Well Beginning Ruby isn't like that
A couple of months ago I rather rashly announced that I wanted to learn Ruby in the New Year. For those of you who don't know, Ruby is a free programming language, and it is used for all kinds of things, but most notably these days in the web framework, Ruby on Rails (ROR). It was a stupid resolution, because although I have knowledge of other programming languages, such as VB and Python, I am not a natural programmer. I work in IT, and have for many years, and have coded a lot of stuff, but I'm an artist at heart and find programming hard work. But I wanted to find out more about ROR, and to do that I needed to learn Ruby first.
Well, here we are nearly three months later. How did I get on? Well, I've got to say it, after learning Python a few years back I was convinced that it would be the language of choice for me, the mother language that I would always reach for when I had a problem that I couldn't solve any other way. Now, after reading Peter Cooper's book Beginning Ruby, I wont go back to Python again.
What made me change my mind? It has got to do as much with the effectiveness and good design of the Ruby language itself as the brilliant way the Beginning Ruby book is written. I have read several "how to" and introduction to programming books over the years. My problem with them is this, they start out easy. Great. Then they get a little harder as they progress. Fine. Then BAM! They hit you with a barrage of unintelligible stuff, and you think, "How did we get to here?"
Well Beginning Ruby isn't like that. Yes it starts out gentle, although it does introduce object oriented stuff very early, which it has to considering Ruby's got it built in everywhere. But it doesn't then dump you floundering about in a mire of complexity. It slowly ramps up, explaining and showing as we progress. I think it is the best "beginning" programming book out there. The examples are fresh and completely usable. And it doesn't feel "dated" like some programming books I have read in the past. This book is a breath of fresh air in programming languages.
Now as I've said, that might be the outcome of having a modern, well designed language to work with, but I have started books and been to several web sites that have tried to explain Ruby to me before, but they didnt succeed. So I have to assume that it is down to the writing and explaining skills of Peter Cooper that I have to thank for my new excitement with Ruby. I haven't quite finished the book yet, but I'm getting there. A recommended read.
Community spirit on twitter
There is something starting to develop on Twitter that I don't think I've seen on any other social network so far. There seems to be a real growing sense of community. Now, you might say so what? We've seen communities online before. Stretching right from the dial-up BBS's, through to Facebook. That's true, they were communities, but this doesn't seem to me to be like anything I've seen previously. This community has a heart. It really does care, and its growing and evolving.
My first example is the best. Bobby Rill has been tirelessly campaigning on Twitter for her friend, Michelle Noins, who Rob has never actually met in person, who has breast cancer. Rob has started a fund to collect for Mich, the frozen pea fund, so named after the frozen peas that Mich was advised to put on her breast to stop the pain.To raise awareness of this Rob suggested that people change their avatars to include peas, to stimulate the conversation. This has been a great success, with people not only changing their pictures (or pea-vatars), but showing support by pledging money to the cause. And it's more than a fad.
The most amazing thing is that most of these people have never met Michelle Noins. They only know her either through Rob's efforts or through Twitter or Mich's Blog. They have been brought together by this new medium. It's not like reading a blog, where people often use more formal language and are careful what they write. In a blog what people have said may have happened days or weeks before. Twitter seems more like IM, where people put more of themselves into the conversation. And as it's spread out over time, you get to experience what people are saying in their time frame. It makes it all seem more real.
As a result the sense of belonging or knowing that person or group seems to be heightened. Its not even like in Facebook, where that seems to be a few hours or so behind reality. Twitter is more, now. And Facebook has all the Web 1.0 accoutrements such as banner ads and all those annoying pirate and werewolf apps. Twitter is cleaner, makes you feel closer. And that is what a community is all about. Feeling closer to the people you know and care about, and extending that community in open and honest ways.
So please show you support for Michelle Noins and Bobby Rill's efforts to publicize this by visiting the site http://frozenpeafund.com and making a donation, or come onto Twitter and join in the global conversation and join our community. And send some Twitter love Rob's way as well, she has been working, from my estimation, day and night to publicize this with no financial reward for her. Well done Rob. And good luck Mich and get well soon.
News & Events
9th / January / 2015 At long last i finally got round to getting my LCD TV for my room! Rather than have a 42″ i decided to go for 32″ the price decided it for me!! £432 so can't complain at that! The service was brill…. ordered it Sunday night and it come Tuesday morning! Any way here's a pic….
9th / July / 2015 Found some pics what have been saved from the local paper! Sadly the paper is a bit knackered now so they didn't scan well!! The first one is from a car crash that happened on Ashton Road. I was round about 10!! lol I've put an arrow on to point me out but yup its me!!
9th / JAugust / 2015 Started the transformation of my room!! Decided to change the floor and rather than pay a fortune for laminate i would use viynl tiles what look like laminate!! It looks absolutely brill down!! Got some new drawers and shelves so everything is neat and tidy. What a change!! Kept me quiet for a bit. lol
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