I've been stalking Ruby on Rails for some time now. Intrigued by everything I've read, turning it over in my head, but too shy to actually install it and play with it in person. But this morning my daughter woke me up at about 4am. I couldn't go back to sleep. My back was feeling up to some standing at the computer, but I wasn't feeling creative enough to write or draw. So I decided to throw caution to the wind and start to use the damned thing.
So I installed PostgreSQL , Ruby, and Rails, and after a little googling got everything working just fine. I have a simple - very simple - rails application up and running, even using the fancy (and very cool) database migrations feature. Initial impression: as easy and powerful as everyone says.
Now that I've had my first date with Ruby, such as it is, I'm not sure where to go with this relationship. The limitations imposed on my productivity by my back injury means that my limited time at the desk is best spent drawing comics. I did get a few volunteers to help me build a RoR-based site, but before that begins I feel I at least need to dabble enough to know what I want them to do. Still, my eyes are full of stars. RoR is clearly a high-productivity web application environment, and that's exactly what a fellow with limited time needs. Basically, it's a chicken-and-egg problem, because once we actually ported to RoR then the cost of maintenance and new features would be much lower than it is today. We just need to get there.