On Fri, Jan 21, 2011 at 11:13 AM, Hilary Bailey <my77elephants / gmail.com> w=
rote:
>
> Is there anyone out there that could make my experience to Ruby
> practical and meaningful? As noted previously, I am a school teacher
> trying to create an education database software for administrators and
> teachers which will hold educational institutions accountable for the
> performance of their school district. My only programming experience is
> the confusion I had trying to read and comprehend the above sources that
> do not offer a stable compiler or the appropriate programs that will go
> hand in hand with their book or resource for Ruby.

Well, one hurdle at a time. First you need to learn to program, and
then you should tackle Ruby.

Fortunately, we can kill two birds with one stone:
http://pine.fm/LearnToProgram/

This will teach you how to program, and does it using Ruby. :)

The next step would be reading up about databases, and GUI frameworks.
Either something like the wxWidget toolkit, which allows you to write
software that runs on a computer, or a web framework, like Rails, or
Sinatra (from your problem description, I'd go with a web framework,
if the database isn't intended for just one school).

However, you won't go fast, unless you can dedicate a good amount of
time to the task. If you spend an hour or two each day to learn
programming and then the technologies you might need, let's call it a
month or two until you can tackle your original problem.

> Is there a free compiler and other supporting software that I can use to
> make my so far miserable learning Ruby experience worth a while? =A0So fa=
r
> I am still sold on the idea that Ruby is the programing language to
> know, but at this moment I really need HELP.

Well, as others have pointed out: Ruby is not a compiled language.
You'll need a text editor and/or an integrated development environment
to write Ruby programs (also called "scripts" from time to time).

Suggestions as to what to use as an editor/IDE depend highly on your
OS (Notepad is fine, but it lacks a couple of features that make life
easier). A few suggestions:
I like Notepad++ for "quick and dirty" jobs, it's free and available
for Windows.
My preferred Ruby IDE is Netbeans, which is also free, and runs on
Java, so is available for all the major OSs.

And, once you are stuck, or have questions about Ruby/programming,
feel free to send another message to this forum. :)

--=20
Phillip Gawlowski

Though the folk I have met,
(Ah, how soon!) they forget
When I've moved on to some other place,
There may be one or two,
When I've played and passed through,
Who'll remember my song or my face.