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I just tried out Ruby on Rails today and I must say it’s pretty fun. I didn’t really have a go at scaffolding because it was deprecated at version 2.0 and I don’t like messing with deprecated things.

That made things a little harder for me to get started but I have a few simple forms that allows me to save stuff to a MySQL database, which is okay. Ruby seems pretty straightforward, reminds me a little bit of the brief stint I had at Python last year. The syntax takes a little getting used to, but that’s the easiest part of learning a new language. The thing I had most trouble getting wrapped around my thick head was the block, but even that is beginning to seem straightforward now.

A suprising thing was that I found it difficult to find up-to-date tutorials for Ruby on Rails, although there’s enough on Ruby. When I was learning CakePHP I seemed to have a lot more information. I miss the CakePHP Cookbook. With Ruby on Rails it seems like I need to do a lot more digging around on the net. I thought it would have been the opposite.

One thing I really like about Ruby on Rails (or more specifically, Ruby), is the solid OO model. While PHP has some OOP support, Ruby has a pure OO model – even numbers are objects. In a language such as PHP or even Java, numbers are so called “primitives”. In fact, even the irb (Interactive ruby) itself is an object. In fact, classes are also objects. Pretty much everything is an object (though I’m sure there are exceptions). The question is – does having a solid object-oriented model really help that much when developing web applications? It does seem to lead to cleaner code – with PHP you have to mess with and manipulate massive arrays instead of just interacting with an object – however I don’t see a huge advantage in having an OO model this solid for a web application. OOP is almost a necessity for custom-built and highly complex systems, but the focus on OO is not a huge issue in a web framework, generally speaking. There really isn’t that much freedom within a domain specific framework to exercise the full extent of the power of OO.

Will I keep using Ruby on Rails. Yeah, of course! I’m always interested in learning new things and building new stuff. Remember, I’m always building new websites/webapps. At times I will make extremely slow or no progress due to other commitments and life and stuff, but expect to see new apps being launched from this blog in the coming months.

P.S I have not left CakePHP. I will continue to use it as well. Both are excellent frameworks. CakePHP I like particularly because of the massive amount of information available on PHP. That is one significant advantage.

Still going here :-)

So pretty much most of the coding is done and now the problem is attracting visitors:

  • I’m thinking of using Adwords but don’t know how effective it will be or how much I can spend.
  • I’ll try to place posters around my local Universities (there’s around 4 or 5 at least)
  • On the front page of the website I’ll put the most recently joined user profiles.
  • I’ll need to re-engineer the elevator pitch a bit.
  • As for the color theme, I WILL change it if I get many complaints about it, otherwise I’ll probably waste too much time changing the color theme. Yeah, CSS and logo-redesign is a pain :-) especially when there’s so much else to do.

I think the 3rd point is incredibly important but so are the others.

I just spent the last many hours fixing bugs. I can’t imagine how many there are …
Gee I’m so stressed out with hardly any sleep AND I need to go have a meeting later today for a stupid University project. I’ve been threatened of being kicked out of the subject for not contributing enough to the project. BS. Why do I not give a shit about University anymore? And I don’t respond well to threats.

But before I have that meeting I need to go to my sister’s birthday lunch thing. I’m getting ulcers in my mouth >.<

So far nobody has joined the site yet … even though I sent out 50 or so invitations.

Ahhhhh this is sad.

Okay, this is the unofficial “pre-beta” launch of The website is still pretty unstable but is open to everyone (who is reading this post), for testing. If you are interested in testing the website go to:

The /penpal is required for now. You will be able to access directly when the testing period is over.

Depending on whether there are serious security breaches during this testing period, the website’s database may be reset after a few days before the “official” launch. If all goes well then nothing will be reset (hopefully this is the case).

Also, there are parts of the website that are obviously missing or incomplete. I’m keenly aware of this :) However if you find any bugs please comment here. Any feedback welcome. Thank you!

Here’s a tiny peek at the website that will be launched in the next 24 hours.

Finally I think the pagination is all done. Now I just need to fix a few things, then the website should be online sometime in the next few hours 24 hours.


pagination! yes this is how it appears on the site

Yeah I’m still alive, and still working on the pagination. It is a pain in the ass. Let’s see if it can be done within the next 2 hours. I’ll post in another 2 hours from now.

UPDATE: Oh guess what? I’m using a code example in the Wrox book Beginning PHP, Apache, MySQL Web Development. It is also the very book that I dissed in a previous post for having tons of spaghetti code examples. The prodigal’s son returns. But, I payed for the book and still think the examples are very spaghetti-ish, so … exactly. I’ll have to refactor this code later … can’t do it now because of time constraints.

UPDATE: No the pagination isn’t done yet. By the way look at this site.

SCREWED! Hahah. Heh. Yeah.


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