Topic: Group Projects and RoR

I'm actually a little surprised; I've picked up a pretty decent-sized beginning chunk of Ruby on Rails pretty quickly by working on one of my own projects the past few weeks. I'm about to start a semester-long development process with five others here at school, and we're going with RoR.

I apologize up front for this sort of questioning, but it's hard to find the broad overview of topics like this- most of the time you're stuck looking at individual components. I've never worked on a substantial project like this before, so what sort of technologies should I be looking at, is there anything Rails-centric that I should keep in mind, and are there any other things I should look into? I'm guessing we should start looking at Subversion, but I really haven't used it before, and I'm unsure how everything would best hook into Rails.

So basically- what's your broad overview on this topic area? If you could give me some pointers and areas to look into further, certainly I can Google my away around with the best of them, but again, it's harder to see how it all works together sometimes. Thanks!

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Re: Group Projects and RoR

I've had the privilige of working on a collaborative Rails project. Here's a few tips.

- Definitely learn Subversion. Version control is a must when working on a collaborative project.
- Have a clear feature set and requirements for the project
- Find an online service where you can post messages and have a todo list - we use Basecamp. The free version might get you by for a while.
- Write each task on a todo list so you know what has been done by who.
- Break larger tasks into many smaller ones so they are easier to complete.
- Dedicate tasks to certain people or have them choose their own tasks - just make sure each person knows what to work on.
- If someone isn't sure how to proceed, encourage them to post a message about the problem so you can discuss it. There are often hidden assumptions in the feature list/requirements that are not considered until implementation.
- Make sure everyone is on the same page.

Hope that helps.

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Re: Group Projects and RoR

Thanks, Ryan, though I was more interested in the technical aspects (we've already got Basecamp set up, paid for, and going already). Are there any Subversion details in conjunction with Rails to keep in mind? Are Migrations going to neatly handle all of the db stuff for us? Also, what sort of software should I look into deployment-wise serverside?

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Re: Group Projects and RoR

As Ryan said, you definitely should learn Subversion!

I encourage you to use Rails' migrations. Here some helpful stuff: … y-on-rails … Migrations

They are very helpful and makes development a lot easier when proper used and
are even more powerful in conjunction with Subversion.

When the times comes, where your project got some shapes, you might want to have a look at Capistrano:
With it you can easily deploy and manage versions of your project on your servers.

On the server side we use a stack of Mongrel and Apache(mod_proxy), where Mongrel is the application server and Apache the webserver which proxies the requests to Mongrel.

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