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A pass over the Getting Started guide sections 1, 2, and 3 [ci skip]

* Add note about managing Ruby environments
* Point to curated lists of Ruby learning resources
* Expound on DRY and Convention over Configuration
* Remove note on superuser--thankfuly coders new to Rails don't have to sudo anymore :)
* Installation/verification instructions for SQLite3, since it's a dependency
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bak committed Jan 2, 2014
1 parent e4911e9 commit 2868bab4dfb5aa98afdb1e471ba274f82ea3aeb5
Showing with 32 additions and 17 deletions.
  1. +32 −17 guides/source/
@@ -21,19 +21,22 @@ application from scratch. It does not assume that you have any prior experience
with Rails. However, to get the most out of it, you need to have some
prerequisites installed:
-* The [Ruby]( language version 1.9.3 or newer
-* The [RubyGems]( packaging system
-* To learn more about RubyGems, please read the [RubyGems Guides](
-* A working installation of the [SQLite3 Database](
+* The [Ruby]( language version 1.9.3 or newer.
+* The [RubyGems]( packaging system, which is installed with Ruby
+ versions 1.9 and later. To learn more about RubyGems, please read the [RubyGems Guides](
+* A working installation of the [SQLite3 Database](
Rails is a web application framework running on the Ruby programming language.
If you have no prior experience with Ruby, you will find a very steep learning
-curve diving straight into Rails. There are some good free resources on the
-Internet for learning Ruby, including:
+curve diving straight into Rails. There are several curated lists of online resources
+for learning Ruby:
-* [Mr. Neighborly's Humble Little Ruby Book](
-* [Programming Ruby](
-* [Why's (Poignant) Guide to Ruby](
+* [Official Ruby Programming Language website](
+* [reSRC's List of Free Programming Books](
+Be aware that some resources, while still excellent, cover versions of Ruby as old as
+1.6, and commonly 1.8, and will not include some syntax that you will see in day-to-day
+development with Rails.
What is Rails?
@@ -54,11 +57,13 @@ learned elsewhere, you may have a less happy experience.
The Rails philosophy includes two major guiding principles:
-* DRY - "Don't Repeat Yourself" - suggests that writing the same code over and
- over again is a bad thing.
-* Convention Over Configuration - means that Rails makes assumptions about what
- you want to do and how you're going to do it, rather than requiring you to
- specify every little thing through endless configuration files.
+* **Don't Repeat Yourself:** DRY is a principle of software development which
+ states that "Every piece of knowledge must have a single, unambiguous, authoritative
+ representation within a system." By not writing the same information over and over
+ again, our code is more maintainable, more extensible, and less buggy.
+* **Convention Over Configuration:** Rails has opinions about the best way to do many
+ things in a web application, and defaults to this set of conventions, rather than
+ require that you specify every minutiae through endless configuration files.
Creating a New Rails Project
@@ -73,9 +78,9 @@ By following along with this guide, you'll create a Rails project called
(very) simple weblog. Before you can start building the application, you need to
make sure that you have Rails itself installed.
-TIP: The examples below use `#` and `$` to denote superuser and regular
-user terminal prompts respectively in a UNIX-like OS. If you are using
-Windows, your prompt will look something like `c:\source_code>`
+TIP: The examples below use `$` to represent your terminal prompt in a UNIX-like OS,
+though it may have been customized to appear differently. If you are using Windows,
+your prompt will look something like `c:\source_code>`
### Installing Rails
@@ -97,6 +102,16 @@ If you don't have Ruby installed have a look at
[]( for possible ways to
install Ruby on your platform.
+Many popular UNIX-like OSes ship with an acceptable version of SQLite3. Windows
+users and others can find installation instructions at [the SQLite3 website](
+Verify that it is correctly installed and in your PATH:
+$ sqlite3 --version
+The program should report its version.
To install Rails, use the `gem install` command provided by RubyGems:

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