I recently got a new laptop, a MacBook with a 13-inch display and dual core 2.0 Intel processor. I will not speak of the Mac though because it is not the time yet. I promise another review later on.
What I did want to talk about is installing Ruby and Ruby On Rails. In the past I have done so in other Mac computers with different degrees of success. Installing on the UNIX shell is not as installing in the Linux Shell. Not sir, it is not. Maybe it’s me (yes, I am a particular type of fellow). However, I never seemed to get the full installation right. Maybe my paths were wrong. Maybe the paths were right, but the original and older Ruby distribution got in the way.
I could do it in Linux with my eyes closed. I think Linux has a friendlier shell than Unix. And the FreeBSD shell in my Mac is not very friendly. In Ubuntu I can even apt-get and install, and I can’t do the same in my Mac.
So when I got my new Mac, I kind of wondered what to do. This is not Leopard; this is Tiger, with an old Python 2.2 installation and an even older Ruby 1.8.1. What is one to do? The only remedy is to Google your way out in geek language and learn to do everything the hard way.
That is, until now. Because thanks to http://www.rubyinside.com I learnt about Five Runs and its superb RM-install product.
On their on words, RM-Install, powered by BitRock, is a free, multi-platform, enterprise-class Ruby on Rails stack enabling you to instantly begin developing and deploying great Rails applications without the worry of installing or maintaining the various integrated software components.
It is so simple I doubted at first how good it would be. Just download the file and double click. After the installation I simple had to run the following command from the shell to correctly set paths:
$ source ~/rminstall/scripts/setenv.sh
And that is all! I started to use MySQL immediately, and it worked like a charm. The correct and updated version of Ruby, the Rails installation, even Apache and Mongrel, and Subversion as an added bonus!
Probably some of you are nodding left and right, thinking to yourselves “how can Ariel be such a dummy? I can install all these and more while my right side of the brain codes Assembler in XCode!” What can I say, I am not that smart.
But the beauty of RM-Install is just that, making it very simple to get the installation right for software development. I don’t do anything extraordinary, just code simple things. And I am far from destining great amount of times installing my favorite language setting since that would be contradictory on why I like it so much.
I copied my expense tracking web application, and created a database using MySQL in a snap. After running rake and migrating tables, I proceeded to run the server and found myself with a fast Mongrel (faster than my Windows box at least) and excellent Rails support.
All in all, finally the pain of installing and running Rails on Max OS X is gone. I guess all the authors will now have to change their How To Install in Mac OS X sections.