occasionally useful ruby, ubuntu, etc


Discovering a Good Site Name with Mechanical Turk and AYTM.com

Inspired by a post from Software by Rob [1] and in turn this Pixlin [2] post from 2007, I decided to give Mechanical Turk a whirl to help me come up with a product name. I'm going to talk about my experience and how I actually went about doing this.


A brief introduction to Ruby, Sinatra, and Haml

Ruby and Sinatra make it ludicrously easy to make a webapp, but getting started, as with any new language or framework, can be daunting. By the end of this part, you'll have a simple template that talks back to you!


Mini sample merb application

Made a little sample application: http://github.com/nanodeath/merb_example_google_rss

It's already got 3 followers, which is sorta cool. It's just a little thing that makes a Google search query and RSS-izes it. Uses Haml for the templating engine, which is officially awesome.

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Granddaddy of all merb tutorials!

It's something I've started that's totally a work-in-progress, but as of right now it gets you to the "okay I have merb installed now what" point from no ruby no nothin'. I'll try to keep working on it in the coming days, but for now check it out and let me know what you think of what I do have! Note that some stuff is deliberately "first draft" and will get replaced later.


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Ruby + Ruby on Rails tutorial

Note that this isn't finished and may never be finished, but I didn't want it to stagnate in my Proofs box any longer. So take what you can from it.

You, like me, have probably heard all of the hype around Ruby on Rails. "Convention over configuration" they say, and "Don't Repeat Yourself" are common Ruby on Rails adages. Well, it's true. Creating a new database is as simple as telling Rails your database credentials and typing a single command. Adding new tables takes just a single command.

When I set out to learn Ruby on Rails, I was beset with a bit of confusion. Rails 2.0 was released recently (December '07) and Ruby 2.0 is coming out soon. As a result of the Rails thing, there are a lot of out-of-date tutorials out there. So hopefully this will help someone out there trying to learn Rails right now.

Audience: Some programming experience (preferably web programming), but no Ruby/Rails experience.
Any operating system, but some bias towards Linux/Ubuntu

  • Set up a development environment for Ruby and Rails
  • Write hello world in Ruby
  • Learn some Ruby syntax
  • Learn some Rails commands
  • Write hello world in Rails
  • Output data from a database
  • Take form data and update a database
  • Introduce Rails API for flash, style, javascript
  • Introduce flash variables
  • Apply style sheets
  • Apply javascript files
  • Prepare for future (Ruby 2.0)

Finally, this tutorial uses the following technologies and versions:

  • Ruby: 1.8.6
  • Rails: 2.0.2
  • Rake: 0.8.1
  • Rubygems: 1.0.1

If you're still interested, read on!