Ruby on Rails in 5min

As the majority of posts on this blog will tell you, I’m a .Net guy, but some recent experiences working on web sites I created a while back in PHP have left me with some second thoughts about the universaility of ASP.Net as a web development tool. Couple that with the recent Hanselminutes podcast on RoR, and the fact that my PHP hosting company just started fully supporting RoR, I decided to write my very own RoR “Hello World”.

Turns out I didn’t even need to wait for my hosting company to come around, since there is an unbelievable environment for PCs called InstantRails, which installs not only Rails and Ruby, but MySQL and Apache! With the help of Matt Griffith’s screencast on how to install the environment I had created my first RoR app in just a few minutes. The only glitch I ran into was not having Ruby’s bin folder location in my PATH variable – do that before walking through the screencast and it should work like a charm.

Next you’ll want to check out these screencasts from 37Signals. They illustrate how to take advantage of RoR’s built-in features like ActiveRecords, scaffolding, and migrations – the reason for using RoR in the first place. They even have a screen cast on how to consume the Flikr API w/ Ajax.

All in all, I can’t believe how quickly I was able to get something up and running, especially considering how daunting the installation instructions from my hosting company were.