Ruby on Rails on a Windows machine. Challenge accepted!

Posted by Andrew on June 3, 2010

From my limited understanding, Ruby on Rails is a web application platform used to create cool web applications like Basecamp from 37Signals. I want to create cool web applications too and have decided to chronicle my journey into this realm in the hope that my experiences, failures, and breakthroughs might help someone else.

Over the past few months I have been talking to people about Ruby on Rails and every time I do I find myself just nodding my head trying to hide the blank stare that is fighting its way out. I think that people who are entrenched in Ruby on Rails can't seem to imagine what it was like for them to first be introduced to it. Even when they comment on the "steep learning curve" of Rails they still start the curve way higher than is needed for my limited understanding. I am a self taught coder and that means I am not any good because I am a horrible teacher of coding and coding practices. I am okay with that and I won't let that get me down or discourage me from attempting to learn something new. But it does mean that when I try to tackle something like Ruby on Rails that it seems at first glance to be a daunting task. Here are a few more details to shed light on where I stand right now:

  1. I started learning Java in December of 2009 when I decided to create an Android app
  2. I used the Android SDK with the Eclipse IDE to create a mediocre app called Droimote
  3. I had to learn what an SDK and an IDE were (Software Development Kit and Integrated Development Environment)
  4. I don't know how to program in Ruby
  5. I own a PC running Win7 and have never used a Linux machine or a Mac
  6. I don't know truly understand how GitHub functions in terms of Version Control, but plan to figure it out

I think my next steps are to:

  1. Install Ruby
  2. Install Rails for Ruby to be on
  3. Learn how and where to put the code for an application
  4. Create a simple application, or a RoR "Hello World" equivalent

The challenge begins tomorrow and I hope to have all these pieces working together by tomorrow night.

UPDATE (6/2/10): I have not dedicated solid time to my attempt at loading Ruby on Rails, but will say that I have come across an issue that has me stumped. Each time I attempt to do: # bundle install I get a message that says: Could not locate Gemfile Still not sure why I am getting this message as the install I am doing is considered basic. My next post will give much more details as to how I got to this point.