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  1. #1
    Web Design Addict
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    What do you think?

    What's the best way to start learning Ruby? I've heard a lot about it and it seems like a few years down the road it will be huge?

    I have very very little previous programming experience, but I've thought about trying to learn. Would I be best to start with PHP or something which generally seems to be accepted as an easier language to learn then others, or should I just buy a ruby book and start plugging away?
    Deron Sizemore
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  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard samsm's Avatar
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    Little programming experience? I'd suggest "Why’s (Poignant) Guide to Ruby". I've forwarded that address to people not at all interested in programming and they've enjoyed it. Many have become acclimated with Ruby using that playful tutorial.

    Additionally, you may look at the various Rails tutorials and videos out there. The O'Reilly Cookbook taught me a lot, others have been inspired by the 15 minute blog.

    My opinion is that you are better off with a decent framework like Rails (or one of the better PHP frameworks) rather than going naked into PHP.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by samsm
    Little programming experience? I'd suggest "Why’s (Poignant) Guide to Ruby". I've forwarded that address to people not at all interested in programming and they've enjoyed it. Many have become acclimated with Ruby using that playful tutorial.

    Additionally, you may look at the various Rails tutorials and videos out there. The O'Reilly Cookbook taught me a lot, others have been inspired by the 15 minute blog.

    My opinion is that you are better off with a decent framework like Rails (or one of the better PHP frameworks) rather than going naked into PHP.

    Well this shows you how little programming experience I have. I don't think I fully understand what a framwork is opposed to the language? Like is Ruby the language and Rails is the framework? Does the framework just make it easier to develop applications or what is it that a frame work does?

    Thanks for the links also...I'll definitely check them out.
    Deron Sizemore
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  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard samsm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deronsizemore
    Like is Ruby the language and Rails is the framework? Does the framework just make it easier to develop applications...?
    You got it perfectly right.

    For any problem you attempt, 99% of it has probably already been solved a few hundred times. Frameworks attempt to address those common problems with the best thought-out solutions available.

    Rails just makes it easier to develop database driven web applications with Ruby.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by samsm
    You got it perfectly right.

    For any problem you attempt, 99% of it has probably already been solved a few hundred times. Frameworks attempt to address those common problems with the best thought-out solutions available.

    Rails just makes it easier to develop database driven web applications with Ruby.

    Ohh...gotcha. What are some popular PHP Frameworks?
    Deron Sizemore
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  6. #6
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    There are a lot of PHP frameworks, if you'd like to take the MVC route Cake, PHP on Trax, and Symfony seem to be the most popular.

  7. #7
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    I think that PHP is a lot harder than Ruby. Everything follows a general pattern in Ruby, but PHP is created by a group of people.

    Example: PHP has something called "strlen". You use it to determine the length of a piece of text. There is also "str_repeat", which is used to repeat text. In str_repeat, there is a _ after "str", but there is no _ in "strlen". This makes it very hard to learn PHP, you have to remember every detail.

    Please read this PHP code:

    Code:
    for($i = 0; $i < 10; $i++)
    {
      echo "hi";
    }
    This shows "hi" ten times on your screen (so you'll see "hihihihihihihihihihi"). The same in Ruby:

    Code:
    10.times{ print "hi" }
    This code is (a) closer to normal english, and (b), shorter.
    It's easier to learn because of (a), and easier to use because of (b).

    If you want to use Ruby for web development, check out Rails. (watch the videos if you want some motivation)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenrir2
    I think that PHP is a lot harder than Ruby. Everything follows a general pattern in Ruby, but PHP is created by a group of people.

    Example: PHP has something called "strlen". You use it to determine the length of a piece of text. There is also "str_repeat", which is used to repeat text. In str_repeat, there is a _ after "str", but there is no _ in "strlen". This makes it very hard to learn PHP, you have to remember every detail.

    Please read this PHP code:

    Code:
    for($i = 0; $i < 10; $i++)
    {
      echo "hi";
    }
    This shows "hi" ten times on your screen (so you'll see "hihihihihihihihihihi"). The same in Ruby:

    Code:
    10.times{ print "hi" }
    This code is (a) closer to normal english, and (b), shorter.
    It's easier to learn because of (a), and easier to use because of (b).

    If you want to use Ruby for web development, check out Rails. (watch the videos if you want some motivation)

    Whoa, that's cool. The little bit of code you gave there in ruby actually seems like it is written in laymans terms instead of a bunch of jibberish.

    I have found a lot of links that I'm going to start looking through to maybe learn some basics of ruby. Do you have any books that are good for beginners? I don't want to get into anything major yet, just get my feet wet, and I prefer to work through a book with tutorials and what not opposed to reading online.
    Deron Sizemore
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  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard samsm's Avatar
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    The Why's guide reads like a book, print it.

    When I was first interested in Ruby I went to the library and checked out "Sam's Ruby in 21 Days" (or whatever it was called, you know the genre). Wasn't a bad book, but the Why's chapters are better. I understand wanting a book, but I suspect that whatever you can get from the library is probably satisfactory for beginner level.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by samsm
    The Why's guide reads like a book, print it.

    When I was first interested in Ruby I went to the library and checked out "Sam's Ruby in 21 Days" (or whatever it was called, you know the genre). Wasn't a bad book, but the Why's chapters are better. I understand wanting a book, but I suspect that whatever you can get from the library is probably satisfactory for beginner level.

    The why's guide looks nice. Is there a link where can just print the whole book with one click...or do I need to print each section individually? I didn't see anywhere to just click print and let it print the whole thing?
    Deron Sizemore
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  11. #11
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    You could download the PDF and print it: http://poignantguide.net/ruby/whys-p...de-to-ruby.pdf

  12. #12
    SitePoint Wizard samsm's Avatar
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    There are only six sections, I think, so printing six long pages from html would (I suspect) give you a little more control than the pdf, without much more effort. Just my opinion there, your mileage, etc.
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  13. #13
    SitePoint Wizard DougBTX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deronsizemore
    What's the best way to start learning Ruby?
    It has GOT to be Try Ruby.

    It's been done by the same guy who wrote the Poignant Guide, great stuff. I've never seen programming in the browser with such coolness You don't even have to install anything to learn Ruby!

    Douglas
    Hello World


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