I’m a great believer in automating time consuming tasks. Since deploying my rails application (the Forlorn Hope movie site I told you about in my last post) has become increasingly painful I decided to automate it. Today I succeeded. It is not a simple task for someone who’s knowledge in Unix server administration is limited, but I made it! I’m finally there.
The basic ingredient is Capistrano, a rails/rake extension designed to automate the deployment of rails applications (although not restricted to that). I may do a write up some day but for now I will just enjoy my newly won ease of deployment. You know: change a little bit here – DEPLOY! – change a little bit there – DEPLOY! Wah, I love it!
If you don’t want to wait for my write up there are plenty of information on the Internet to get you started. Be prepared for extensive tweaking though.
Installing a rails application at TextDrive
Lighttpd the painless way
You need to install the subversion client
How to deploy your first rails application using Capistrano in Windows
Shovel – Rails deployment with Lighttpd
Some friends of mine got the crazy idea of making a movie of their own. Since I’m not much of a n actor I figured I’d help them by setting up a website for the movie. I picked Ruby on Rails and RadRails for the task, and TextDrive as the host.I have been meaning to bring the code base into version control for quite some time now, TextDrive is offering SubVersion as part of their hosting plan. But since I haven’t had the opportunity to try SubVersion before, I’ve been stalling.
Today I decided to make the journey. I was planning on books to buy and checking the internet for GUI frontends, when it struck me: maybe RadRails have support for SubVersion. I fired up the IDE and – yes! The context menu of the project node contained the promising Team|Share project menu item. You can choose between SubVersion and CVS – GREAT! No need for a GUI frontend.
Now I needed to set up a SubVersion repository at TextDrive. It proved to be a nobrainer using the TextDrive administration web interface (webmin). Back to RadRails. My worries about importing an existing project was swept away as the Share project-wizard guided me through the process. In less than 15 minutes I had gone from having no clue to having my project version controlled under SubVersion. If all my tasks were this easy…
Thank you RadRails! Thank you SubVersion! Thank you TextDrive!
Of all development frameworks I have tried Ruby on Rails is my favorite – by far. It is the only complete framework I know of that really help you bring Agility into your projects – big ones as well as small ones. The only weakness (yes, I consider this a weakness) has been the command based nature of the framework, the lack of a decent IDE. Fortunately, a team of enthusiasts is trying to overcome this weakness with the development of RadRails, the only(?) Ruby on Rails IDE out there.
You can download the new version, 0.7.1, here.
It’s not a perfect IDE, and it has a long way go to get to the same level as the fabulous Visual Studio 2005. Still, RadRails helps making web development a pure joy. If you haven’t tried it, and if you are like me, eager to learn new stuff, Ruby on Rails is highly recommended. Once there, you will never want to go back to traditional web development again.