Is Rails the right solution for me?

Hello all, I am trying to lay the foundation for a website that I am
planning and I would really appreciate some feedback as to whether RoR
is right for me and my needs.

I am creating a site that will allow users to "swap" physical items.
They would need to sign up for an account, be able to manage and edit
their account, and fund their account with "credits" through PayPal.

Next, they would be able to search the available items by criteria,
and when they find an item they want, they can claim the item. This
will then remove it from public view, place the item into a "pending"
dock within the user's account, dock their initial "credit" from their
account, and notify the owner that the item has been claimed and is
ready to ship. This is the idea in a quick nutshell.

I basically need really similar functionality to eBay (although not
nearly on that type of scale), without the auction portion of the
site? Does that make sense?

Would RoR be an ideal solution for this type of project? I have
strongly considered building this in PHP, but I want to learn Rails
and thought this project would be a good fit. Either way, it will mean
learning a new language, and RoR seems very interesting to me. I just
want some direction here before I actually dive in to building the
project. If RoR is not the right solution, what should I look at?

I appreciate any and all feedback, advice, and comments!

Is it a database-backed web application?

Do you have control over your database schema?

Are you looking to learn something new and very cool?

If you said yes to all three, then go for it :slight_smile: Sounds like it will
be a great site.

Start with books like Agile Web Development with Rails 2nd Ed.
(pragmatic programmers) and/or Ruby for Rails by David A. Black; then
also get Ajax on Rails by Scott Raymond; and then check out a bunch
of Ruby and Rails blogs to find out what other people are doing. And
definitely, certainly, without question, learn about writing tests in
Rails - it's a big part of the fun with rails.

Jeff
softiesonrails.com

Hi,

I would suggest spending a weekend with Rails and create a basic
application. A great place to start is with this:
http://www.pragmaticprogrammer.com/titles/rails/index.html. It'll talk
you through building an application and give you the in depth details
when you're ready.

As for Rails's suitability, it's worth bearing in mind that with most
software development, it's not so much the language or framework you
use, but the way you use it. Rails is perfectly capable of the
achieving the requirements you have - but so are a lot of other
languages. At the end of the day, it must be a personal choice.

Steve

Jeff - dude, you sold it so much better than me :0)

Steve

Thanks for the replies! After doing a little more research into this
project, I do think that Rails will be a great fit for it. I am going
to start by getting a few books that everyone seems to keep
recommending.

I am already an experienced XHTML/CSS/JS designer/coder and I feel
like knowing those things, along with learning Rails, would be a great
combination for me. I am sure I will be back soon to ask a thousand
questions!