Ruby on Rails
by Janne Jääskeläinen
I finally had some extra time to get familiar with Ruby on Rails. I have mostly dabbled with some PHP-based frameworks, and so far, haven’t felt anything more than mild annoyance about working with them. I am not a programmer, even though I can write some minor stuff for my own pleasure. For example, I would never trust my own programming skills with client projects – I a have company full of talented people for that. I just believe that I have to have some basic knowledge about the tools and technologies we use, so that I can relate better with the people I work with. Learning some programming is good for brains, too.
Yeah, but back to the subject. I tried installing Ruby on Rails some years ago, and it failed badly. Either I or RoR wasn’t ready. Now, we both were. Installing RoR on local OSX environment wasn’t that bad – especially if you compare it to installing Drupal multisite environment with Drush. There are plenty of good tutorials on the internet, I used this Hivelogic’s tutorial.
Installing any programming environment for the first time involves plenty of coffee, Googling and patience. For me, it’s always been the showstopper. I just can’t bear reading through badly written tutorials, documentation and endless requirements, which finally leads to installing every fucking package manager and open source shitware there is on the planet. This time, it wasn’t so bad. I had local environment up and running within one hour – not bad with my skillset.
After that, it was all roses and little kittens. RoR does wonders, and RoR is true to their slogan “Web development that doesn’t hurt”. It didn’t hurt at all. It felt nice. I felt that I could actually do stuff. Someone, somewhere, had figured things out for a webgeneralista like me.
I think it all leads back to the basics of RoR, which is Ruby programming language (read this awesome guide). The principle behind Ruby is that it should be human readable programming language, in contrast with “normal” programming languages, which are basically technological gibberish for mundane people. Language defines cultures, and it’s pretty much same in programming too. Ruby does something cool to everything that’s derived form it the basic principles, and it can be seen in RoR very clearly.
For the first time in years, I feel that I can actually do something cool in web. So far, I have had to rely on others to do the programming part. I still do, but now I can at least do some cool prototyping myself.
Thanks for reading!