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  1. #1
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    New to programming and wondering if ROR is too advanced

    Hi!

    While active with HTML and CSS for years, I have now decided to try out some programming "stuff".

    I have no experience with PHP or ROR- no experience with prgramming at all.

    I like some aspects of "dynamic" websites & Co. because my websites often go over 50 pages, some over 100.

    I was hoping to find an easier way to "manage" these "puppies" using a programming language- also certain functionalities (which I seem to understand require "high speed" programming abilities- AJAX for instance).

    Anyway, I thought, since ROR seems to be the "rising star", I decided to learn it, instead of learning something "old" like PHP. (no attacks here my PHP friends)

    I figured it would be like "skipping DOS" in order to concentrate on Win95- 10 years ago.

    Is ROR a bit too much to "chew" for a programming newbie?
    (I am having a hard time "grasping" the ROR book)

    Am I going about this the wrong way?

    How should I start learning "really"?

    Please help!!

    MercFrog

  2. #2
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    RoR will be very hard for you if you haven't programmed before. That's because RoR is a web framework using the programming language Ruby. RoR is easy if you know how to program in Ruby, so I think it's better to start learning Ruby and move to RoR later. Ruby is a programming language just like PHP (but Ruby is easier). You can build dynamic websites with Ruby without using Rails, but Rails does a lot of work for you, so most people want to use Rails.

  3. #3
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    Any recomendations as to a book for newbies on Ruby?

    Am I going about this the wrong way?

    How should I start learning "really"?

    Mercfrog

  4. #4
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    This is a good book: http://www.humblelittlerubybook.com/ You can download it for free or purchase a printed copy. There is lots of information in the Ruby Resouces thread: http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showthread.php?t=281181

  5. #5
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    Any suggestions as to a good book for "newbies" to programming?

    Also, any suggestions for a good beginers book on PHP?

    I've spent hours now trying to find both on Amazon.com, since sitepoint does not have books like this- yet :-) But most all seem to have pretty bad "critic" points.

    Or any articles, on sitepoint, you know of for either of the above?

    I just want to have a "basic" understanding- enough to "work with" these for instance when learning AJAX, yes I have that book from sitepoint too.

    I'm not trying to become a "Guru"- just basic understanding.

    MF

  6. #6
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    Now you want a PHP book :S.

    Sitepoint has PHP books.

  7. #7
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    I have, but have not yet read, "Build your own Database driven Website using PHP & Mysql"

    Can this be considered an "entry level" book for a "non" programmer?

    MF

  8. #8
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    Should I get a book about "programming for beginners"?

    Would this help "ease the pain" of learning PHP &, later, Ruby/ROR?

    Please let me know ...

    MF

  9. #9
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    You need to pick one language and master the basics and concepts I would say before you try jumping to anything else.

    PHP would be a good choice. When you get to the point where you understand OOP your probably ready to go play with a framework.... either a php based on like cake, or learning something new like ROR.

    Sitepoint's php book isn't bad from what I hear. It's a place to start at least.

    The MVP model that rails uses is a tough concept for someone who has never programmed. I've been programming in php for a long time and I still sorta 'struggle' with it. There is nothing wrong with that, I don't program to eat, and I don't program for clients


    I still find it more affordable (time ='s money) to hire a good programmer when I want something done fast. I'll spend a few months making a website when I have the spare time, or I pay someone to work for a week or so straight. Makes more sense if I'm in a hurry. This also makes sense if your planning on jumping into anything complex in the near future. You have a lot of learning to do.... or a lot of time to put into it.


    Good luck mate.... hope I helped a bit.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Evangelist dev_cw's Avatar
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    I suggest that for starters you go through the web and do every tutorial you can find, look at the SP tutorial, install RoR on your local computer. The Ruby Resources post in the start of this forum has good stuff. Once you have gotten your feet wet and feel like it makes some sense, then buy a book (or 2) and dedicate yourself to learning more. However, if after some tries you are completely stumped, start over with something like php.

