Ruby, Rails, and TextMate. Following the release of the updated PickAxe
book, Ive been taking my updated Ruby talk on the road. First I hit
Amazon, and since then Ive made it a standard part of my No Fluff Just Stuff repertoire.
Its a fun talk to give for a number of reasons. First, Ive
started using the TextMate editor
during the talk. Its great for this kind of things. It knows about
Ruby, it looks nice and clear when editing text on a projector, it supports
folding, and I can run the code with a keychord. It takes a lot to get me
off Emacs, but this editor just works for these presentations.
The other thing that makes it fun is when I build an application at the
end. I start by screen scraping a sales rank from an Amazon page, then
scrape n at a time using Rubys threads. I then publish the
results as RSS and stick them in a database using RSS. The crowd really
gets into it when I then say “but of course youre probably more
interested in an enterprise way of doing this. Youll need an Object
Relational mapping layer that gives you full transparency, CRUD support,
linking, subclassing, etc etc ”. And then I implement it in two
lines of code using the ActiveRecord of RubyOnRails. Then we build up
validation, event handling, and so on in a totally natural way. Then we
finish off with a simple Web application written using Rails to query the
sales rank data wed previously fetched.
Its generating some buzzI think Rails may well be the
framework to break Ruby into the mainstream.
If you write web applications and hasn't seen Dave's 10 minute “show don't tell”
video yet then please go watch it now — It's a real eye opener about
how easy web development can (and should) be! Watch it even if
you've no idea what Ruby is, or are wedded to
Java/Python/Whatever. You can't help but smile as Dave evolves a
working database web application before your eyes and with so little effort. [Curiouser and curiouser!]