I'm looking to start developing a simple task management application with a web interface.Three views - User/Admin/Status. No database yet as i think that would be overkill. I intend to store the data in xml files for the moment. My question - i am pretty new to development. I have been working as a qa engineer for some time and have good unix skills but have only ever really played with java/perl with no great success. Have had enough of wishing for applications or features. I'm going to write my own. I would appreciate any pointers the group could offer. For starters i am unsure if i should develop in vanilla ruby or implement ruby on rails if it is to be a web application. My initial thoughts are that learning ruby will be enough for a start but that i may have to use some MVC model?? I have hosting with dreamhost which supports ruby. I am currently expanding the spec and a simple UI which i can post when complete if people think that would be useful. Its based loosely on basecamphq but more aligned to the organisation i work for and i would hope to make it very portable. Many thanks for your time, Eain
on 2006-02-07 18:57
on 2006-02-07 19:28
I'd say your best bet would be to start with a couple of Ruby tutorials to get a hang of the idioms (blocks being one of the most important ones) that make Ruby easy to use and maybe try writing a few small programs in Ruby (preferablly ones that you'd actually use) and then jump into Rails. Even as a beginner you shouldn't have too much trouble using Rails, but you definitley benefit from understanding where and how its power and flexibility come from. Chris Pine's tutorial is supposed to be very good even for people who've never programmed before (I haven't read it personally): http://pine.fm/LearnToProgram/ I personally learned Ruby from the Pickaxe v2, which I found to be the best book on a programming language that I've ever read (version 1 is available online: http://ruby-doc.org/docs/ProgrammingRuby/ If you're up for something a bit more difficult, strange, and wonderful, you should give _why's poignant guide a try (it's got cartoon foxes!): http://ruby-doc.org/docs/ProgrammingRuby/ As for Rails, I personally couldn't get much out of most of the online documents on it. I got the Agile Web Development book and that cleared up a lot for me. In any case here's a list of Rails tutorials and documentation, youre mileage may vary: http://www.rubyonrails.org/docs
on 2006-02-07 19:38
I think you meant this one: http://www.poignantguide.net/ruby/ Use Rails, and not vanilla Ruby. It will save you a lot of time. Please do yourself a favor, and use a database, and no XML files. Databases are where Rails shines, it will be much easier than a XML files. If you are willing to buy a book, I recommend "Programming Ruby - The Pragmatic Programmer's Guide v2" but you can also use (the slightly outdated) v1: http:// www.rubycentral.com/book/ For a book on Rails: "Agile Web Development with Rails"
on 2006-02-07 19:54
Yep, I copy/pasted the wrong link.
on 2006-02-07 22:34
I completely agree with Jules: try Rails from the start and learn Ruby as you go. When you encounter some ruby "feature" you don't know, google for it and see what it does. That way you'll be happy to have your app quickly and you'll learn exactly those parts of ruby you need. And for God's sake: forget about XML! ;)
on 2006-02-08 10:54
Thanks to everybody for the recommendations. I had a lot of the links lined up and ready to read , will jump into rails straight away. I am still a little reluctant to start off my first real project with a Database back end.I'm concerned that the design and management of the database could add a serious jump in my already steep learning curve. If anybody has the time would the be kind enough to outline the pro's of using a database agains the cons of xml. My initial thoughts when choosing xml was that it is easily manipulated, can be easily accessed by other applications and that if in the future i did want to go to a database it would lend itself to migration?
on 2006-02-08 11:34
<email@example.com> wrote in message news:firstname.lastname@example.org... > Thanks to everybody for the recommendations. I had a lot of the links > lined up and ready to read , will jump into rails straight away. I am > still a little reluctant to start off my first real project with a > Database back end.I'm concerned that the design and management of the > database could add a serious jump in my already steep learning curve. > You may be interested to know that we shall shortly (within the next month or so) be starting a 'Programming Ruby' series on the Bitwise Magazine site www.bitwisemag.com . It is our intention to concentrate purely on the Ruby language for the first few months, only moving on to Rails (and a few other things) at a later stage. My own view is that while Rails may have, to large extent, generated a great deal of recent interest in Ruby, it is all too easy to become seduced by the special features of Rails for creating powerful applications with relatively little programming with the consequence that this may 'hide' the features of Ruby itself. We therefore decided that a logical approach for our coverage would be to concentrate entirely on the Ruby language initially and only move into graphical and web application development at a later stage. best wishes Huw Collingbourne ================================ Bitwise Magazine www.bitwisemag.com Dark Neon Ltd. ================================
on 2006-02-08 12:40
I started with a small ruby project, and I am glad I did, this way I only have to master the web server ideas on my first rail project.
