Tutorial :PHP developer learning Ruby and Ruby on Rails [closed]


I have been interested in learning Rails for some time now and feel now is as good as time as ever to dip in and actually get my hands dirty. I've spent the past week reading every free ebook on Ruby and Ruby on Rails I can find. I just finished reading Ruby Essentials. I have also been playing with http://tryruby.hobix.com/

I have installed Ruby, Rails, MySQL, PHP, phpMyAdmin on a Windows XP machine, I also have access to a Ubuntu machine.

I come from several years of PHP experience and around a year using CodeIgniter.

What I would really like now is a fairly basic Rails app that is a little more in depth than Hello World but not quite up to par with say a forum or blog.

I find its much easier to learn how something works when I can play with already made code and do some trial and error changes.

What I am really looking for is that 'Ohhh, I totally understand now!' moment I had when I first started learning PHP.

Does anyone have an app or know of one that could possibly provide that moment?


Check out the screen casts on Rails at BuildingWebApps . I've watched several and they have been exactly what I was looking for when learning rails. They start simple and keep adding more and more functionality. The commentators move at a good pace and subscribing to the lessons is free.


If you want something that is built already build the sample application that comes with Agile Web Development on Rails, buy the pdf from pragprog.com, the latest version is set to work with Rails 2.2, so will work with 2.3 as all the basic features of the framework will be the same.

When you are ready to move on from that, the Rails Guides website is all new and is a great resource for all developers new and old.

dwc is right though, a blog is a good thing to start on your own, so when you are confident give it a go, even if you don't put it in production it will help you along.


I would recommend railsforphp.com. They have a PHP to Ruby reference which could be quite helpful.

You can also buy the 'Rails for PHP Developers' book as either a paper or digital copy (or both if you really want to). The book is full of examples that show the PHP way and how it compares to the Ruby/Rails way.

As for ready made code, I suggest having a play with Enki. It is a somewhat bare-bones blogging system that should give you a good testing ground.


You should rethink your idea that a blog is too complex. At it's simplest a blog is a textarea and a submit button, and then storing and regurgitating the results. Start with that to get your hands dirty, then add features as you go. In fact, why not practice some Agile and do your own iterations?


The Rails Guides are nice http://guides.rubyonrails.org/


If you don't like the blog idea, you could make a wiki, this isn't very complex either. you simply need a edit button on every page with the text from the linked to it. This will teach you how to handle rails and play with ruby for things like regular expressions and such.

Take your time, break down these problems and and they should be easy for you to solve with rails.

And go on IRC (server freenode channel #rubyonrails) you can use MIRC for that. Ask questions there, I usually am there, (look for nims).


My suggestion would be to start with a simple CMS. This is something you can continue to use and expand as your skills progress and you start other more complicated projects. In the most basic form, this consists of a Page model, and a Topic model. You could then add a User model, some login capabilities and a simple admin interface. After all, Rails was originally envisioned to make it easy to CMS type sites.

As you get this up and running, you can add some plugins to extend the functionality to include tagging, comments, and more. Or you can roll these capabilities yourself.

Set up an account on Github and learn how to use Git. Its great, and better than what you used before (if anything.) You should also learn rake, and capistrano, as these are huge timesavers and work hand in hand with Rails and Github.




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