I'm about to start learning Ruby (On Rails... I guess). And I'm lost.
I learn't CSS/XHTML pretty well - so I've decided to give programming a shot.
I'm not sure how RoR functions.
For example, suppose it's simple things like manipulating tables in a database or grabbing entries or something like that (can't you make out I'm a MySQL n00b too?) - can Ruby do that? I've only seen it done in PHP.
I'm assuming RoR has to be an *application*. But can Ruby in itself do simple things like PHP normally performs?
I'm starting off with a couple of books. If anyone has suggestions, most welcome. There's just so much to learn... SSH, RoR, AJAX, MySQL...
CSS/XHTML... such a tiny accomplishment.
To answer your exact question, yes, anything you write in Rails is typically some sort of an "application", as you are integrating multiple elements into what you write.
And yes, Ruby itself can do simple things like PHP, but can also do something a scripting language by itself cannot do; act as a standalone programming language like C++ and Java. It is like Perl and Python in that respect how it can be used on sites, and locally.
SSH there isn't much to it. You have SSH itself, which you use to connect to a remote shell in any UNIX variance (including mac), and there is SFTP, which allows file transfers much like FTP, but it's part of SSH, so it saves you time configuring an FTP daemon like vsftpd, proftpd, etc...
As far as good learning books for Rails goes, one of the best is Agile Web Development With Rails 3rd Edition. It will cover Ruby and Rails, but more of a focus on Rails. Once you're ready to start learning the depths of Ruby, an excellent book is "The Ruby Programming Language" by the same company.
MySQL I would recommend getting VirtalBox setup on your PC, and setting up a Linux VM like Ubuntu or something, and installing MySQL. A book I used to have is the PHP and MySQL Bible by Wiley Publishing (the same company who publishes Dummies books).
Sorry, I must've just skipped right over this thread and didn't realize it. I hope this helps.