materials for Ruby on Rails intro workshop
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This repo contains several slide presentations for use during the Railsbridge Open Workshops (specifically the Ruby For Women Workshops).

Not all presentations are ready to be shown yet!

Quick Start

# install the workshop materials
git clone git://
cd workshop

# install the gems
gem install bundler
bundle install

# run the standard presentation
rake showoff serve

This will launch a local Sinatra server on port 9090. Open your browser to localhost:9090. On a Mac you can run:

open http://localhost:9090

Use arrow keys to navigate slides. Press '?' to see a help window with more key commands.

Showoff Versions

We use a Ruby app called showoff to generate and serve the workshop slides.

Alex has been improving showoff; until his latest patches get accepted and released, you will have to use his version. If you use Bundler and Rake (as in "Quick Start" above) it should grab and use the correct version.

gem install showoff-alexch

The main difference is that showoff-alexch makes a new slide every time it sees an H1 (a single '# ' at the start of a line) if you specify --split, even if there's no !SLIDE above it.

If you install showoff-alexch, please be careful about updates, since it and normal showoff will overwrite each other's executable file.

Running a single presentation

The proper way to use showoff is to run a set of slides as described in the showoff.json file in the project root directory.

cd workshop
showoff serve --split .

However, if you want to run a subdirectory's worth of slides only, you can name that directory. If there is no showoff.json file in there, then showoff will make a virtual showoff.json file based on the .md files in the given directory in alphabetical order.

For example, if you want to run the "Teacher Training" presentation, which lives in the teachers directory, you can run it from the project root directory:

showoff serve --split teachers

Running several presentations in a row

You can create a custom presentation out of any combination and ordering of the section directories by creating your own showoff.json file. See showoff-nyc.json for an example -- it's the same as the standard showoff.json but inserts NY-specific resources after the Welcome section.

rake showoff serve --pres_file showoff-nyc.json

Editing slides

Slides are in Markdown format. Showoff will read all .md files in alphabetical order.

You can also add custom .css, .scss, and .js files, which will get imported into all slide sections.

Images should be in the same directory as the slide that references them.

Workshops should edit the file to contain accurate schedule and sponsor information.

Printing slides (PDF)

Try this: first gem install pdfkit, then visit


but I make no guarantees!

In particular, the text inside some slides will overrun their borders and get clipped.




This project is under an open source license. We're not sure exactly which one... probably MIT.

Gill Sans is under copyright. It's a great slide font and it comes with all recent Macs (and Gill Sans MT comes with MS Office). But it might not be on the instructor's machine so I checked in a zip file. This was probably the wrong thing to do.

Here is Gill Sans licensing info

"The Gill Sans stack should work on most all computers. Gill Sans comes on all Macs and Gill Sans MT is installed with Microsoft Office, and Calibri (which is a good stand-in for Gill Sans) is one the core Vista fonts and is installed with both Office Windows and Office Mac. And lastly, if all else fails, use Trebuchet" - -- the stack he's talking about is

"Gill Sans", "Gill Sans MT", GillSans, Calibri, "Trebuchet MS", sans-serif

Perhaps we should replace it with a free font like SansBetween

Content TODO

  • rename "welcome" to "orientation" ?
  • rename skills to concepts
  • remove or replace all devchix wiki links

Technical TODO

  • switch from Showoff to Deck.js
  • unify with "installfest" and "curriculum" apps