Aston J

Posts Tagged ‘rails’

What’s special about Ruby?

Posted on: September 5th, 2011 by AstonJ 16 Comments

Would you believe this is my third attempt at writing this piece? The last two were waaaay too long (there’s just so much to cover!) Well let’s start with a few stand-out thoughts on Ruby:

  • Ruby is an object of beauty –> inspired & passionate developers
  • It’s elegant and concise –> a joy to work with
  • Easy to learn but very powerful –> more experienced developers
  • Is designed for programmer happiness –> all of the above


The Little Book On CoffeeScript .mobi version

Posted on: July 5th, 2011 by AstonJ No Comments

If, like me, you don’t like reading on screens that flicker (LCDs – which give you eye fatigue!) then you’ll be pleased to know I have converted The Little Book On CoffeeScript to .mobi format for use on your Kindle.

Just download and copy to your Kindle – it’s that easy!


What the hell is happening to Rails? Answerback.

Posted on: June 18th, 2011 by AstonJ 21 Comments

This is an answerback to the recent ‘What the hell is happening to rails?’ post by Steve Coast. He says Rails has become too hard/advanced for beginners, and recommends they ditch learning Rails 3 and go with an older version:

If you want to learn rails, don’t get the latest pragmatic programmers book. Go and get the 1st or 2nd edition. Get an old copy of rails and ignore all this. Once you’ve figured that all out then upgrade and expect to spend the same amount of time learning all the new stuff. You don’t save any time jumping to Rails 3+. You will love rails if you begin at the start like we all did, but you might hate it starting off with 3.

I disagree – in fact I strongly recommend you don’t take Steve’s advice or his post too seriously.


Best way to learn/read/study

Posted on: May 3rd, 2011 by AstonJ 3 Comments

Saw this mentioned on Stack Exchange earlier (via @ryanbigg) and as it was a post I was going to be doing anyway (to accompany a forthcoming feature, ‘Best way to learn Ruby & Rails) I thought I’d go ahead and do it now.

Ok lets get started… but first it should go without saying that the ‘best’ way to learn is whatever works for you – these are just a number of tips that I find help me. Maybe they’ll help you too.

1. Learn something you’re interested in!

This one’s easy. If your heart’s not in it, forget it. We learn best when we have an interest in the topic. Of course our reasons for learning something may vary – you might want to learn something so you don’t have to pay someone else to do it, or, because you genuinely like/love whatever it is you are learning. The more you like it, the more likely you are to master it.


Rails TextMate Themes

Posted on: April 22nd, 2011 by AstonJ 2 Comments

Looking for some of the best TextMate themes for Ruby on Rails? Well look no further as I’ve done all the hard work for you and have compiled a list of some of the most popular themes :-)


What’s so special about Ruby on Rails?

Posted on: April 14th, 2011 by AstonJ 14 Comments

There are many reasons why Rails is special, but in order to keep things fairly short, relaxed and n00b friendly, I won’t delve too deeply into the mechanics. Instead I’ll cover the things that first drew me to the framework… and subsequently got me hooked!

The best technologies

One of the biggest draws to Rails is that it saves you a heap of trouble having to spend weeks or months researching/agonising over which technologies to adopt or methodologies to follow. If you’ve ever wanted someone to just tell you what the best are, then consider yourself told!

Here’s a list of some of them:


CoffeeScript, SASS and Rails 3.1

Posted on: April 13th, 2011 by AstonJ 3 Comments

The Rails team have announced that CoffeeScript and SASS will be defaults in Rails 3.1

Personally I think this is a great idea. In fact, this is one of the reasons why I like Rails so much – that I don’t have to spend hours/weeks researching and agonising over which technologies to use. It’s like delegating the decision to someone else. Someone smarter, more experienced and knowledgeable. And someone who’s delivered the goods in the past (ref DRY, REST, Convention over Configuration, MVC, testing etc)

Yes I’m a Rails nube, and most of those disagreeing with the decision are not, but I’ve yet to see a good solid argument against it. Most of the reasons seem academic, “Steeper learning curve”, “It’s your choice not mine” – reasons I don’t think are really that big of a deal. Nubes will defer learning the new tech till later, and those who don’t like CoffeeScript or SASS simply don’t have to use them… just as it is now with any of the other defaults that you might not happen to like (such as Test::Unit).