Web Development

TIP: Instant Rails problems with MySQL

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I've mentioned Instant Rails before, the one-step installer for Ruby on Rails for Windows that makes life excedingly easy for beginners? Well, as it turns out there's a problem using it with the included MySQL that makes the combination simply not work - every time you try to do something with MySQL from any of the Rails or Ruby commands you're greated by the loving message

Mysql::Error: Lost connection to MySQL server during query: SELECT version FROM schema_info

Lots of fun there. As it turns out the fix is remarkably easy, simply download the following zip file and follow the instructions in the included readme.txt file, which boil down to copying a single file to somewhere specific. Why this wasn't included in the final Instant Rails release I don't know, but at least the fix is easy.

Huge thanks to Jeroen Nijenhuis for putting this fix together - the Rails newbie world is forever in your debt!

Ruby on Rails, Rails tutorials in British emag

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A British PDF magazine called ObjectiveView recently featured two pretty good articles in its ninth issue (2.2mb PDF), one on Ruby on Rails and another on Ruby itself. While neither article is aimed at beginners, anyone who's worked with other languages should be able to get a leg up with them. One aspect of the Rails tutorial I particularly liked was how it showed doing the database development using migrations, one of Rails' most powerful features. While the tutorials are good I also suggest taking a quick look at some of the instructional videos and other tutorials available on the main Rails site, and of course one of the many books available.

Ruby on Rails for designers

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The folks at Gluttonous have posted a really good article that explains the wonderful Ruby on Rails web development technology in a way that designers can understand how it fits into their works. Well worth reading for anyone interested, not just designers.

That's perfect timing, actually, as the latest v1.1 release of Ruby on Rails is just getting ready for public edification with its first release candidate. Test early, test often.

TIP: Installing Sqlite-Ruby causes errors

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After installing Instant Rails on one of my machines I then set to install Sqlite, an extremely simple to use database program, and the connector to link it to Ruby. Simple enough, I thought, there's a Gem for it right there. While it was simple to install, there was a little problem with it that it took me a moment to realize what was going on. During the install it said the following:

D:\InstantRails\rails_apps>gem install sqlite3-ruby
Attempting local installation of 'sqlite3-ruby'
Local gem file not found: sqlite3-ruby*.gem
Attempting remote installation of 'sqlite3-ruby'
Updating Gem source index for: http://gems.rubyforge.org
Successfully installed sqlite3-ruby-1.1.0-mswin32
Installing RDoc documentation for sqlite3-ruby-1.1.0-mswin32...
lib/sqlite3/database.rb:637:65: Skipping require of dynamic string: "sqlite3/driver/#{driver.to_s.downcase}/driver"
lib/sqlite3/database.rb:642:59: Skipping require of dynamic string: "sqlite3/driver/#{d.downcase}/driver"

As it turned out the errors listed ("skipping require of..") turns out to be not too serious. As you can see above those lines it has said that the basic install succeeded ok, where it got stuck was automatically generating the documentation, which really isn't a big deal for Rails usage as we won't be hitting the Sqlite functions directly.

Start off slowly with Ruby on Rails (UPDATED)

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Ruby on Rails can seem like a complicated beastie to newcomers, even though its learning curve is much lower than most similar technologies it is still there, so what's better than an expertly written tutorial that shows you exactly how to get started? Three of them, that's what, one each depending on whether your computer runs Windows, OSX or Linux. With one of these under your belt you're sure to be churning out excellent web software in no time!

UPDATE: If you are running OSX 10.3 (Panther) you need to follow these instructions to get the current version of Ruby to install, the other link has instructions for 10.4:

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