Now it’s RoR time

Having scratched the surface of python, I am now starting to look at Ruby on Rails as part of some RedPixie generated work. First impressions: it’s complex! It’s a bit apples and oranges to compare python (or any other scripting language) with Ruby on Rails as the latter is a web application framework and the former is a scripting language. Comparing Ruby itself though is fair and my first impression is that it looks rather “messy” compared to python. I just mean syntactically, and that is based on just a few hours of tutorials. That’s not saying much at all so I will have to comment more when I have learned more.

For rails, I started looking at

railsforzombies.org.

It’s good, but personally I can’t see the wood for the trees. While RoR is in itself large and complex, it is only a fraction of the “web experience” and is built on all (practically relies on) existing web technologies: web servers, page design and layout, MVC architectures, restful design style etc. Understanding all of that is a pre-requisite to starting with RoR.

With that in mind, I found the following links useful:

http://www.xfront.com/REST-Web-Services.html

and various pages under

http://guides.rubyonrails.org/.

Part of me thinks all this technology is piling up like a stack of dirty washing up dishes and if it gets and higher, the whole lot will come crashing down. Functionally it’s all fantastic stuff but increasingly, there’s got to be a consolidation of all these pieces into a technology that doesn’t require you to learn how every plate works from html at the bottom of the pile to ruby-on-rails at the top.

Remote Access

There are two extremes when using a computer these days: in the blue corner we have access everything remotely and in the red corner we have take everything with you. Most solutions appear at various levels of compromise between the two.

My recent attempts at “taking everything with you” are proving quite successful, albeit with one caveat. My 1TB hard drive may be suffering from hardware issues and require a re-format. It has led to several nasty messages from VMware workstation about not being able to write memory. This drive is the one that contains all my VMs. A means to back up the hard-drive is certainly required! Luckily it seems like a straightforward copy of the files works, but I have not tried to “restore” them yet.

After running chkdsk on the hard drive connected to the host, booting the VM caused Windows to run it’s own chkdsk on the C: drive. So far everything seems to be ok but regular backups will be continued!

Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum I finished a remote access trial of ¬†“gotomypc” http://www.gotomypc.co.uk/remote_access/remote_access. Very stable, performant and easy. The one drawback being cost. So I am about to try some other solutions. “logmein” is next on the list¬†https://secure.logmein.com/. It’s free.