Wednesday, March 16, 2011

MySQL is dead to me

All right, I'm done with MySQL for now. I've fallen into a trap with trying to get MySQL to work. I've been so focused on following the instructions in Beginning Ruby that I let my difficulty in installing MySQL completely derail my progress, rather than moving around it and looking for another solution. But no more!

I took my friend Eli's advice and switched to using sqlite. I'm also giving Beginning Ruby a break and checking out the guides on instead.

The first exercise is also building a blog, but the tutorial is designed around sqlite, so it'll be easier for me to understand than the one in Beginning Ruby, which references MySQl heavily. I'm not feeling comfortable enough to set up a database without explicit instructions yet. One day!

In the meantime, full speed ahead. I need to quit being so myopic and remember that it's about learning Ruby and getting more comfortable with it, not following a specific set of instructions.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Uh oh, who just cracked open Rails and created all the necessary files and folders to begin developing his very first Ruby on Rails project? Me! I did. (This guy)

So I know I said I was going to look into getting CGI scripts to run on my web space so I could throw Loudmouth up and let people check it out, but to be honest that sounded BORING. So I took a look at chapter 13 in Beginning Ruby (I'm almost done with this book, weird!) and it's about developing a basic Rails app.

I haven't done much with it yet. I really just read through the first few pages of the chapter, got the framework set up for the project itself and sat down to blog about it. I'll begin in earnest tomorrow evening, when I've got more time to sit down and dedicate myself.

Have I mentioned how I never thought I'd be even remotely interested in back end work? Funny how things change. I'm excited to begin working on this project. I want to understand how Ruby works on the web, how to integrate it with databases, how to collect, store and retrieve information, how to adapt to user input, EVERYTHING!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Working on Loudmouth

Yesterday I finished up my first fully functional Ruby program: a chat bot! Beginning Ruby likes to call its bot Fred, but I named mine Loudmouth.

So now all I need to do is get Loudmouth up and running on the web. I started to dig into getting cgi scripts to run on my web server, but decided to leave it for tomorrow evening. Once again, I find myself learning non-Ruby stuff in order to work with Ruby. This kind of thing would have seriously intimidated me before I got into Ruby, but I've gotten a lot more comfortable working on back-end stuff.

I haven't been blogging as much, but I haven't been slacking on Ruby. (Not much, anyway!) I've been busy coding and haven't felt like I had much to say about what I was working on. Still, I need to get back into being more diligent with this blog. Writing about what I've just done really helps me retain the information.

The next chapter in Beginning Ruby will introduce me to Ruby on Rails, which is what my friend Eli suggested I look into next. This book has been such a great resource. I downloaded the source files for each chapter and they've helped tremendously, especially as I've gotten into these longer programs. Now it's easier to find out whether I forgot to close a statement or didn't put something in quotes.