My First Rails Application
Last week Articulated Man launched my first solo Rail’s application, a voter’s guide for New England federal races. The site was sponsored by the New England Alliance for Children’s Health, whose site we did earlier in the year as just a standard site. The voter’s guide required a bit more functionality, thus the decision was made to develop in Rails and use it as my first stab at Rails development.
The site turned out great, mostly because we have outstanding designers who can make anything look good. I also learned quite a bit about the nuts and bolts of a Rails site, which is something you don’t really get from just reading the book.
While it’s still too soon to make any firm declarations about Rails, I will say it was very nice to have some provided structure when building the application. With LegSim, and pretty much any other project I’ve done, I had to build everything out of whole cloth… thus, LegSim is rather amorphous, having changed throughout the years and never following a clearly defined structure. With Rails you get that out of the box… perhaps more structure than I would prefer, but I think I’d prefer too much structure over too little, at least at my current stage as a developer.
Speaking of LegSim, the UW Congress course has started up again this quarter, giving me a boost of excitement to get developing again. Already some good stuff happening there as I integrate what I’ve learned since doing web development full time. Sadly, Archon and LegSim v5 have been put on hold until later, as I need to have a finished product well before either of those technologies will be ready for prime time. But some day–some day soon–LegSim will be rewritten and be better than ever!