December 24, 2005 12:20
Posted by Jeremy Durham
Recently, I introduced two of my programmer friends to Ruby on Rails.
After I got back to them to see what their progress was, they both informed me that they had given up. They echoed the same problem: Not enough documentation, too difficult to get started.
Although it’s difficult to look back and say how difficult or easy it was to get started, it is easy to tell what I use on a day-to-day basis now during my Rails development. Here they are:
- The Rails Book – At $22 for the PDF version, this book was initially my best reference for Rails development.
- The Pickaxe Book – An excellent reference for many of your Ruby questions. Although knowing Ruby well isn’t a requirement, it will definetly help you understand Rails.
- Rails API Documentation – I generally use this only to find out what parameters a method takes. I mistakenly used this for a lot of examples early, but I personally feel there was always a small gap between these examples and what I was trying to do.
- Ruby Documentation – Even though Rails gives you a lot, sometimes you still need to be able to split, join, chomp, collect, etc. This will give you the ‘skinny’ on how it’s done in a hurry.
- Typo – Download and review this source code. There’s no better source for real-world example at this time, in my opinion. I was fortunate that Jack made this excellent suggestion to me.
- Code Snippets – Although I don’t specifically have this site bookmarked, I’ve ended up here enough times to give it good mention. From there I got the snippet on paginating collections, the rss feed example, among other things.
- IRC Channel – #rubyonrails on Freenode. A great place to bounce ideas or ask general questions, with instant feedback.