2010/06/26

TryRuby is an awesome way to learn a new programming language

tryruby

Ruby is one of those trendy programming languages. It's supposed to be all "elegant" and stuff. 37signals uses it, and it has one of the craziest textbooks I have ever seen in my life. In other words, it's a language that's trying hard to woo my inner hipster, and I must say, it's kind of working.

So, I started playing around with it. I made a simple script, modified another script and did all the stuff most people usually do when they set out to tinker with a new programming language. Then, I found the perfect complement to my learning system: TryRuby.org.

It's an interactive Ruby shell that guides you through a really fun -- and somewhat offbeat -- tutorial. Rather than you following along, you might say that it follows you. You can do anything you want and play around and test stuff, but as soon as you execute the specific line that the program was waiting for, it moves on to the next screen. There's one lesson online at the moment, and it takes you through the bare essentials in just 15 minutes. Not everything worked perfectly for me (the file reading functions didn't work), but it was still a very nice experience and an innovative learning system.

The site was originally created by why the lucky stiff, that mythical Ruby figurehead who completely vanished off the scene and made an interesting story into a fascinating one. But why, _why's story is for another time, I guess. What you need to know is that the writing on the site is quirky and interesting, and it has been taken over by a developer who goes by the name "Sophrinix" and told me, over email, that new lessons are coming soon.

Try it out, and stay tuned for the next lesson!

Posted via email from Traction Lobe