Rails Blog Tutorial

One of the (many) brilliant things that the people affiliated with Ruby on Rails have done is to create excellent documentation. Specifically the tutorial that is intended to introduce newcomers to the Rails framework and Ruby. My first recollection of the Rails newbie tutorial was a pizza tutorial on O’Reilly. This was replaced by a Create a Blog in 15 minutes tutorial somewhere around version 2.2 of Rails. Most recently the promise of “15 minutes” has been removed from the tutorial, but it is still as good an introduction to a programming topic as you will find. I would go so far as to say that “Create a Blog in 15 minutes” tutorial is one of the primary reasons that Rails, and by extension Ruby, became so popular.

The blog tutorial introduce new users to most of the features of a full-featured web framework: Model-View-Controller, database interaction, development environment (including dev server) and almost everything in between. Any new framework, that is interested in gaining users, should add a “Create a Blog Post” tutorial for new users. If the framework is not fully featured then sample bits (server, database, whatever is missing from the framework) should be shipped with the framework so that the full end-to-end experience can be modeled by the tutorial.

The popular JS frameworks (AngularJs, EmberJs, MeteorJs) use ToDo applications on their Getting Started pages. Django goes with a Web Poll application, NodeJs (not really a framework) punts the user over to nodeschool.io. The ToDo app is fine, as long as a complete solution (UI -> Database persistence) can be built in a short period of time. That’s the beauty of the Rails “Create a Blog” application. An end to end solution can be built in about 15 minutes.

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