Topic: About to start learning Ruby, Advise.

Hello folks,
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.

Thanks everyone smile

Last edited by azharc (2009-04-26 19:56:35)

Re: About to start learning Ruby, Advise.

You should start with a couple of Getting Started guides:

http://guides.rails.info/getting_started.html
http://wiki.rubyonrails.org/getting-started/start

After you go through those, I'd suggest you read the rest of the Guides:

http://guides.rails.info/index.html

Re: About to start learning Ruby, Advise.

Since you have mentioned this question as a dead simple n00b question in another thread and thought you should have some more responses here goes.

For starters I'm sure this is a dead simple n00b question, it's in places quite subjective, such as:

But can Ruby in itself do simple things like PHP normally performs?

What things performed by people in PHP are you talking about? I'd say yes it probably can, but hell if I really know what you're on about there.

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.

All this means is that you have done no research of your own. People are happy to help but if you can't even type in Ruby on Rails tutorials into Google are you even really that interested in it?

My recommendation for getting started is buying the Agile Web Development Book from http://www.pragprog.com, it will work with the latest version of Rails and is a great way to get into Ruby on Rails.

If you know absolutely no Ruby, then I recommend learning some of that first, Beginning Ruby by Peter Cooper is a great book to get started with but there are many others as well.

You may feel like there is a lot to learn, but don't focus on that, just focus on one thing at a time and don't let yourself get overwhelmed and you'll do a lot better, but it's on you to do the reading, the work and the learning, we are just here to help a bit along the way.

Re: About to start learning Ruby, Advise.

azharc wrote:

Hello folks,
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.

Thanks everyone smile

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.

AJAX, I would suggest going to some good online tutorials for AJAX. Really to put in it's simplest form, AJAX is JavaScript that uses the XML HTTP request, to avoid having to refresh the page to make changes.

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. smile

Re: About to start learning Ruby, Advise.

Thanks for the responses guys - it clears up pretty much everything I asked - and thank you for setting me off in the right way when it comes to reading material.

cherring wrote:

All this means is that you have done no research of your own. People are happy to help but if you can't even type in Ruby on Rails tutorials into Google are you even really that interested in it?

What things performed by people in PHP are you talking about? I'd say yes it probably can, but hell if I really know what you're on about there.

I've tried learning Ruby before actually, but college came in the way eventually. Now I have an entire summer. So I've seen tutorials, read a bit about rails, it's history and all that but it was just all so complex (and well, it is). I just needed a dumbed down simple response which I could only get if I asked a programmer in person. A tutorial wouldn't show me how RoR functions now would it - especially if I have no prior programming experience.

Don't worry mate - no hard feelings, I sincerely appreciate your response - so, thank you smile

About the second part, well - I don't really know myself. There are just so many programming languages out there and I'm not sure which one suits my needs because I'm not sure what my needs will end up being. It just seems that PHP is used a lot more commonly. Like the scripts I use to serve ads on my websites. Now we don't need to go into a debate on PHP vs. RoR but I guess what I was getting at is will I be at any disadvantage if I know only RoR and no PHP?

Last edited by azharc (2009-04-27 22:00:05)

Re: About to start learning Ruby, Advise.

azharc wrote:

Thanks for the responses guys - it clears up pretty much everything I asked - and thank you for setting me off in the right way when it comes to reading material.

cherring wrote:

All this means is that you have done no research of your own. People are happy to help but if you can't even type in Ruby on Rails tutorials into Google are you even really that interested in it?

What things performed by people in PHP are you talking about? I'd say yes it probably can, but hell if I really know what you're on about there.

I've tried learning Ruby before actually, but college came in the way eventually. Now I have an entire summer. So I've seen tutorials, read a bit about rails, it's history and all that but it was just all so complex (and well, it is). I just needed a dumbed down simple response which I could only get if I asked a programmer in person. A tutorial wouldn't show me how RoR functions now would it - especially if I have no prior programming experience.

Don't worry mate - no hard feelings, I sincerely appreciate your response - so, thank you smile

About the second part, well - I don't really know myself. There are just so many programming languages out there and I'm not sure which one suits my needs because I'm not sure what my needs will end up being. It just seems that PHP is used a lot more commonly. Like the scripts I use to serve ads on my websites. Now we don't need to go into a debate on PHP vs. RoR but I guess what I was getting at is will I be at any disadvantage if I know only RoR and no PHP?

Well, to answer your question about whether you'll be at a disadvantage to learn Rails and not PHP, well, that depends I suppose...

I personally know both, then again PHP is all I used until late last year when I first started getting into Rails. Now, you will be a lot more of a valuable programmer if you know both per se, as if you plan to do development for clients, their requirements will differ. Some just won't care, others want it made a specific way, in a specific language. Now, there are a lot more sites out there, at least at this point, written in PHP as opposed to Rails, because people don't want to leave their comfort zone of PHP. Hell, I had a hard time doing that myself, but glad I did now.

I think if you had three languages to learn that could make you an agile developer, learn Ruby/Rails, PHP, and ASP.net. Now, personally, I hate .net anything with a passion, however there are times when it can't be avoided. Some clients will be a "Microsoft shop", and do the whole Windows Server 200x, with IIS, and ASP.net, and that's just how it is. Either you can know it, or they'll pay someone else to do it.

So I guess it really depends on what you plan on using your coding knowledge for...

Re: About to start learning Ruby, Advise.

jmbrink26 wrote:

So I guess it really depends on what you plan on using your coding knowledge for...

Yep, that's pretty much it. It is personal use really, I just have a lot of ideas which require programming knowledge to be executed. And it's just knowledge than can only supplement my design skills. I think I'm going to start with RoR because it appeals to me for now, and if I need to end up learning other languages too so be it.

Thanks a ton for the advice Sir smile

Re: About to start learning Ruby, Advise.

Yeah, Rails will be great for that. You're certainly welcome. Glad I was able to clear that up... wink