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PYTHON & RUBY RAIL 3
Rolling with Ruby on Rails

Maybe you've heard about Ruby on Rails, the super productive new way to develop web applications, and you'd like to give it a try, but you don't know anything about Ruby or Rails. This article steps through the development of a web application using Rails. It won't teach you how to program in Ruby, but if you already know another object-oriented programming language, you should have no problem following along (and at the end you can find links on learning Ruby).

Welcome to Rails

Rails is a web-application and persistence framework that includes everything needed to create database-backed web-applications according to the Model-View-Control pattern of separation. This pattern splits the view (also called the presentation) into "dumb" templates that are primarily responsible for inserting pre-built data in between HTML tags. The model contains the "smart" domain objects (such as Account, Product, Person, Post) that holds all the business logic and knows how to persist themselves to a database. The controller handles the incoming requests (such as Save New Account, Update Product, Show Post) by manipulating the model and directing data to the view.

Installing Rails

The version of Ruby that shipped on Mac OS X Tiger prior to v10.4.6 did not work well with Rails.   If you're running an earlier version of Tiger, you'll need to either upgrade to 10.4.6 or upgrade your copy of Ruby to version 1.8.4 or later using the open source distribution.

And to do any serious Rails development you'll want to install a production-quality web server, database server, and a few other goodies. Thankfully, a golden-path installation guide is already available.

What is Ruby?

Ruby is a pure object-oriented programming language with a super clean syntax that makes programming elegant and fun. Ruby successfully combines Smalltalk's conceptual elegance, Python's ease of use and learning, and Perl's pragmatism. Ruby originated in Japan in the early 1990s, and has started to become popular worldwide in the past few years as more English language books and documentation have become available.

Debugging Rails

Have "tail -f" commands running on the server.log and development.log. Rails will automatically display debugging and runtime information to these files. Debugging info will also be shown in the browser on requests from 127.0.0.1

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