As someone who has repeatedly tried to sit down and really pick up
Ruby on Rails, the one deterrent I continually find is that the best
way of doing things seem to change on a daily basis, and half the time
nobody can agree with it. Since my programming background is largely
self-taught and without any formal CS education, I like to make a list
of the "right" way to develop applications in a particular language/
framework so I know that I'm going to be starting off on the right
foot; this is in direct opposition to something like picking up a book
on PHP, say, and cranking out junk sites and learning bad practices.
In effect my problem is that whenever I sit down to really learn Rails
(and I have almost a dozen books on it I've gathered over the past
year, although a lot are from the prior edition - I have: AWDWR 3rd
Edition, Programming Ruby 2nd edition, The Ruby Way, The Rails Way,
O'Reilly's Learning Rails, Ajax on Rails, Enterprise Rails, Apress
Social Networking Sites with Rails, and RailsSpace) the community
seems to have charged forward and changed its best practices, so it's
just added a whole bunch of things I need to learn as well.
For instance, the new thing seems to be BDD and RSpec, so I have to
learn RSpec in addition to Rails and Ruby. Git is used for version
control, so that's something else. RJS is out and unobtrusive stuff
is in, so that means jQuery. Hosting is now typically done with
Phusion Passenger, so I have to learn Apache and that. Finally with
the Rails+Merb merger things are going to get shaken up even more so.
I really want to learn Rails but the community seems to just keep
jumping from one bandwagon to another without staying put long enough
for somebody who didn't come aboard in 2005-2006 to ever get to
speed. Like I said I like to follow best practices because I come
from .NET and I've seen what just slapping together code can do, and
it's not pretty, so I feel like if I'm going to learn Rails, I need to
learn it right from the start, not learn the "obsolete" way of writing
it and then upgrade.
Can somebody knock some sense into me in this regard? I've been
trying to learn Rails for over a year now and this is the main reason
why I can never get more than basic tutorial-style stuff going on.