering the OP’s question that I decided to say something. I hope
it didn’t come off too much like mindless complaining.

No, not at all. It was critique, and valid critique (similar to what I
experienced when using rubygarden) of the site. And without critique,
the website cannot be made more useful.

I personally will probably provide a code snippet to handle
SQLite3-Ruby’s odd handling of result sets (I’m not too good at
getting my head around nested arrays, and I’m probably not the only
one).

And concerning the “Where’s the Patch?” - attitude: It is important to
keep in mind, that not everybody is able to work with
HTML/Ruby/CSS/@stuff, but it is possible to voice critique. Of course,
such a critique has to be valid and thought out.


Phillip “CynicalRyan” Gawlowski
cynicalryan.110mb.com

“By Zarglewang’s thuppy!”

  • Illiad

#15

On Apr 7, 10:09 pm, James B. removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

I won’t dispute that the site could be improved, both in content and
layout. But, like most Ruby sites, it’s a volunteer community effort.

I get all sorts of comments about ruby-doc.org, most helpful, but some
are just lists of complaints. To those, my answer is (almost) always,
“Where’s the patch?”

I totally agree, and that’s why I never said anything before, because
I know I wouldn’t have the time to contribute. It’s only the
answering the OP’s question that I decided to say something. I hope
it didn’t come off too much like mindless complaining.

Jeff


#16

It IS advertised in ruby-lang. Didn’t anybody stumble upon it? Here,
the last entry:

http://www.ruby-lang.org/en/community/

I’ve asked James to put it in a more central place, but he asked to
first see where the project is going (which is impossible with how
decentralized it is right now).

I couldn’t contact the ruby-forum owner. Never got a response. Anybody
can help with that?

Aur


#17

On Apr 7, 9:09 pm, James B. removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

I get all sorts of comments about ruby-doc.org, most helpful, but some
are just lists of complaints. To those, my answer is (almost) always,
“Where’s the patch?”

Ah, but:
http://phrogz.net/nodes/criticismwithoutasolution.asp

It’s hard to take, but (IMO) complaints are still valid and helpful
without patches. In some cases (if the complainer has no coding/
writing/designing skill) they are far better without a patch,
because they let you focus on the problem at hand, and not some
particularly foolish fix they propose.


#18

Jeff wrote:

answering the OP’s question that I decided to say something. I hope
it didn’t come off too much like mindless complaining.

Probably no more than I came off as mindless ranting. :slight_smile:

Bottom line, perhaps people with the time and inclination might consider
contacting the folks running the site and see if there’s some way to
help.

(I say that with some reluctance, because, running some Ruby sites
myself, not all offers of help are well-expressed, however well
intentioned. )


James B.

“I can see them saying something like ‘OMG Three Wizards Awesome’”


#19

Phillip G. wrote:

And concerning the “Where’s the Patch?” - attitude: It is important to
keep in mind, that not everybody is able to work with
HTML/Ruby/CSS/@stuff, but it is possible to voice critique. Of course,
such a critique has to be valid and thought out.

Granted. But one should keep in mind that, most often, the person on
the receiving end of such critique are short on time, and if someone has
the time and experience to assembled a lengthy list of alleged problems,
then offering some sort of solution for them seems reasonable.


James B.

“I can see them saying something like ‘OMG Three Wizards Awesome’”


#20

James B. wrote:

Granted. But one should keep in mind that, most often, the person on
the receiving end of such critique are short on time, and if someone has
the time and experience to assembled a lengthy list of alleged problems,
then offering some sort of solution for them seems reasonable.

Of course. At least ideas, and technical solutions (unless the expertise
isn’t there, but that is difficult to check), should be part of a
thought out critique. At least, that is what I understand when using
“thought out”.

Unless I can’t offer arguments or ideas, I don’t criticize, but offer
suggestions.


Phillip “CynicalRyan” Gawlowski
http://cynicalryan.110mb.com/

Rule of Open-Source Programming #4:

If you don’t work on your project, chances are that no one will.