So far so good.  I’ve been going through the Ruby Quiz archives trying – directed tasks are helpful and the ability to see how others, who really grok Ruby, solved the problem is great.

With the basics down I’ve started with Rails.  My son has a website idea that I’m helping him implement.  He gives the requirements and I knock out the code.

Some sites I’ve found helpful so far include:

http://www.rubyinside.com/19-rails-tricks-most-rails-coders-dont-know-131.html

http://www.blainekendall.com/uploads/RubyOnRails-Cheatsheet-BlaineKendall.pdf

http://wiki.rubyonrails.org/rails/pages/UsingMigrations

http://api.rubyonrails.org/classes/ActiveRecord/Associations/ClassMethods.html

These are the ones I bookmarked, anyway.

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After spending a few days looking at the pros and cons I have decided that Ruby will be my choice for now.  There were a lot of factors in the choice but ultimately it came down to a few less-than-scientific factors.

  1.  I am more familiar with Ruby.  I read Code Generation in Action a few years ago but never really gave it much thought.  The seed has been planted though.
  2. The local B&N and Borders had more Ruby and Rails books in stock.  Perhaps this says that all the Python titles have sold out and the Ruby titles aren’t moving.
  3. I followed some RailsConf blogs and they gave me a good vibe.

No arguments about syntax or framework advantages (Python won out here since fewer hosts provide support for Rails apps).

Both are fine languages and provided everything I’ll need to do anything I want.

Now that I’ve knocked some of the early learning and the practical tasks off the list it is time to start taking on a more sizable project.

I already have something in mind that would be immediately beneficial for me but which will take a decent amount of time to implement (if I were 20 again it would probably only take 2-3 weeks since I wouldn’t need to sleep).

This will be a web application (what isn’t these days?) and the goal, other than the application, is to learn more about a new language (ruby or python), an existing platform (e.g. rails) and AJAX (which I already understand but haven’t personally worked with beyond some exercises from books and magazines).

What I’m trying to figure out now is should I start with Ruby or Python? I’ve been reading quite a bit on the benefits of each language and so far they are basicaly a wash (except that I’m reading a lot about scale problems with Ruby on Rails – but it’s not like I’m trying to become the next Twitter).

Also I’m not clear what the platform would be if I went with Python. With Ruby it would be Rails – but with Python … ????

I already have a small start with Ruby and Rails (I’ve read a few books) – but I’ve not yet written a single meaningful line of either.

Any suggestions or pointers to articles/blogs/books worth reading?

btw – Before I’m accused of being too lazy to research this on my own … I know there are hundreds of sites and posts on this exact topic. I’ve been reading them for several days. I’m close to making a decision but want to toss it out there in case I’ve missed something that only experience would reveal.