On Learning Code

As we gear up for Prism development proper, I have been trying to get up to speed with some coding basics so that I can hit the ground running. Here are the learning aids that I have found most useful over the past couple weeks. Nearly all of these materials can be found in the Praxis Program’s scratchpad.…. Continue reading “On Learning Code”.

Rails is kind of hard to get up and running

To pile onto an overrused trope: for a web framework famed for its use of use, Rails (and maybe Ruby itself) are really surprisingly difficult to get up and running. In hindsight, the very existence of tools like RVM and Bundler to handle the management of Ruby environments and libraries is a bit of a hint. I’ve…. Continue reading “Rails is kind of hard to get up and running”.


It turns out that Fixnums are special and are represented as “immediate values”, which from what I understand is just Ruby for “literals”. This kind of lets the air out of the whole “everything in Ruby is an Object” when they are really no such thing.

Fizz Buzz

Wayne asked us newbies to solve the Fizz Buzz problem for homework. Here is my solution. I got stuck at the start, where I couldn’t remember how to make anything print–let alone all the numbers between 1 and 100. I also got stuck on how and where to introduce the iterative step. I find the way…. Continue reading “Fizz Buzz”.

Holy crap

You can dynamically add methods to built-in classes in Ruby without re-instantiating them?

Learning Ruby (again)

Things are going a bit better than the last time I tried to pick up Ruby. Part of it is just the fact that I’m not learning it this time for work, but kind-of on the side. But I think a big part of it is just getting my feet wet with just the Ruby language rather…. Continue reading “Learning Ruby (again)”.

Onward and Upward

This week we wrapped up git and got started on Ruby. I’m starting to build the muscle memory with git. Although they are mostly simple tasks I can make a change in an html document, stage those changes, and then commit them to a repository in github. This feels like major progress given how I…. Continue reading “Onward and Upward”.

Trial by Fire

After several weeks of dreaming big and working through some conceptual difficulties, we Praxis fellows have returned to the concrete task of learning to code and program.   Currently, we are wandering our way through the world of Ruby on Rails.   It has been a while since I have had the opportunity to learn something completely…. Continue reading “Trial by Fire”.

Updating Visualizations and Users

We have three new updates for Prism!  First, we slightly changed the html markup for our document files, so our James Joyce excerpt from Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is now formatted correctly!  Second, we decided to tweak our visualizations.  Originally, once users select a category for visualizations,  the entire text would turn…. Continue reading “Updating Visualizations and Users”.

Building and Texts

Alex and I finally have something to show for all our work! We built the document model for Prism that allows us to add new texts to the database!  It even passes the tests we built!  We’re putting the finishing touches on it now, but we should easily make our deadline of this afternoon, so…. Continue reading “Building and Texts”.