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+== Welcome to Rails
+Rails is a web-application framework that includes everything needed to create
+database-backed web applications according to the Model-View-Control pattern.
+This pattern splits the view (also called the presentation) into "dumb"
+templates that are primarily responsible for inserting pre-built data in between
+HTML tags. The model contains the "smart" domain objects (such as Account,
+Product, Person, Post) that holds all the business logic and knows how to
+persist themselves to a database. The controller handles the incoming requests
+(such as Save New Account, Update Product, Show Post) by manipulating the model
+and directing data to the view.
+In Rails, the model is handled by what's called an object-relational mapping
+layer entitled Active Record. This layer allows you to present the data from
+database rows as objects and embellish these data objects with business logic
+methods. You can read more about Active Record in
+The controller and view are handled by the Action Pack, which handles both
+layers by its two parts: Action View and Action Controller. These two layers
+are bundled in a single package due to their heavy interdependence. This is
+unlike the relationship between the Active Record and Action Pack that is much
+more separate. Each of these packages can be used independently outside of
+Rails. You can read more about Action Pack in
+== Getting Started
+1. At the command prompt, create a new Rails application:
+ <tt>rails new myapp</tt> (where <tt>myapp</tt> is the application name)
+2. Change directory to <tt>myapp</tt> and start the web server:
+ <tt>cd myapp; rails server</tt> (run with --help for options)
+3. Go to http://localhost:3000/ and you'll see:
+ "Welcome aboard: You're riding Ruby on Rails!"
+4. Follow the guidelines to start developing your application. You can find
+the following resources handy:
+* The Getting Started Guide:
+* Ruby on Rails Tutorial Book:
+== Debugging Rails
+Sometimes your application goes wrong. Fortunately there are a lot of tools that
+will help you debug it and get it back on the rails.
+First area to check is the application log files. Have "tail -f" commands
+running on the server.log and development.log. Rails will automatically display
+debugging and runtime information to these files. Debugging info will also be
+shown in the browser on requests from
+You can also log your own messages directly into the log file from your code
+using the Ruby logger class from inside your controllers. Example:
+ class WeblogController < ActionController::Base
+ def destroy
+ @weblog = Weblog.find(params[:id])
+ @weblog.destroy
+"#{} Destroyed Weblog ID ##{}!")
+ end
+ end
+The result will be a message in your log file along the lines of:
+ Mon Oct 08 14:22:29 +1000 2007 Destroyed Weblog ID #1!
+More information on how to use the logger is at
+Also, Ruby documentation can be found at There are
+several books available online as well:
+* Programming Ruby: (Pickaxe)
+* Learn to Program: (a beginners guide)
+These two books will bring you up to speed on the Ruby language and also on
+programming in general.
+== Debugger
+Debugger support is available through the debugger command when you start your
+Mongrel or WEBrick server with --debugger. This means that you can break out of
+execution at any point in the code, investigate and change the model, and then,
+resume execution! You need to install ruby-debug to run the server in debugging
+mode. With gems, use <tt>sudo gem install ruby-debug</tt>. Example:
+ class WeblogController < ActionController::Base
+ def index
+ @posts = Post.find(:all)
+ debugger
+ end
+ end
+So the controller will accept the action, run the first line, then present you
+with a IRB prompt in the server window. Here you can do things like:
+ >> @posts.inspect
+ => "[#<Post:0x14a6be8
+ @attributes={"title"=>nil, "body"=>nil, "id"=>"1"}>,
+ #<Post:0x14a6620
+ @attributes={"title"=>"Rails", "body"=>"Only ten..", "id"=>"2"}>]"
+ >> @posts.first.title = "hello from a debugger"
+ => "hello from a debugger"
+...and even better, you can examine how your runtime objects actually work:
+ >> f = @posts.first
+ => #<Post:0x13630c4 @attributes={"title"=>nil, "body"=>nil, "id"=>"1"}>
+ >> f.
+ Display all 152 possibilities? (y or n)
+Finally, when you're ready to resume execution, you can enter "cont".
+== Console
+The console is a Ruby shell, which allows you to interact with your
+application's domain model. Here you'll have all parts of the application
+configured, just like it is when the application is running. You can inspect
+domain models, change values, and save to the database. Starting the script
+without arguments will launch it in the development environment.
+To start the console, run <tt>rails console</tt> from the application
+* Passing the <tt>-s, --sandbox</tt> argument will rollback any modifications
+ made to the database.
+* Passing an environment name as an argument will load the corresponding
+ environment. Example: <tt>rails console production</tt>.
+To reload your controllers and models after launching the console run
+More information about irb can be found at:
+== dbconsole
+You can go to the command line of your database directly through <tt>rails
+dbconsole</tt>. You would be connected to the database with the credentials
+defined in database.yml. Starting the script without arguments will connect you
+to the development database. Passing an argument will connect you to a different
+database, like <tt>rails dbconsole production</tt>. Currently works for MySQL,
+PostgreSQL and SQLite 3.
+== Description of Contents
+The default directory structure of a generated Ruby on Rails application:
+ |-- app
+ | |-- controllers
+ | |-- helpers
+ | |-- mailers
+ | |-- models
+ | `-- views
+ | `-- layouts
+ |-- config
+ | |-- environments
+ | |-- initializers
+ | `-- locales
+ |-- db
+ |-- doc
+ |-- lib
+ | `-- tasks
+ |-- log
+ |-- public
+ | |-- images
+ | |-- javascripts
+ | `-- stylesheets
+ |-- script
+ |-- test
+ | |-- fixtures
+ | |-- functional
+ | |-- integration
+ | |-- performance
+ | `-- unit
+ |-- tmp
+ | |-- cache
+ | |-- pids
+ | |-- sessions
+ | `-- sockets
+ `-- vendor
+ `-- plugins
+ Holds all the code that's specific to this particular application.
+ Holds controllers that should be named like weblogs_controller.rb for
+ automated URL mapping. All controllers should descend from
+ ApplicationController which itself descends from ActionController::Base.
+ Holds models that should be named like post.rb. Models descend from
+ ActiveRecord::Base by default.
+ Holds the template files for the view that should be named like
+ weblogs/index.html.erb for the WeblogsController#index action. All views use
+ eRuby syntax by default.
+ Holds the template files for layouts to be used with views. This models the
+ common header/footer method of wrapping views. In your views, define a layout
+ using the <tt>layout :default</tt> and create a file named default.html.erb.
+ Inside default.html.erb, call <% yield %> to render the view using this
+ layout.
+ Holds view helpers that should be named like weblogs_helper.rb. These are
+ generated for you automatically when using generators for controllers.
+ Helpers can be used to wrap functionality for your views into methods.
+ Configuration files for the Rails environment, the routing map, the database,
+ and other dependencies.
+ Contains the database schema in schema.rb. db/migrate contains all the
+ sequence of Migrations for your schema.
+ This directory is where your application documentation will be stored when
+ generated using <tt>rake doc:app</tt>
+ Application specific libraries. Basically, any kind of custom code that
+ doesn't belong under controllers, models, or helpers. This directory is in
+ the load path.
+ The directory available for the web server. Contains subdirectories for
+ images, stylesheets, and javascripts. Also contains the dispatchers and the
+ default HTML files. This should be set as the DOCUMENT_ROOT of your web
+ server.
+ Helper scripts for automation and generation.
+ Unit and functional tests along with fixtures. When using the rails generate
+ command, template test files will be generated for you and placed in this
+ directory.
+ External libraries that the application depends on. Also includes the plugins
+ subdirectory. If the app has frozen rails, those gems also go here, under
+ vendor/rails/. This directory is in the load path.

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