RoR & Agile

Hey there,

I'm designing a simple news link submission site in RoR with agile
(rspec, cucumber, whatever) in order to practice agile and learn (also
to submit it for an honors project in my cs class)

I was wondering, seeing as I've started over a bunch of times, how do
I really get started with this? I keep stumbling on things like,
should I get all my plugins installed ahead of time, how do I use
auth_logic or perhaps acl9 for user role management, etc?

Also I'd like to use CouchDB but I'm not sure if I should start with
that, how to start with it, or if I should just go with activerecord
for now.

Would appreciate input!

Thanks
Sam

if you want an agile approach try setting your goals (and that means
maybe break them down in little pieces) and realize them one after the
other. that means: don't install all your plugins at once, but only
those you need for your next step. write a test like 'User should be
able to login' and try to make it pass. if on that way you're
experiencing that you are missing something else (like authentication-
plugin, controller or even a model) add it by writing a test for it
and try making that one pass first.

in general:
start at a very low-level point and extent your application from
there.

always make sure you have your code covered with tests. that way, when
your app evolves and you try building more complex structures, you
have a solid foundation to work with.

whether you should choose couchDB or not, is totally up to you.
however, i think for a beginner it's easier to stick to something more
popular (that way you have more sources to get help from).