    If I were starting out fresh I would want to learn Ruby and RoR. Even though having some programming background helps, you also have to deal with old habits and in cases change your way of thinking.

    Will you be able to learn Ruby and RoR? You won't know until you give it a serious go.
    "You can just hang outside in the sun all day tossing a ball around...
    Or you can sit at your computer and do something that matters."
    - Cartman

  11. #11
    SitePoint Guru Skyblaze's Avatar
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    sitepoint's rails book is great fro RoR beginners but i think it is necessary some server side scripting background althought the book says the opposite. I read kevin yank's php book and coded some php before dive into ror with sitepoint's book.

  12. #12
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    I don't understand why people suggest PHP instead of Ruby (without RoR at first, of course). Ruby is simpler than PHP. Ruby + Rails is more complicated than PHP, but you can learn Ruby first and then Rails.

  13. #13
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    In my case I would recommend it because of the large amounts of free tutorials, on-line support, etc..

    I know if I was learning a concept for the first time all the support I could get would be beneficial. If there are good places for folks learning ruby to go then maybe that would be a great idea if they are SURE they want to go the ROR route.

  14. #14
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    There are many tutorials for Ruby (more than you'll ever read), but one good resource is better than many bad ones. The Humble Little Ruby Book is very good.

    I agree that the online PHP reference is good, but I really like to be able to put the cursor on some method and hit a key to look it up (I can do this using emacs, this works even for libraries).

    But I will stress this: PHP is inferior language wise (it's ridiculous how badly designed PHP is).

  15. #15
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    I'm a complete beginner to programming, and to Ruby, but from every thing I've read Ruby is supposed to be a very intuitive and comprehensible language. My only experience is with XHTML and CSS, both of which lend nothing to understanding Ruby. I also don't believe myself to be someone who has programmer-like mind, but, I have confidence in my ability to read and learn. If you can read, you can learn. Patience and determination will make learning Ruby a possibility for you.

    -Mason

  16. #16
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    You already have a huge advantage if you know XHTML and CSS because you're used to code: you type some text (commands for the computer) and the computer shows you some result.

  17. #17
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    Oh, really? I always assumed that understanding XHTML and CSS, although complimentary to Ruby, wouldn't help me any in learning it. My goal with Rails is to eventually build web applications and so I'm sure a certain amount of XHTML and CSS will come into play there, but as far as learning Ruby and Rails, I had no idea that knowing XHTML and CSS would be advantageous for me.

    That's real good to know.

  18. #18
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    The concept of giving the computer commands by typing something in a file and "running" the file with a program (a browser in XHTML's and CSS's case) is difficult to understand for many people. Additionally you already know that the computer does what you tell it to, and not necessarily what you want it to do: XHTML and CSS and programming languages are very strict.

    Code:
    text = this is a sentence.
    
    vs
    
    text = "this is a sentence."
    This code puts a sentence in the "text" variable. A beginner would probably find it strange that the first version doesn't work while the second version does. ("Can't the computer figure this out? It's perfectly clear that I want it to put that sentence in the variable").

  19. #19
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    OK OK already !!! :-)

    I have downloaded the "humblelittleruby" pdf and will try my best- I too am XHTML/CSS savy.

    I would especially like to thank "Fenrir2" & "stoavio" for helping make up my mind on this one, although everyones comments here were very appreciated and lead to my final decision.

    Thanks everybody !!!

    This is the best forum I've ever been in !!!

    MercFrog

  20. #20
    SitePoint Evangelist Jhorra's Avatar
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    I would also highly recommend Ruby for Rails. It's an excellent book approaching it from the programming perspective.

  21. #21
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    your making to big a deal out of it.

    buy any book that has an introduction to php chapter and you'll be fine.

    there are a billion tutorials on the internet about php... and there is no specific one that you SHOULD read.

    just read one, and figure out what its about and then just keep going and researching what you need to know

    peace.


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