My first rails project completed

Hi all,

First, this is a longer than normal read but I hope that you get through
it all and can learn from my experiences.

So, I wanted to talk about my experiences with my first rails project
now that I've completed it for the beginning of the football season.
First, here's the link:

http://ncaastatpages.com

I used to work as a Windows System Administrator for Charles Schwab,
working out of a U.S. Trust regional area before they sold the company
to Bank of America. After the transition, my fiance and I moved to
Plymouth, MA to be closer to her family and I figured finding work would
be easy in Boston or Providence. However, with the market conditions,
finding infrastructure jobs worsened for everyone, including myself.

So, I had some extra time and I had two hard choices before me. I could
either work on finishing up some certifications, MCSE or CCNA etc. or I
could work on development, a side of life I really enjoy immensely. I
chose the latter.

I've always wanted to learn Ruby and Ruby on Rails is a great framework,
in addition. My former ncaastatpages.com site was solely driven on PHP
and had numerous issues.

So, approx. 9 weeks ago, knowing absolutely nothing about ruby or ruby
and rails, I purchased 4 books (1-ruby, 2 - rails, and 1 enterprise
rails) and started to read. I took on a new project which included
upgrading my site and getting familiar with all that rails had to offer.
I went through a lot of hoops and hurdles but I'm happy to say that I
learned a great deal from working with the project, and from this
mailing group / boards.

So many of you have helped me over the past 9 weeks that I feel I'm
sharing a project that's been touched by many. I really want to thank
those of you who shared your wisdom, your understanding, and your
patience with me.

http://ncaastatpages.com/tsrs_ratings?name=tsrs

You need to add a custom route to get rid of those question marks in the urls.

Something like this should work:

map.connect 'tsrs-ratings/:name',
  :controller => 'tsrs_ratings',
  :action => 'index',
  :requirements => { :name => /[\w-]+/ },
  :name => nil

Hi Greg,

It was designed that way. I created a page management system so that
many of the pages are dynamically driven, not statically driven with
routes. Routing is fine with hard controllers but some of my pages have
no controllers and are stored directly in the database.

What is a "hard controller"? Is that different from a "controller" in
some way? I believe I own most every Ruby and Rails book ever
published and I've never heard of a "hard controller" before. Do
tell.

I understand the pages are dynamic, the question marks in the URLs
make that fairly obvious. Adding the route I posted will make your
urls appear to be static while the content remains dynamic. There's
no reason to have any non-seo-friendly urls (question marks or
ampersands) on your site when developing with Rails, content being
dynamic or static, pages being database driven or other.

Thanks for the feedback Greg, I'll look into cleaning up the URLs.

Is it really that difficult to experiment and see?

/me gives up

Have a nice site. :slight_smile:

Hi Blue Alpha,

This is very impressive and encouraging. Just wanted to know which
IDE you used?

Thanks
VJ

great post and, although this is a bit cheezy, an inspiration.
I wonder if you have done a blog of your travails - something the rest
of us could follow (those too embarrassed to ask the dumb questions we
would really like to ask but don't want to make a tit of ourselves in
public).
Well done.

Aldric Giacomoni wrote:

So now, you're gonna give back to this community, right?
Newbs like me could use you. :slight_smile:

Hi Aldric,

I usually spend about 90 minutes each day browsing the boards and
answering questions that I can answer.

But, I'd like to do more. I think screencasts did me more good
throughout my learning process over anything. Seeing something being
built, hearing words of encouragement from the mentors/teachers as they
teach you something went a long way. So, I'd like to do some
screencasts. I won't be as knowledgeable as some, but I can definitely
help out people that are starting out.

I'm thinking about what areas I want to work with more:

Authentication
Mailers
Payment Gateways
Databases

All 4 areas I'm very familiar now with rails. I'm even starting to work
on my first plugin, a gateway plugin for Boku/Paymo (mobile phone
payment system).

Let me know and I'll get to work on it.

I think AB has already given back a lot and I hope he continues to do so.

thanks for that

Colin

+1

Joel,

You asked earlier, I think, for suggestions on contributions looking
forward. You write well. I'd recommend taking a look at possibly
contributing to Rails Guides.

Best regards,
Bill

Hi Alpha,

great story - and I think by asking questions (I've seen a lot of them
here) you already contributed to the community.

Quite often when I had an issue I just found that you already asked
for advice, and it seems like you stumbled first on purpose , so I
could walk past the obstacle later.

Success with your site - and a big thanks to all the people who
supported him - you also supported me and all the other silent
readers.

Joel,

You asked earlier, I think, for suggestions on contributions looking
forward. You write well. I'd recommend taking a look at possibly
contributing to Rails Guides.

Best regards,
Bill

Hi Bill,

Thanks mate, I appreciate that. I'm always available to assist with
anything community related. I have no problem volunteering my time to
help. I'll take a look into it.

Take care.

Ar Chron wrote:

Alpha Blue:

Nicely done... your post as well as the site. I find your 'cupcake'
notation immensely entertaining.

But your stats do not reflect well on my Alma Mater (who shall remain
nameless)... please fix or do sumfink!

Ar Chron,

Luckily those statistics are not 100% accurate. The raw statistics are
accurate from last year but the strength ratings are being calculated
against this year's schedule which makes them inaccurate at the moment.
This will all change once the season starts and the sandbox data is
removed and new data is populated.

So, keep your chin up. Perhaps your alma mater will do better once the
season progresses. :slight_smile:

Michael (can't dance...) wrote:

Success with your site - and a big thanks to all the people who
supported him - you also supported me and all the other silent
readers.

Michael, I'm glad to hear that I helped you out in some form. I'm never
afraid of asking questions. The one thing I regret when posting or
seeing other posts, is when someone finds the solution and doesn't
expand upon what they learned.

I really try to follow-up with my own posts so that when I encounter a
solution or am given a solution, I provide a short summary for the
winning response. This way if someone revisits my post at some future
date, if they read all of it, they won't be left short without an
answer.

I recommend everyone to do the same thing with their own questions. If
you receive an answer or solution, mark it as such and provide the final
summary for your resolution.

Take care mate. :slight_smile: