Material for my RailsConf 2010 tutorial
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RailsConf 2010 Tutorial

This repo contains a workbook and source code for the 3-hour Mobile App Development with iPhone/iPad and Rails tutorial I taught at RailsConf 2010.

The overall goal is to build a full-featured iPhone app (screenshots) that talks to a Rails app (try it!) using RESTful resources. Along the way we explore several libraries and delve into topics such as authentication, nested resources, and asynchronous communication.


To start working through the workbook, open the workbook/html/all.html file in your favorite browser. Each section starts with an objective and includes steps to guide you to the solution.

Source Code

The code directory contains incremental versions of the iPhone app that correlate roughly to each section of the workbook. Check the README in each directory for more details.

The final iPhone and Rails apps are in the iphone_app and rails_app directories, respectively.

Install Rails 3 (beta)

You'll need the Rails 3 beta installed to run the sample Rails app:

$ gem install rails --pre

Install the iPhone SDK

You'll need the iPhone SDK to run the sample iPhone app:

  1. Make sure you've upgraded your Intel-based Mac laptop to run Snow Leopard (version 10.6.3), the latest Mac OS X release.

  2. You'll need to be an Apple Developer Connection (ADC) member in order to download the latest version of the iPhone SDK. If you're not already a member, you can sign up for an ADC account. ADC membership is free.

  3. Once you have an ADC account, download iPhone SDK 3.2 and install it. You may be tempted to download iPhone SDK 4 beta. Note however that the sample project was built with iPhone SDK 3.2 and the 4.0 version is under NDA at this time, so we won't be using it in this tutorial.

  4. Xcode 3.2.2 is included in the full download of the iPhone SDK iPhone SDK 3.2. Verify that you're running Xcode version 3.2.2 by launching Xcode and using the Xcode -> About Xcode menu item. (You'll find Xcode under the /Developer/Applications directory.)

If you want to run your apps on your iPhone or iPod Touch device, you'll need to join Apple's iPhone Developer program. The program costs $99/year for individuals.

New To iPhone Programming?

The workbook assumes you have a basic working knowledge of Objective-C and a general understanding of iPhone table view programming. Here are some recommended resources to help you get started: