Topic: What Language?

I'm really after some advice here.  I started learning Rails using the Agile Development book, and have since come away from it and concentrated more on XSLT and XML as my CMS uses it and it seems the natural language to learn coming from an xhtml and css background.  Now I know XSLT and Rails are totally different and serve different purposes but I would like to learn them both if possible.

I would also want to learn Ruby too, as that may help me understand Rails more.  Why do I want to learn Ruby on Rails?  Well because I don't want to learn PHP, because I just think it is far to complicated and from what I have seen with Rails and Ruby it  seems a fairly shallower learning curve.

I have also started to notice that Ruby on Rails is fastly becoming a sought after skill.

So does anyone have any advice on what path to take?

Re: What Language?

My advice would be to pick a project and attempt to complete it.  Rather than trying to learn the right combination of skills without knowing what will be needed you should find something you want to do and tackle it.  This way you'll be able to see right away what's possible and what's not.

You might find that XSLT is really handy, or you might discover that you could do the same functionality in fewer lines of code or even with an existing Rails component.

Good Luck!

Re: What Language?

Well would you recommend I learn Ruby basics first?

Re: What Language?

If you don't have experience with a programming/scripting language, then I would definitely suggest learning Ruby first to get down the basics (variables, loops, methods, objects, etc.).

Railscasts - Free Ruby on Rails Screencasts

Re: What Language?

I suggest spending some time learning about object oriented programming (oop) and then stepping into Ruby.  Without knowing at least a little theory behind OOP Ruby may be a little difficult to understand. 

I agree with danger as well...once you've ventured OOP and Ruby try to complete a project; utilizing ruby on rails forums and the wiki.

Good luck and welcome to ruby on rails.

Last edited by patrick@iws (2006-11-12 02:24:08)

Re: What Language?

I come from a php background, I think php is fairly easy. but it took me some time to get my head around ruby's everthing is an object thing. I read a book called "Ruby for Rails" which although I did'nt like the actual rails tutorial, I thought it covered all the basics of ruby very well.

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Re: What Language?

All good stuff.

@Ryan, I do have some scripting experience, I have used php to an extent, and I actaully learnt a little Actionscript a while back, so I kind of get the OOP.

I do have Agile Web Development with Rails.

I also tried the 15min tutorial in your browser thing on the Ruby site, but it was a little unstable.

Re: What Language?

If you feel confident in your scripting skills and can catch on to things quickly, then I suggest jumping right into Rails. Run through the Depot application in Agile Web Development with Rails then try one simple project on your own using the book as a reference. If you don't feel like you "get it" after that, I suggest taking a step back and learning Ruby on its own (if that's the area you feel you are struggling).

Rails in itself has quite a learning curve. It has its own way of doing things, so even if you learn Ruby extensively beforehand, expect to take some time to learn the Rails conventions, etc.

Railscasts - Free Ruby on Rails Screencasts

Re: What Language?

So you suggest diving into Rails.

XSLT is fairly easy to learn because its only got a handful of core elements to learn.