RailsInstaller is Instant Rails Evolved

Today the great team led by Wayne Sequin (rvm fame) and Luis Lavena (RubyInstaller fame)  and initiated by Dr. Nic Williams of Engine Yard released RailsInstaller.

In the Box

RailsInstaller is really what Instant Rails brought to Windows developers wanting to write Ruby and Ruby on Rails code, but now evolved.  RailsInstaller takes Ruby and Rails to their current versions and add some other niceties to give the Windows developer the ability to create real Rails applications today.  Included is:

  • Ruby 1.8.7-p330
  • Rails 3.0.3
  • Git 1.7.3.1
  • Sqlite 3.7.3
  • DevKit

I would expect that we would see a Ruby 1.9.2 at some point but imagine there must be some technical hurdles to get beyond before it makes sense to release.

Installation

Installation is a breeze by just following the simple installation wizard all Windows users know all about.   A nice video has been created to show how to install and get started:

The video is very clear and the installation wizard really simple, just follow the directions and keep the defaults for the best experience.

RailsInstaller1

The installer explains clearly what is being installed in this particular version.

RailsInstaller2

The default is to add to the PATH statement.  I would recommend keeping this so your system knows where to find all the needed executables.

RailsInstallerMenu

You should notice a nice shortcut to a Ruby and Rails prompt all setup to use.

RailsInstallerPrompt

The Ruby version as well as the Git version are cleanly shown.  You are good to go.

I was lucky enough to have a prerelease build of the tool and even in a prerelease state, they guys did a great job.  It was easy to create Rails apps and have them running in no time.  Keep in mind that not all Ruby gems will yet be compatible with Windows.  If you encounter issues you are best advised to contact the person in charge of the gem project you are trying to install.

I encourage everyone to who is interested in Rails on Windows in a clean package to download the installer now and give it a go.

Moving Instant Rails Forward

It has been a long time since InstantRails has been brought up-to-date and I had been wondering if the community had any continued interest in the project.

Well, recently I had been contacted about the project and moving it forward and bring it to Rails 3 and Ruby 1.9.2.

Instant Rails 2.0

Today Instant Rails 2.0 consists of fairly old Ruby on Rails components:

  • Ruby version 1.8.6 Patch Level 111
  • Rails to 2.0.2
  • Mongrel to 1.1.2
  • RubyGems to 1.0.1
  • Rake to 0.8.1
  • SQLite3
  • Apache
  • MySQL
  • phpMyAdmin

Instant Rails vNext

The goal of the next version of Instant Rails would be something really easy to install and use.  One of the great features of Instant Rails today is the ability to extract the Instant Rails zip file to any directory you choose and have the ability to delete it later without the fancy uninstall ceremony we usually see in Windows.

I wrote here in the past about setting up to run Ruby on Rails 3 on Windows.  The steps are not complicated but may be more than new developers are able to follow.

My initial thoughts of components to be included:

  • Ruby 1.9.2
  • Rails 3.0.1
  • RubyGems and Rake latest
  • SQLite3
  • No Apache or Mongrel, just WebBrick
  • Git Support

In the spirit of keeping these simple; what am I missing?  What components are missing?

Let’s not talk features just yet but major components only.  I am leaving out Apache and MySQL as I don’t think they’re needed.  WebBrick and SQLite3 work just fine for development purposes.

Please provide your thoughts in the comments as to the interest in a new version of Instant Rails and also what components are needed.

Thank you.