on 2006-02-08 17:01
Pro XML: ehh, you can access it with programming languages that don't support your database (no libraries). Pro DB: - Much easier - Faster access - Rails has much better support for this - All tutorials focus on databases - ... XML might be much easier than a database in perl/java, but it really isn't in Ruby. On Wednesday, February 08, 2006, at 6:53 PM, wrote: >manipulated, can be easily accessed by other applications and that if >in the future i did want to go to a database it would lend itself to >migration? > > Jules
on 2006-02-08 18:17
On Feb 8, 2006, at 3:53 AM, email@example.com wrote: > I'm concerned that the design and management of the > database could add a serious jump in my already steep learning curve. I'll take the road less traveled and recommend you stick with your first instinct which was not to use Rails. I know most people say it's so easy to learn and it is, for a web development framework. However, the key there is that there is more to learn. Plus, Rails sits on top of Ruby, so starting at the top means you might be a little fuzzy down the road about what is a Railsism and what is actually part of the language. I think it's much easier to go in the other direction, after you have a solid foundation in the language, though I'm probably in the minority with this line of thought. Your needs sounded very modest, so you should be able to easily get something going with the language itself and the help of one or two standard libraries. Here are my recommendations: 1. Use CGI or WEBrick servlets to handle the logic. These are very low-tech compared to Rails, but trivial to get going. 2. Give YAML a shot, before you resort to using XML. I'm just saying that because I think you will be surprised by how much easier it is in Ruby. You will likely be able to save all your data with a single line of code and load it with another line. It very painless. 3. Ask us any questions you run into along the way. :) Good luck with your project, however you decide to approach it. James Edward Gray II
on 2006-02-08 21:03
Hi James, > I'll take the road less traveled and recommend you stick with your > first instinct which was not to use Rails. I know most people say > it's so easy to learn and it is, for a web development framework. > However, the key there is that there is more to learn. > > Plus, Rails sits on top of Ruby, so starting at the top means you > might be a little fuzzy down the road about what is a Railsism and > what is actually part of the language. I think it's much easier to > go in the other direction, after you have a solid foundation in the > language, though I'm probably in the minority with this line of thought. I hope not, as I feel the same way, and this seems very rational. Personally, I read Pickaxe Dos before writing a single line of Ruby, much less Rails, and I feel it was very beneficial going into Rails. I believe it has provided for less frustration with a great many details, and enabled me to think smarter about how to do and even extend Rails as I keep on learning.
on 2006-02-08 22:38
James and Seth, Thanks for your words of encouragement. Sage indeed. I'm going to start with ruby and work my way up. YAML seems to be exactly what i am looking for. I had not run across it before.I also like the look of webrick. I really want to keep things as simple as possible. Its a lot to take in but exciting. I'm finishing up my simple design and will post it here soon so folks can take a look if they have the time or inclination. I must reiterate, I am new to development so mistakes will be made, bugs will be logged and hands will be wrung, just go easy. With regard to the design, for a web application i understand MVC pattern is very popular, we use it a lot where i work. For my application i'm trying to figure out where everything lives. This is proving to me a challenge. Thanks, Eain
on 2006-02-08 22:48
rails tutorials are very glitzy but they are scary as you may not understand any of it this tutorial is low key, but it explains things pretty well - I have not finished it http://www.troubleshooters.com/codecorn/ruby/rails...
