I’ve been mostly lurking here with an occasional nuby question for a few
weeks now. It seems like Ruby and Rails and the many libraries and
tools growing up around it are a remarkable toolset. Unfortunately I’m
finding the whole enchilada a bit daunting.
It seems that if one is to truly tap into the power of this thing and do
a significant amount of developing, one needs to start with Ruby and/or
RoR (in my case on a Mac with TextMate). One also needs to figure out
how to use subversion to track code changes. One also needs to figure
out switchtower in order to eventually deploy his creation on his
quietly waiting web host account.
I would appreciate some words of wisdom for somebody who is starting
from scratch on all of it, with nothing but simple html websites and
years of completely unrelated development experience (embedded C on cell
phones and C and C++ app development on Macintosh and PalmOS) behind him
and a rather daunting combination of complex tools in front of him.
Should I just brute force my way into the whole lot at once? Should I
develop a complete app or two with the intention of throwing them away
because they are not lodged in a version control setup and were not
developed with an educated eye towards deployment on the real webserver?
To be honest, given the simplicity of at least starting a rails app, I’m
tempted to do my first development “in place” on my virtual dedicated
server and work “against the grain” to get my first rails app up and
running “in the real world”. It’s not financial or “lives at risk” kind
of stuff anyway, just bloggy forumish stuff.
What have others in a similar boat found to be the best way to
eventually use the wide spectrum of tools available when you are
starting from a state of awe and “deer in the headlights” with a dozen
different pdf files piling up on your desktop, each to supposedly teach
you some particular part of the whole enchilada?
Are there perhaps some integrated tutorials that will help me get svn
and switchtower setup and show me how to use them easily enough that
they don’t substantially add to the difficulty of learning Ruby and
Rails (and postgres and unix sys-admin etc. etc.)
Or maybe somebody will suggest a good order in which to tackle all these
many beasts one at a time. Any help will be appreciated.