Over the last couple months I have been learning Ruby and Ruby on Rails, the Ruby framework from 37Signals. Searching the web for these technologies turns up a ton of sources for everything Ruby and the cult like following of Ruby on Rails.
For someone, like myself, just getting into Ruby on Rails there is a great Squidoo lense by Paul Robinson. Squidoo is a web site that lets someone with some domain knowledge in an area to setup a portal-like page of this knowledge. I found Paul’s lense while surfing for Rails information.
Installing and configuring a system to run Rails can take some time to understand all the pieces needed to get up and running, which varies whether you are running Windows, Linux or Mac OSX. The main pieces are:
- Ruby (1.8.4 is current as of this writing)
- RubyGems (used to install “packages” of functionality)
- Rails (1.0 is current as of this writing)
- A database (MySQL, PostgreSQL or SQLite. I am not sure if MS SQL Server is supported but I am sure someone has or will figure it out)
- Web Server (Apache, WebBrick (Ruby built-in webserver), lighthtd, LiteSpeed, IIS)
I downloaded and installed all the pieces on both Windows and Linux. The process is not smooth for the newbie but I found a great package called Instant Rails from Curtis Hibbs. Instant Rails packages up all of items above into one download and puts it all in one directory with NO INSTALL, you just click the InstantRails.exe and you are on your way. As of now it only works on Windows but the web site says there are versions coming for Linux and BSD.
I have started to go through some tutorials and using the Instant Rails environment for my work. So far….two thumbs up.