on 2006-02-08 22:53
On Feb 8, 2006, at 3:38 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote: > I am new to development so mistakes will be made, bugs will be logged > and hands will be wrung, just go easy. No problem, you're learning fast now and we will be here when you need a hand. ;) Welcome to Ruby! James Edward Gray II
on 2006-02-09 22:18
XML, Yaml, database : before choosing, maybe you would like to have a look at Kirbybase : http://www.netpromi.com/files/kirbybaserubymanual.html It has many very nice features : - no installation (written in ruby) : put kirbybase.rb in c:\ruby\lib\ruby\site_ruby and that's all - no database language to learn : everything is done with ruby syntax - no administration tools required : the data is in plain text files - no hundreds of page to read : the complete doc is 77k - offers nearly the power of a "real" database system : indexes, lookup tables, one-to-many links, multi-fields sort, enough data types (String, Integer, Float, Boolean, Time, Date, DateTime, Memo, Blob, and YAML.) - fast enough - free AF
on 2006-02-09 23:01
Hate to spoil a perfectly good sales pitch, but if the app is supposed to be in Rails and simple / formulaic enough, it doesn't really matter what the underlying query language is. Is there a usable Rails adapter for KirbyBase? ACID transactions (for DB schema changes if nothing else)? And with the good and bad of it, SQL is -the- standard RDBMS query language, so that would restrict KirbyBase to small / personal projects where you're sure you'll never change DB backends. Also, why would someone that already knows SQL choose KirbyBase over SQLite? The latter installs very easily too. David Vallner PS: No, I'm not trying to flame KirbyBase, or sales pitches. Just if you're going to do a sales pitch for whatever you like, make it less mindless and put it into context. DÅ?a Å tvrtok 09 FebruÃ¡r 2006 22:18 Alain FELER napÃsal:
on 2006-02-09 23:18
Thanks Alain, Kirbybase does look like a very nice solution. It has given me some food for thought. I keep asking myself what a database gives me over XML or yaml for a simple application like mine that will only ever contain name value pairs or a basic extension of this format. I'd like a little info on what i will gain by using a DB. At the moment i see it as a lot of overhead and maybe a step to far. Although the more i look at kirbybase the more i do like some of the features and its simplicity.
on 2006-02-09 23:26
On Feb 9, 2006, at 5:01 PM, David Vallner wrote: > Hate to spoil a perfectly good sales pitch, but if the app is > supposed to be > in Rails and simple / formulaic enough, it doesn't really matter > what the > underlying query language is. > > Is there a usable Rails adapter for KirbyBase? ACID transactions > (for DB > schema changes if nothing else)? > Well if he's considering not using Rails at all it doesn't matter if there's an ActiveRecord adapter for it (although I've written an AR ripoff for KB, there's an Og adater for it, and I know someone is working on a ActiveRecord adapter for KB). I don't believe KB is ACID, although I could be wrong > And with the good and bad of it, SQL is -the- standard RDBMS query > language, > so that would restrict KirbyBase to small / personal projects where > you're > sure you'll never change DB backends. > Not true, KirbyBases' format is easily parseable and editable by hand as well. It also accessible from Python. > Also, why would someone that already knows SQL choose KirbyBase > over SQLite? > The latter installs very easily too. > Well kirbybase is precisely 1 file of ruby sourcecode. Doesn't get much easier than that, especially if you need to deploy elsewhere.
