Learning Ruby on Rails

Today is the second day of my dive using the RoR framework. I’ve been trying to read up on some tutorials and demonstrations using Ruby on Rails. I must say that it is quite interesting so far and even though there is going to be a definite learning curve coming from over 5 years of development using PHP, I don’t think it is an impossible one to overcome. What won me over was the 15 minute demonstration on how to deploy a pretty minimalistic blog in under 15 minutes. (check it out here: http://rubyonrails.org/screencasts)

I think it is time that I try to learn another language and so far, RoR is the path that I am going to take. With PHP, I had to write every line of code by myself and even with a framework such as CodeIgniter or CakePHP, extra time was needed to integrate the javascript and other fancy effects. Switching over to RoR, a lot of these external items will already be built in, speeding up the process. Not trying to say that I am turning my back on PHP, but a new pal to run along with won’t hurt.

Again, I must admit, after learning web development the long way, a little convention over configuration can only make things better.

I hate Expression Engine… alot

A week or so ago, I had the privilege to work on David Pache‘s website: [dache.ch]. I had to do a few CSS fixes here and because his website was not rendering properly in certain browsers (Internet Explorer) and he also wanted some additions done to his site.  He wanted a blog section to be added in which he calls the dacheboard and some other categories for his portfolio.

All seemed pretty good and this was my first time working on Expression Engine [EE].  I had a hard time because I am so use to WordPress and all its glorious simplicity and I stumbled trying to perform the most simple tasks such as adding a new category or working with their own template language system.

While it was pretty interesting, they made everything too hard and I had to learn this new expression language in order to get posts from a certain category and so forth.  On the other hand with WordPress; some PHP knowledge is necessary to do what you need to do but that isn’t a problem since that is what I have been using for the past 4 or 5 years.

Another thing that I found to be problematic with EE is that the template system was inside the administration panel and I couldn’t use FTP or dreamweaver in order to make direct edits to the website.  There was an option to save the templates as files onto the server but that just gave problems and I ended up getting no where.

On a plus side, EE seems to have its own userbase which is probably as great or even greater than WordPress and they seem to know what they are doing to keep their clients coming back.  I can’t complain because its just not my niche to work in and I don’t plan on doing that any time soon.  The documentation of their web application seems to be pretty good and I can’t say that I didn’t learn something new.

Also, David has some very nice work in his portfolio and you should check it out some time.  His work covers a lot of different areas such as logos and prints and I wish him the best of luck with the success of his career.  In case you missed that, its @ dache.ch

– End Rant