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[Update] Ruby Zen: Ruby for Beginners

Note: This is also available at
<http://rubyzen.org/tiki-view_blog_post.php?postId=1>
in its full, HTML formatted glory.

This also announces <http://rubyzen.org>, Ruby Zen's home on the interwebs!

==============================cut here==================================

Hello, everyone!

It's been a while since the last update of the project (and it was on my 
private blog to boot, but we have our own now), but we have been busy.

What is going on, then?

!!Architectural discussion
The benefit of working in a team is that many eyes have a look on 
everything that is going on, and that is being decided. Concerns were 
raised if I wasn't too wedded to the "Ruby Appliance" idea, and we 
discussed the idea from a fresh perspective. A 
[http://rubyzen.org/tiki-index.php?page=Self-contained+Ruby+Distribution&bl=y|Self-contained 
Ruby Distribution] could work just as well for our desired goal, as a VM 
would. Maybe even easier. In this model, a virtual machine appliance 
would become another way of deploying Ruby in a, say, school environment.

Most of the work (bundling Ruby + Gems, providing tutorials and an 
editing environment) has to be done anyway.

!!Evaluation of Linux distributions
Aldric is hard at work in building a Gentoo-based Linux VM. A discussion 
and download link can be found 
[http://rubyzen.org/tiki-view_forum_thread.php?comments_parentId=5&topics_offset=3&topics_sort_mode=lastPost_desc&forumId=2|here]. 
Chime in, if you have anything to add.

!!Reigning in goals
Vyper created a nice overview of the sub-projects that make up Ruby Zen. 
[http://rubyzen.org/tiki-index.php?page=Developer+Documentation&bl=y|The 
Developer Documentation] contains a more detailed write up, but here are 
the high points:
*Zen Editor: An IDE of sorts, tailored to a programming beginner's 
needs, with easy access to tutorials and documentation.
*Ruby Zen: The Ruby distribution, containing everything a beginner will 
need to get going fast. Eventually a Ruby distribution that can be 
deployed by professional developers for professional developers 
(including a build-chain for gems!).
*Zen Linux: Our Linux distribution, pre-packaged and ready to go, for 
beginners and developers alike.

!!Ruby Zen needs you
At the moment, we are three people doing the work. While we can do a 
lot, we would like help (also, the more the merrier). If you don't know 
if you can help, here's a list of what we are looking for:
*Linux gurus. Have experience with a Linux distribution? Get in touch, 
we can use your help. Especially if you have experience with 
re-mastering LiveCDs.
*Ruby gurus and users. Have a neat little trick? Have a snipped of 
documentation for Ruby's core or standard library? Have a tutorial, even 
if it is just for one tiny feature of Ruby? Know of a particularly 
surprising Ruby Gotcha? Get in touch, and help newbies navigate this 
particular corner.
*Ruby beginners. What did you find particularly hard to do when you 
started your journey with Ruby? Where do you think you could've used 
more help? Get in touch with your question / area of concern. Your 
feedback and ideas are most valuable to us at Ruby Zen.

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pg46 (58)
1/22/2010 9:52:14 PM
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