on 2006-02-09 23:32
On Fri, 10 Feb 2006 email@example.com wrote: > Thanks Alain, Kirbybase does look like a very nice solution. It has given me > some food for thought. I keep asking myself what a database gives me over > XML or yaml for a simple application like mine that will only ever contain > name value pairs or a basic extension of this format. > > I'd like a little info on what i will gain by using a DB. At the moment i > see it as a lot of overhead and maybe a step to far. > - concurrency a web enabled program means multiple users accessing the data source at once. unless you are willing for one user to block all others while a lock is held you will corrupt the data store - atomicity transactions allow you to bundle changes into all or none operations - consistency only valid data may be wrttien. validation data in your application is fine. until another app accesses the data and hoses it. validate in the db. - isolation if something from db then modify db works for multiple process at once. each sees a view of the db that makes it appear as if it's the only process accessing it. - durability power failures, disk failures, etc are far less likely to corrupt your data. especially since you'll have the option of hot backups - standards sql helps keep data logic out of your code. for instance, thousands of reporting tools and applications will just 'work' with your data. - effort. if your are talking rails it like about 1000000% times easier to use a db than not. - scalability. if your application is good you may want to add a feature or users. a db makes that possible. some applications can definitely make use of yaml, bdb, pstore, fsdb, kirbybase, etc. but web aps push their limitations for sure. regards. -a
on 2006-02-10 00:08
Hi David, > Is there a usable Rails adapter for KirbyBase? ACID transactions (for DB > schema changes if nothing else)? http://rubyforge.org/projects/ackbar - about to be released this weekend :-) > And with the good and bad of it, SQL is -the- standard RDBMS query language, > so that would restrict KirbyBase to small / personal projects where you're > sure you'll never change DB backends. > > Also, why would someone that already knows SQL choose KirbyBase over SQLite? > The latter installs very easily too. Sometime that is excatly why you need it: small, personal projects... which are shrink wrapped to distribute to other users. For me that is exactly what I need. A no hussle installation which works across multiple platforms ('gem install app' which picks up the dbms). No, it's not ACID. No, it doesn't support AR 100%. Yes, I will have overhead to make sure my app works both on KB and on SQLite. But for the end user who couldn't care less about the backend as long as it works - the no third party to install works great. The plain-text data format is also great - your data is always available to you, even if my app or the database suddenly become problematic. Of course, any *real* webapp might need need a *real* database. I'm just talking about the less real, "works for me" class of applications :-) HTH, Assaph
on 2006-02-10 01:56
DÅ?a Å tvrtok 09 FebruÃ¡r 2006 23:26 Logan Capaldo napÃsal: > On Feb 9, 2006, at 5:01 PM, David Vallner wrote: > > And with the good and bad of it, SQL is -the- standard RDBMS query > > language, > > so that would restrict KirbyBase to small / personal projects where > > you're > > sure you'll never change DB backends. > > Not true, KirbyBases' format is easily parseable and editable by hand > as well. It also accessible from Python. > I said switching DB -backends-, not what I access it with. I can to some extent drop one SQL DBMS in place of another without changing the code accessing it. I can't for example use KB to prototype an application and then switch over to Postgres for scalability without rewriting my DB query code. This is of course not an issue when using an ORM layer, and use of SQL doesn't quite save you from having to do DB migration - even if dumping the schema and data as SQL statements might help. Sounds like a potentially useful feature for KB, is it already present? If not, it sounds arguably somewhat easier to implement than a KB query-to-SQL compiler. > > Also, why would someone that already knows SQL choose KirbyBase > > over SQLite? > > The latter installs very easily too. > > Well kirbybase is precisely 1 file of ruby sourcecode. Doesn't get > much easier than that, especially if you need to deploy elsewhere. > SQLite is one DLL, and one gem installation. I've walked managers through that. More complicated, yes, but I can't imagine a deployment scenario where on would pose significantly more problems than the other. Well, except atomically packaging the application as a gem. David Vallner
on 2006-02-10 02:07
DÅ?a Piatok 10 FebruÃ¡r 2006 00:08 Assaph Mehr napÃsal: > Of course, any *real* webapp might need need a *real* database. I'm > just talking about the less real, "works for me" class of applications Well, that's the main problem with concurrency bugs. You don't know where they might occur (e.g. they might theoretically occur anywhere) until they do, and they're usually also very obscure bugs. The other way I had to SSH over to a friend and do the SQLite delete column hack, and I was damn glad to have the table locked while doing it and ROLLBACK at my fingertips - ever so slightly a more elegant solution than taking the whole application offline and then hacking at the file. Although very possibly subject to taste and the desire to do things "right" for acquired meanings of the world more than anything else. Of course, for "works for me", it's probably Very Good (tm), as well as for people that don't know SQL or find it excruciatingly painful to work with the language or SQL shells. David Vallner
on 2006-02-10 18:03
On 2/9/06, Alain FELER <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > Integer, Float, Boolean, Time, Date, DateTime, Memo, Blob, and YAML.) > - fast enough > - free > AF I dig that this recommendation for kirby was written in yaml. ;) --- -- AL --