Topic: HOWTO: Planning a RoR WebApp?

I'm working in the design of a newspaper CMS. What can be done in advance for the correct planning of a RoR App? It's possible to list and detail in advance all the models, controllers, templates, etc? How can i do something like that? any ideas?

What methods/software/tips for software planning and architecture can be used? I used to be a 'direct-to-the-keyboard' programmer but in this case there's a group of developers and designers and we need methods, structure and planning to keep on track -we're using basecamp for PM, by the way-. Any idea, resource, link or comment will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you very much. And excuse the newbieness..

Re: HOWTO: Planning a RoR WebApp?

I don't know how qualified I am to answer this, but here goes.

prandam wrote:

I'm working in the design of a newspaper CMS. What can be done in advance for the correct planning of a RoR App? It's possible to list and detail in advance all the models, controllers, templates, etc? How can i do something like that? any ideas?

Rails and its community are really geared towards agile development. If you try to design the entire model and controller structure up front you will run into trouble.

I recommend starting by listing some basic requirements and doing interface mock-ups. It doesn't need to be perfect or set in stone, just something that represents the core of the application. I also like to make a second list of possible requirements: things you may want to add in the future. This will give the developers some ideas on where to build flexibility into the application (but shouldn't distract from the primary requirements).

After that, it should be a quick cycle of development and review. Where the developers work on it for a few days and the client/customer/director reviews the app and gives feedback.

prandam wrote:

What methods/software/tips for software planning and architecture can be used?

I think basecamp works really well. For small projects you can probably get by with just a couple of todo lists: large requirements/features and small changes/fixes.

When it is time to tackle an item on the "large requirements/features" list, someone who has an idea on how to implement it should post a message about their idea. They can toss it around for a bit to make sure everyone's okay with it. The job is then assigned to one person to build the basic structure of that one requirement. This usually results in a burst of small changes/fixes which the other developers can then work on.

Hope that makes sense.

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Re: HOWTO: Planning a RoR WebApp?

Great and straight advice, Thanks ryanb!
I really like the Agile Development approach, and maybe i just need to 'let it flow' in this case. Maybe i'm just too worried by the scale of the project and try to find anything that could give me some sense of 'overall visibility' and control.

I'm thinking that would be great to hear the experience of planning and development from large groups/projects using RoR. Like this spanish article about the development of a magazine CMS for Madame Le Figaro. Any ideas or links?