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Documentation, Tutorials, Screencasts - tell us which you need most

Which subjects should we cover next?
by Huw Collingbourne
Monday 29 September 2008.

We have always put a high priority of documentation and tutorials. I am currently planning some new tutorials and I would value your opinions on the topics that are likely to be of most use to our users.

The broad areas we are looking at are as follows:

- The Ruby In Steel IDE

As if Visual Studio itself weren’t complex enough, Ruby In Steel adds a whole load more features into the mix. I’ve already written some tutorials on the basic features such as the editor, debugger, tools for Rails and our drag+drop design environment, The Visual Rails Workbench. So what next...?

Here are some topics I am considering:
- More on ‘dynamic debugging ‘ (the ability to create and modify Ruby objects and data inside the debugger)
- More on special debugger features such as conditional breakpoints
- Debugging Rails applications
- More on the Visual Rails Workbench
- A more in depth guide to our dedicated Rails tools
- ‘Cheat sheets’ to common features and shortcuts in the editor
- Moving to Ruby In Steel from other languages or IDEs (and, if so, which ones?)

- Project-based Tutorials

My ‘create a blog with Rails’ tutorials are among the most popular articles on this site. Do people want more of this type of tutorial?

Possible topics might be:
- More complex Rails projects with Ruby In Steel (a bigger blog or a bug-logging system, for example)
- More tutorials on other frameworks (I’ve written one on Ramaze already - how about some on Merb or other frameworks?)
- ‘Pure Ruby’ projects - say, database applications or games
- .NET/Ruby projects - using our free .NET/Ruby Connector widget maybe?

- Ruby Tutorials

We already have one free Ruby programming eBook and another much bigger one in preparation. But maybe there are specific Ruby programming topics that it would be useful to cover. If so, please feel free to suggest them.

Web Tutorials, eBooks or Screencasts?

Well, which do you prefer?

Currently we have tutorials in all three formats on the site: tutorials to read online, free eBooks to download and ‘watch and listen’ screencast movies. Let us know which format is most useful to you.

Please bear in mind that it takes a lot of our time and effort to produce all the documentation and screencasts and we simply won’t be able to produce all the tutorials I’ve suggested above in the very near future. That’s why we need to focus in on the ones that are of most use to people.

In the meantime, also bear in mind that we already have a huge variety of information on this site already so please check what’s available before suggesting anything new...

In particular, take a look at:

- Tutorials
- Screencast Tutorials
- The Little Book Of Ruby
- The Book Of Ruby

OK, now over to you. So, in terms of tutorials and screencasts, what do you think should we do next...?

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