Migrating to Rails: Half from PHP, one third from Java

The Burton Group survey of Rails origin has concluded and the results are in: Half the Railers that responded came from PHP, one third comes from Java. A third of the 410 respondents even use Rails in “mission critical” applications. Three quarters consider Rails their primary web development tool.

Using CIA for continuous integration

Jonathan have written a tutorial for getting up and running with CIA. CIA is a continuous-integration server that I threw together really quickly to please my own needs for running tests when checkins occur. It’s not intended to be a general-purpose solution, like DamageControl, but rather a narrow and slim alternative if you’re on a Rails/Subversion combination anyway.

It’s still only available from Subversion and its ugly as sin, but it’s only 66 lines of code, so you can read and understand it all in 10 minutes tops. Do check it out and give it some love, but let your patches be mindful of its Less Software intentions.

Mount your domain model as a file system with RailsFS

_why has posted the mind bender of the week: RailsFS. With this nifty layer on top of FuseFS, you get to interact with your Active Record-driven domain model through the file system. The individual records open up as YAML-documents that you can interact with and the changes are persisted. Crazy, sexy, cool!

How did you get to Rails?

The Burton Group is in the final stages of their report to that elusive group of Fortune 500 CxOs and would like to top it off with some statistics on the background of Rails developers. So please, do take the 15 seconds to answer three questions about how you came into Rails.

How to get SCGI running on your platform

Zed is trucking away on the Rails SCGI runner and its rapidly improving. The latest release 0.3.1 includes a bunch of documentation on how to get going on your platform. Whether its Windows or ’nix, Apache 2 or 1.3, or lighttpd, or what have you. Please give Zed some good support in his effort to dethrone FCGI.

Rails wiki resurrected with i2

The Rails wiki is back running on a brand-new engine called i2. It’s a fresh rewrite of Instiki with all the cruft cut out, most of the features, and of course Madeleine. It’s not currently suitable as an alternative for the personal wiki sphere. The real Instiki still reigns supreme for ease-of-use. But it’s a way to get an Instiki-like wiki that’s prepared for a wiki the size of the Rails one.

The import from Instiki didn’t go entirely smooth, so we’ll need some help cleaning up any deficiencies. Please do give a hand.

Trivia: i2 was written from scratch in about 6 hours by yours truly and consists of 214 lines of code (and 120 lines of testing code).

Ruby on Rails training at Big Nerd Ranch

The venerable Big Nerd Ranch have just announced that they’re offering an intensive 5-day course in Ruby on Rails. The man at the wheel is none other than Rails core member Marcel Molina. The Big Nerd Ranch package is definitely a treat that includes "…a student guide, a luxury room, three delicious meals a day, a stylish “Big Nerd Ranch” t-shirt, and transportation to and from the airport". All for a clean $3,500.

If you’ve been thinking about digging into Rails, but haven’t had the time to get dedicated yet, this is the retreat for you.

Two recent reviews of Agile Web Development with Rails

If you’re still unsure as to whether buying Agile Web Development with Rails is a good idea, these two reviews might convince you. Glen Swinfield writes:

After reading, probably 50% of the book, I’m sold on the benefits of Ruby on Rails application building and I am considering using a Ruby on Rails approach in a few upcoming client projects. There are still things I can do faster with php, but this is a skills gap issue on my part – there is always a slow period when you first learn something new, and it’s easy to just sack it and continue as you are, so it is important to keep making progess during these stages – this book will ensure that you do. Each new chapter teaches something new, significant and interesting, it is well written gets a 4.5 out of 5 from me. Excellent.

Richard Monson-Haefel, an analyst with the Burton Group, writes:

In my opinion, this is one of the best development books I’ve had the pleasure of reading in a long time. I found myself reading almost the entire book – which is unusual since I normally can’t get past a few pages in most technical books before labeling it crap and putting in the circular bin. (I do not donate those books to the library because I don’t want to encourage their distribution).

Thanks, guys!

Ruby 1.8.3 has been released

But hold your horses on installing it for a production Rails system. At least one compatibility issue has been spotted between Rails 0.13.1 and Ruby 1.8.3. Over the next days, we’ll look for any other issues and be sure to resolve them shortly.

UPDATE: The Rails beta gems now include a fix for the incompatibility.

The wiki is down

While we’re working on bringing it back, you can get the HTML backup (2.6MB). The homepage for that export is broken, but the rest should be good.

Madeleine is so stretched beyond breaking point for handling a wiki the size of the Rails one. Ugh.