Erin Mulder on 16 Nov 2005 00:24:05 -0000

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Re: [bclug] Follow-up from tonight's meeting

Last night, a couple of people wondered what you should actually do once
you've downloaded and installed Ruby on Rails.

For a quick exercise that can actually be turned into a useful
application, check out this challenge on the Ruby on Rails site:

To get started with it, you need to:

1. Download and install Ruby (if you don't have it)
2. Download and install Rails (if you don't have it)
3. Download and install MySQL (if you don't have it)
4. Create a MySQL database with books, categories and books_categories
5. rails projectname
6. cd projectname
7. emacs config/database.yml     # fill in the db settings and save
8. script/generate scaffold Book
9. script/server
10. Browse to http://localhost:3000/ to make sure server is running
11. Browse to http://localhost:3000/books
12. Have fun adding, editing and removing books

At this point, you have a working app and just need to build on it until
you complete the challenge.

(To do that, you'll want to generate a scaffold for Category the same
way you did for Book.  Then, you need to create a
has_and_belongs_to_many relationship between book and category (your
mapping table is already there, so you just need one line of code in
each model class to hook them up).  Finally, you need to customize the
views and add hyperlinks between them, so that when you're on a
category, it links to all of the books in that category and vice versa.)

Useful landmarks once you've generated your rails project:

RAILS_PROJECT/config/database.yml - database settings
RAILS_PROJECT/app/models - model classes for book and category
RAILS_PROJECT/app/controllers - controller classes for book and category
RAILS_PROJECT/app/views/books - RHTML files for book side
RAILS_PROJECT/app/views/categories - RHTML files for category side
RAILS_PROJECT/public/stylesheets - scaffold.css
RAILS_PROJECT/script - generate and server scripts
RAILS_PROJECT/log - development log

Here's a neat cheatsheet:

if you're working on this and get stuck, feel free to email me (or the
PhillyOnRails list) for help.  I can walk you through the necessary code
changes line by line.  :)


Michael C. Toren wrote:
> A few items from the meeting last night:
>    - Celestia, "the free space simulation that lets you explore our
>      universe in three dimensions", can be found at
>  It's quite fun.
>    - Selenium, a JavaScript QA tool for testing web applications in
>      Firefox, can be found at
>    - Peter Seebach's Infrequently Asked Questions in comp.lang.c, lives
>      at  I particularly
>      enjoy the Arrays and Pointers section; the entire FAQ is probably
>      best enjoyed after reading the comp.lang.c FAQ, which is an
>      excellent reference.
>    - ddclient, a Linux Dynamic DNS client, can be found at
>  I use it with the service,
>      although there are many others it is compatible with.
> -mct

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