Rails tool, advice much appreciated

Discussion in 'Ruby' started by Elizabeth Barnwell, May 28, 2008.

  1. This a free resource for learning/finding info on Ruby on
    Rails:

    http://www.yoyobrain.com/cardboxes/preview/863

    If you click on “Try a learning drill” the site will quiz you on Rails
    information to help you memorize- pretty cool. If there's anything
    else you would like to learn, you can search for, or create your own
    flashcards.

    I would love to hear your thoughts on site, as it was built on Rails.

    I just started working with this company, and I'm new to the Rails
    community (I used YoYoBrain in college for memorizing art history
    flashcards!) Will Bunker, who created One and Only, later rebranded as
    Match.com, created YoYoBrain to learn Web 2.0 languages more quickly-
    currently, the site has turned into a tool for any kind of
    memorization.

    I would really appreciate any advice as to how to make YoYoBrain more
    valuable to people who want to learn Rails (and other programming
    language for that matter) and how to get the word out.

    I hope you find it useful, and can't wait to hear your feedback.

    Feel free to email me!

    Peace,

    Elizabeth
     
    Elizabeth Barnwell, May 28, 2008
    #1
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  2. Elizabeth Barnwell

    Mark Wilden Guest

    I don't think a programming language lends itself well to the
    flashcard approach (which is a great way to learn vocabulary in a
    human language). Programming is much more about knowing where to find
    the answer than memorizing it.

    Just my two cents. If someone does find flashcards useful, YoYoBrain
    looks like a great site.

    ///ark
     
    Mark Wilden, May 28, 2008
    #2
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  3. Flash cards aren't meant for "finding the answer". That's because
    they're random (and flashy ;-)

    I'm now learning RoR, and, seeing these cards, I'm thankful for
    Elizabeth for creating them. It's nice to go over them after you've
    finished reading a chapter in your book. Of course, as you wisely
    remarked, later I'll just go and "find the answer" and not look at
    cards.
    We aren't dealing with a mere 'programming language' but with
    framework(s).
     
    Albert Schlef, May 28, 2008
    #3
  4. Elizabeth Barnwell

    Raju Gandhi Guest

    [Note: parts of this message were removed to make it a legal post.]

    Hi Elizabeth.

    That is a pretty cool website. I certainly will be poking around to learn
    some. There is one thing I noticed, and I might be splitting hairs here, but
    the "flip" button does not cause the index card to "freeze", in that if I
    move the mouse away from the button the index card flips back. This is fine
    till there is a scroll bar in the index card, as I could not find a way to
    scroll the contents of the index card. Check out the "Syntax to generate
    inline RJS from the controller action" index card in the RJS section (its
    the right most card in the first row).

    In any case, thanks for the great resource. Lovin' it!

    Raju

    On Tue, May 27, 2008 at 7:09 PM, Elizabeth Barnwell <
     
    Raju Gandhi, May 28, 2008
    #4
  5. Yeah, this bothered me as well.
     
    Albert Schlef, May 28, 2008
    #5
  6. Elizabeth Barnwell

    Ron Fox Guest

    I don't like the definition of Mongrel. Mongrel is a web server.
    rather than interacting with a web server.

    RF
     
    Ron Fox, May 28, 2008
    #6
  7. Elizabeth Barnwell

    Mark Wilden Guest

    That's exactly what I meant. Since programming _is_ about "finding the
    answer," I don't think flash cards are the best way to learn a
    framework.
    I don't know what you mean by "mere," here.

    I try to state it more simply: Flashcards are great for memorizing
    stuff. Memorizing stuff isn't very useful in programming. Therefore,
    flashcards aren't very useful to learn programming (including learning
    a language or a framework).

    ///ark
     
    Mark Wilden, May 28, 2008
    #7
  8. But learning a framework is very different than learning to program.

    There are a few Rails-isms that are very much syntactical, like

    5.hours.ago
    I think the point is that learning a framework is very different than learning
    a language. Learning a language involves a new way of thinking, and problem
    solving, and a bit of syntax. Learning a framework is mostly memorizing.

    Simple example: It would probably take less than a day to teach any programmer
    C, assuming they didn't know. There's just not much to it.

    However, to learn to _program_ in C, you're going to want to know the C
    standard library, at least. That's going to mean knowing things like strcmp.
    And it's going to be almost entirely memorizing.

    There is some overlap, of course. Some frameworks, especially in a DSL-heavy
    language like Ruby, will play tricks with syntax and with your assumptions
    about the language. But I can see why this argument is being made for
    Rails -- once you grok MVC, and a few odd conventions like method calls in
    your class definitions (has_many, validates_uniqueness_of, and friends), the
    rest is mostly going to be memorizing details like the difference between
    AssociationProxy#size and AssociationProxy#length. (That's important, by the
    way!)
     
    David Masover, May 28, 2008
    #8
  9. Elizabeth Barnwell

    Mark Wilden Guest

    I've been posting way too much here lately, so I'll just say that if
    flashcards help you learn Rails, more power to you. Obviously, you
    have to remember a lot of stuff to do practically anything in life.
    But if I were to hire someone, I'd be much more impressed if she was
    good at googling than if she could parrot back a short description of
    Mongrel.

    ///ark
     
    Mark Wilden, May 28, 2008
    #9
  10. Not looking for a job (yet), but I actually tend more towards keeping
    http://ruby-doc.org/core and http://api.rubyonrails.org/ open in tabs than
    memorizing everything. Never touched the Rails flash cards.

    Just pointing out why it might be useful. I'm probably posting too much also,
    though...
     
    David Masover, May 29, 2008
    #10
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