Tag Archives: rails

At a complete (Rails) loss

I’ve been banging my head against the wall for almost a week with a Rails application. This post is not a plea for help – I’d use a forum for that – just a record of the problem. That said, feel free to comment, especially if you have a similar problem.

This is all using Rails 2.3.2, Mongrel 1.1.5, installed as gems on Ubuntu 9.04.

The basic issue: 2 models, 2 controllers, 2 sets of views. Identical in almost every respect, little more than basic CRUD (index, create, update, destroy). (1) works, (2) does not.

Update – thanks for your comments, here and elsewhere. In the end I rebuilt from scratch with scaffolding and it’s all good so far. Guess there was something rogue in my hand-crafted code.
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Baby steps with RSRuby in Rails

Plotting and charting libraries for Ruby (on Rails) abound. However, few are sophisticated enough for scientists and many are not actively maintained. Plotting in R, on the other hand, is about as sophisticated as it comes.

Can we bridge Ruby and R? Yes we can, thanks to Alex Gutteridge’s RSRuby. The next logical question: how to plot data using RSRuby in your shiny new Rails application?
Update Jul 22: recently, the code in this post has stopped working for me (unwanted X windows pop up, stack smashing errors) – so use at your discretion or not at all!
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Thoughts on other programming languages

With respect to their potential for bioinformatics web applications:

Feature Python Ruby
Modern, clean syntax, object-oriented Yes Yes
Web framework Django (and others) Rails (and others)
Bio library BioPython BioRuby
Extensive Bio graphics library Not really – any more than this? Kind of – Bio::Graphics
Use with App Engine Yes Not yet
Well-regarded by scientific programmers Yes M. Wood, J. Badger, ??

To the novice, it looks like “much of a muchness”. Thoughts?