Rails For Beginners

Anything's possible with Ruby on Rails

I'm going to show you how to build a social web application like this with Ruby on Rails

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Build Your First Web App Today

This is a short course for beginners. In chapter zero you'll build your first ever real web application in roughly 20 minutes.

No Software Required

We use a browser-based development environment called Cloud9 so we can get straight into writing code.

No Messing Around

This is a web development course in fast-forward. You don't need to know the theory to build awesome social web apps.

To-Do List

To-do List App

The To-do list app we build in the free first chapter. Preview it at http://todo.railsforbeginners.com.

Memespace

Memespace Screenshot

The social meme-sharing application we build in the paid course. See it in action at http://memespace.xyz.

In the free first chapter of this course, I show you how to build a simple to-do list app with Ruby on Rails. It doesn’t have social integration or a domain name, but you’ll still get a sense for how easy it is to develop for the web.

We spend the rest of the course building a social image-sharing application. Check it out at http://memespace.xyz. Users sign in with Facebook and can post text and images to each other’s profiles, or to a shared news feed.

This course is designed to get you started developing social web applications today. You don’t need to properly understand complicated programming concepts to start creating great web applications.

Before you learn the details, I want to get you excited about web development. That’s why this is the best course for a beginner.

My name’s Alex. Check out some of my work at http://alexanderpaterson.com. Tweet at me if you have any questions – @alexandpaterson.

That's Me

Contents

Chapter 0

Your First Application

Your First Web Application

In this first free chapter, I’m going to show you how to build a simple online To-Do list with Ruby on Rails. This may just be a sample, but it is a complete, live application made entirely by you. Get ready to feel smart.

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Chapter 1

Starting Our Social App

Starting Our Social App

If you’re reading this chapter then you’ve committed to learning Ruby on Rails. Web application development is a still that’s so empowering that it may just consume your entire life. We’re going to build a full-on social image-sharing application with Facebook integration. Make it your own, and it’ll be extremely satisfying when it’s done.

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Chapter 2

Setting Up A Domain Name

Setting Up A Domain Name

This chapter is technically optional. You don’t have to go out and buy a domain name, but it’s nice to have a real website, and you can get plenty of great domain names for less than a dollar these days.

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Chapter 3

Facebook Authentication

Facebook Authentication

Our social app uses Facebook Authentication exclusively. We could build out a proper user registration system, but that would be a bit too tedious for this course. Facebook authentication is great because people don’t want another username and password to remember and they’re a lot less likely to actually use your site if they have to sign up.

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Chapter 4

User List And Profiles

User List And Profiles

This is where things get social. We’re going to set up user profile pages, and a list of every user so people can find each other.

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Chapter 5

Creating And Listing Posts

Creating And Listing Posts

Here, users are finally going to get the ability to post to a shared news feed. We’ll also give them the ability to post directly on each other’s profiles.

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Chapter 6

Posting Images

Posting Images

In this chapter we set up image-posting functionality. This involves setting up Amazon S3 to store these images for us. At this point our application is basically done, it just needs a few small improvements.

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Chapter 7

User Feedback

User Feedback

Say a user makes a post and it’s unsuccessful because they’ve attached an invalid file format. We’d like to give them some feedback and explain why. We’re going to add flash boxes in this section which provide feedback to the user when they successfully or unsuccessfully perform an action.

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Chapter 8

Friendly ID

Friendly ID For Cleaner URLs

We’d like our URLs to be meaningful, and not reveal information such as the total number of users and posts in our database. A rails gem called friendly_id solves this problem for us.

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Chapter 9

Infinite Scroll

Infinite Scroll

Our app can’t just load every single post in our newsfeed every time a user lands on it. We’re going to use a gem called will_paginate alongside a bit of javascript to give our app the infinite scroll effect that other sites like Facebook and Twitter have.

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