Mon Jul 6 15:01:58 EDT 2009


Since my previous field report, I have:

  • participated in a discussion of how the CCTS (the org I'm serving)
    should develop its "business" in the future.
  • helped the hiring process by placing ads and by participating in
    the interview of a candidate;

Menus and Uploads


I implemented the "main menu" for our CMS. Nine rules determine which pages the menu indexes when a given page is being displayed.

Currently, I am working on the ability to import HTML files exported from Microsoft Word (even though everyone should switch to

Still Working on CMS


I am still working on the CMS.

I am investigating how we can accept uploads of Microsoft Word documents and extract the content from them to convert to our format.

Most recently I contributed some test cases to the tests that get run repeatedly to defend against breaking the code.

Comment from Kevin Palmer on January 24, 2008 - 3:02pm

Hey Jack,

As always I'm impressed by your Ruby know-how. One quick question: for an amateur like myself where would be a good place to start learning Ruby-on-Rails basics/how did you learn it? Thanks!

Comment from Jack Waugh on January 24, 2008 - 4:27pm

Hey, Kevin.

I started learning (I still have a lot to learn when it comes to the Rails framework) from Hansson, Thomas Heinemeier: _Agile Web Development with Rails_. However, I have heard at least one other Rails developer cite some other book, that I don't remember, that he said he liked better than Hansson's. You might want to scan some of the fora for conversations where others have asked for book recommendations and the more experienced people have responded. Maybe you'll see two or three reviews putting some other book above that one. Not that it's a bad book; I think its approach teaches quite well. He begins with the simplest working examples and builds on those.

One problem with writing about Rails is that Rails evolves pretty fast by comparison to the time scale on which books get published.

By the way, I came across a development that's maybe to the alpha-test stage, for which the author claims programming efficiency to put Rails to shame. See Flower.

Comment from Jack Waugh on January 25, 2008 - 10:30am

My mentor just wrote to me, "As an aid in learning Rails, and if you haven't already, I strongly suggest
spending some time with the screencasts at ". Those are free. Our other co-worker routinely watches one of those while he has his lunch, and he says they have informed him greatly.