Well, I’ve been playing with Rails a bit more at work now, building a project tracker system for internal use. It’s been a great learning experience, however little time I’ve had to spend on it, and I believe my relational mapping skills have come around on it. I’ve learned how important it is to plan the relationships/models before ever implementing views or even controller logic. The Rails console came in very handy in figuring out relationships when they weren’t readily apparent, as well as for generating one-off test data. (Haven’t got around to proper unit testing, nor will I on this project as I haven’t got time… but I plan on getting into that) Migrations are not the funnest things to write, and sorting through them to find your current list of all columns for a given model can be a major pain… as can flipping back and forth between your SQL manager of choice and your model files in developing the relationships. (as has been pointed out in the article I’m about to link to, all of this data is available in schema.rb, but that’s a longish file and not the optimal way to go about reading off information about a single model/table)
Other stuff and nonsense after the jump…
So when writing migrations gets you down, know that just around the corner is a whole new sexy migration tool from Tom at Hobo Central. Tom is responsible for the current “sexy migrations” trend in Rails and has some amazing ideas. The new tool allows you to define all columns and relationships within the models themselves, and based upon the comparison between current models and previous schema, the migration generator migration files to do all the work of both up and down methods! That’s right, no more typing redundant code which is just a mirror of the previous method def! I’d love to see this implemented in core Rails. Let us pray…
There are no books specifically on CakePHP. Not a single one. So whoever writes the first few books will probably make out pretty well in royalties for a while! Hint, Hint! I may write one myself if I ever get round to learning it that well before it takes off!
On the PHP front, Aptana has now added PHP support to the nightly build! Yeehaw! Abandon all PDT and PHP Eclipse, ye who enjoy the Aptana Experience!
Another recent IDE/editor interest of mine (other than TextMate… drool) is jEdit. With the Ruby plugin, SuperAbbrevs, TextAutocomplete and a few other choice plugins (all freely available and without any additional Web browsing to retrieve) jEdit can pose as a fairly capable TextMate replacement. I’d mentioned this in a previous blog entry or two, but I’m really coming to love this editor. The fact that it has Ruby/Rails documentation as you type (as well as dictionary-based code completion) has had me using it over TextMate for Rails for the time being. (I’m not as used to Rails code as I’d like to be, yet) Now that I’ve added the other two plugs (SuperAbbrevs and TextAutocomplete) I have most of what was missing coming from a TextMate background. (snippet templates and completion of previously-typed words) Very much looking forward to going ever deeper with this tool.
I’ve got a new job! Hanley Wood publish a few dozen magazines for the construction marketplace, and I’ll be part of their dev team working on a massive CMS to manage all of these sites. Very exciting.