On Sun, Jan 23, 2011 at 3:07 PM, Hilary B. [email protected]
Thanks a $llion for responding. Based on your response, where do I
start? Is there a specific HTML guide?. What is CSS and which one or
version should I use? And I guess the same applies to HTTP and
Keep in mind, that those three are different, but related, technologies:
- HTML describes a site.
- CSS makes a site pretty.
As for versions of those: Take a look at w3schools.com. What you can
learn there will be supported by pretty much any recent browser (HTML
5 and CSS 3.0 aren’t wildly deployed yet, and still in flux, though
the current generation of browsers is getting better at them: IE9,
Firefox 4, Chrome dev-channel).
You don’t really need to learn HTTP (fortunately): If you decide on a
web-based solution, your webserver will take care of that. At most,
deal with error codes, of which you need to know 3:
404: Site not found.
500: Internal Server Error (a catch all, meaning that something in
your webserver went wrong).
200: The client request could be processed.
Those 3 are important to troubleshoot an application.
Also: Web servers, database servers, HTTP stuff etc. is more the
domain of a system administrator.
To a novice like me,I am still trying to piece together an
approach to learning how to program using and becoming a part of the
Open Source community. The difficulty is that the kind individuals like
yourself, who have answered my call for help have been tossing at me so
many programs that end-up adding to the problem. Therefore I am going to
take all the suggestions, place them in a learning sequential pattern
and ask you again for your advice.
Well, you need two tools to develop Ruby applications: A texteditor,
and Ruby itself. Everything else is gravy.
For web stuff, it helps to have a number of browsers installed, to see
However, if you can find a web designer, they’ll happily do that for
you, or grab a template for HTML and CSS off of a website, like
oswd.org or opensourcetemplates.org .
Of course, you’ll want to look out for libraries that do what you want
to do, without you having to deal with the problem yourself, since
that means you can focus on your own application, rather than having
to deal with Yet Another Problem (we usually call that “yak shaving”:
it’s something you have to do, but isn’t really getting you towards
solving the problem).
That can be database wrappers (means to interface with a database, and
doing so in a Ruby-ish syntax), or Markdown to format text without
having to deal with the gritty HTML, and so on.
Searching the web for “ Ruby library” usually helps, as
does taking a look at http://ruby-toolbox.com/
At this moment the web option seems
to be the closest answer to what I have been searching for. Getting
there is the problem. I am willing to spends the grueling time learning
A good choice for that is, probably, Rails. You can easily install
Ruby and Rails with the RailsInstaller (railsinstaller.org), which
bundles all you need in one package, and you don’t really need a web
server, or anything else to run a Rails app in development mode (which
is the default).
Rails has the other benefit that there are a lot of tutorials and
howtos to be found, and the Rails community one forum over can be
Another very good resource is http://railscasts.com/, and I’ve heard
only good things about PeepCode.com’s webcasts (which are pay for, but
everybody is raving about them).
While all of this seems like a lot, you can divide this with ease into
- Learn Ruby and Rails (or another web framework, like Sinatra)
- Learn about application security (this is very, very important on
- Learn about deployment options for Rails (or the web framework you
Though the folk I have met,
(Ah, how soon!) they forget
When I’ve moved on to some other place,
There may be one or two,
When I’ve played and passed through,
Who’ll remember my song or my face.