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Chapter 13. Traveling with Ruby on Rails

Mention the subject of Ajax, and within five minutes somebody will bring up Ruby on Rails. Just as with Ajax, Ruby on Rails has become a winning phrase in corporate buzzword bingo. It is kind of sad that both topics have been relegated to buzzwords, with managers wielding them interchangeably, like they're some kind of weapons. Unfortunately, managers are just as likely to hurt themselves as somebody else, which just goes to show that it is a good idea to know what the tools are before attempting to use them.

In this chapter, we cover some of the history of Ruby on Rails, followed by what it is and how to install it on a system running Windows XP. From there, we examine how to start developing, using Ruby on Rails, and how to solve a simple problem using it.

Unfortunately, it is beyond the scope of this book to do more than introduce Ruby on Rails. There is actually a logical reason for this, beyond the fact that I'm more of a JavaScript guy than a Ruby guy. The reason for this is college.


When I was in college, some students, well, complained about how the professors taught. The problem is that the professors didn't give them the code required for every assignment. We were taught, for example, how to create a data structure, but not the particular data structure for Question 6 on the midterm. The professors pointed us in a direction and expected us to reach the destination on our own. Gee, the nerve of those professorsthey pointed us in a particular direction and expected us to find the way ourselves.

Seriously, this is merely an example, not the answer to Question 6. So if you choose to seriously examine Ruby on Rails, allow me to point the way.

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