Hilary Bailey wrote in post #979218:
> > A) since I intend to use the internet as the major source of
> communication, learning ruby through Rails may be my starting point.

Rails is a powerful package but I would think twice about getting
involved in it right now.

Ruby can be accessible but equally it can be very inscrutable to all but
very knowledgable and capable programmers eg most of the people on this
channel.

The problem with Rails is it is a whole new langusge to learn. It is
more like a DSL. If you are struggling with just Ruby, why climb another
mountain at the same time?

Start dabbling with Scite. Open IRB in another window, and a command
prompt for ri in a third window. Explore Ruby's basic behaviours. Follow
a simple Ruby book. Ask a few questions and get comfortable with simple
things.

Yukihiro Matsumoto is said to have designed Ruby based on the Principle
of Least Surprise. When you read that, just remember he wrote the
language so it's not exactly surprising that he doesn't get surprised
about what he created.

I programmed in a number of older languages. You could pick them up in a
few weeks and have real applictions running in no time. Then with great
excitement I crossed over to Ruby-like languages with Visual C++. It was
a different world - an order of magnitude more baffling.

It's fascinating to write a few lines of Ruby and load data into and out
of a database, script a web site or make the numbers on Excel move
magically of their own accord.

Building a credible web application is a whole different ball game.

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