Wednesday, 12 July 2006

HOWTO: Installing SQLite 3 on Windows for use in Ruby on Rails

Installing SQLite 3 on Windows is pretty easy, once you figure out what you need to do. But when I started using Ruby on Rails I struggled to figure out what I needed to do. Here's a short screencast that demonstrates how you can install SQLite 3 on Windows so you can use it in your Ruby on Rails applications.

A flash version will eventually be available here.

07/12/2006 18:15:20 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Trackback

 Tuesday, 11 July 2006

Do you want to play with the latest REST stuff in Rails?

At RailsConf 2006 David Heinemeier Hansson talked about the new REST features coming to Rails. If you want to play with this stuff you'll need to know where it lives.

There are two pieces you need. ActiveResource is the piece that let's you consume REST services as if they were ActiveRecord database backed models. ActiveResource is part of Rails 1.1.4. But ActiveResource has nothing to do with exposing your application's resources in a RESTful way.

To expose your application's resources you need the simply_restful plugin. David did mention simply_restful during his keynote, but if you're like me, you didn't pick up on that the first time through ;-)

I'm not sure what versions support what features. I'm using Edge Rails right now. You may have everything you need in Rails 1.1.4 + simply_restful. But you may need to bleed on the Edge to keep up with any changes that happen on the way to Rails 1.2 release.

07/11/2006 18:27:10 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Trackback

 Sunday, 09 July 2006

David Heinemeier Hansson RailsConf 2006 Keynote is now online

Well it took longer than a few minutes, but DHH's keynote is now online.

07/09/2006 20:49:16 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Trackback

Get started with Ruby on Rails in less than 5 minutes

I first started looking at Ruby on Rails more than a year ago. I even bought the first edition of as soon as it was released. But I didn't do much with Rails until recently. I didn't want to struggle with setting up Ruby, Rails, Apache, and MySQL. I've installed Apache and MySQL on Windows before and it wasn't much fun.

But now you don't have to worry about installing anything to try Rails. InstantRails includes everything you need to set up a fully working Ruby on Rails environment. Better yet, with InstantRails you don't have to install anything. You just unzip InstantRails to a folder and you have everything you need to try Ruby on Rails. If you decide you want to get rid of it just delete the InstantRails folder and your machine is back to normal.

I think this is such a big deal for Windows developers that I created a screencast showing how you can get a new Ruby on Rails application running on Windows in under 5 minutes.

5 minutes to Ruby on Rails nirvana

A flash version will eventually be available here.

07/09/2006 10:39:40 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Trackback

 Thursday, 06 July 2006

Rails doesn't need "Enterprise" features

Dave Thomas asked the Rails community to add "Enterprise" features during his RailsConf 2006 keynote.

I had been disheartened earlier in the day by Dave Thomas's talk (no offense, Dave!) Dave's a great guy and has been great to the Ruby community. And although I agreed with some of what Dave said, I couldn't have disagreed more with his view on changing Rails to play better in legacy environments. I sure was relieved to hear DHH's talk the following night. But I still recommend that you view his keynote, too: see what you think and let us know your thoughts. [Softies On Rails]

I agree with Jeff from Softies On Rails. I respect Dave Thomas a lot, but I did not care for the message he brought to RailsConf. At times his keynote was quite condescending. I don't think Dave meant it that way, but all his talk of "in the real world" probably wasn't received well by the RailsConf audience.

I work in the "real world" that Dave was talking about. It sucks! I can't wait to get out. Rails is a breath of fresh air precisely because it doesn't target the "enterprise". It was built by an agile team to create new agile web applications. If you need to create a new agile web application then Rails is a perfect match. But if you need to create yet another big upfront designed enterprise monstrosity, Rails is probably not going to work for you.

Dave also talked about improving the deployment of Rails applications. This is more applicable to the general Rails community. But I disagree with his idea that developers shouldn't be worried about how the application is going to run. That is a mistake. It sounds good in theory, but it ends up creating a situation where the developers make decisions that make the system almost impossible to maintain in production. For small teams you are much better off requiring the developers to own the entire system. If possible they should be responsible for testing, customer support, operations, design and development. As soon as you relieve them of responsibility in any of these areas you can guarantee they are going to make decisions that make it more difficult to support the application in that area.

I'm glad that the core team is focused on solving their problems not some enterprise's problems. Because their problems are my problems. It is strange to work with a platform that is built by people who actually use the platform to build real applications. I've spent so many years depending on platforms that Microsoft creates but doesn't actually use that I didn't realize how much I was missing.

Like Jeff said, watch Dave's keynote and let us know what you think. I am looking forward to seeing DHH's keynote.

07/06/2006 20:51:51 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Trackback