Three questions for you all...
1.
Code:
  def index
    list
    render :action => 'list'
  end
Why the need for 'list' above the render?

2. I have an admin section to a site I'm building. Here's the pertinent
bit of the layout that all controllers are using:
Code:
<div id="main-content">
  <%= @content_for_layout %>
</div>
<div id="sidebar">
</div>
I'm using @content_for_layout to display various controller actions such
as new, edit, list etc. My problem is that for each controller I want a
specific chunk of content to show up in the sidebar. How can I
accomplish this without altering the layout to look something like this:
Code:
<div id="main-content">
  <%= @content_for_layout %>
</div>
<div id="sidebar">
  <% if @controller.controller_name == 'news' %><%= render(:partial => 
"news_sidebar") %><% end %>
  <% if @controller.controller_name == 'users' %><%= render(:partial => 
"users_sidebar") %><% end %>
  <% if @controller.controller_name == 'links' %><%= render(:partial => 
"links_sidebar") %><% end %>
</div>
...There has to be a much more DRY way of doing that. Perhaps a helper
that takes the controller name as an argument? Other suggestions?

3. I'm used to building searches and sorting mechanisms with PHP that
analyze a $_GET request and display data based on those parametrs. URLs
end up looking like:
Code:
http://example.com/search.php&order=desc&category=foo&author=fred
I have no idea how to build something simple like this with Rails -- can
someone provide some code for me to look at that does just this? I'm
very much a learn by seeing kind of guy and would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks.