Monday, April 24, 2006

The more I think about it, the more I'm really into this "open think tank" idea that I posted about little while ago. I ran across similar thinking in some comments on a Daily Kos posting about the need for more progressive think tanks. At least two other people are interested, so maybe I can get to know them and we can come up with something cool.

In the mean time, I've gotten started, slowly but surely. I purchased the URL There's nothing on it yet, but I'll be putting up a concept description, requirements, some sketches, and eventually the prototype and actual site. I've got a lot of thinking and design work to do before getting into the nitty gritty of it, so stay tuned.

In the mean time, though, there are some technical issues to attend to. I don't have any server space at the moment. Can anyone recommend a good provider? I'm thinking I will build the site with Ruby On Rails, so I'll need someone who runs Apache and MySQL. I imagine this is true for most server providers, but it's a requirement nonetheless.

Since I don't actually know Ruby, I'll have to learn. I'm going to start with some of the online tutorials. Rolling On Rails on O'Reilly seem pretty good. But I'm a sucker for old fashioned paper, and am looking at the following two books:

Programming Ruby: The Pragmatic Programmers' Guide, Second Edition

Agile Web Development with Rails : A Pragmatic Guide

Has anyone used these? Are they good? Or would you recommend something better?


At 3:05 PM, Blogger Dan Craig said...

One idea I got from a co-worker at lunch today is the idea of tagging the individual files stored in the version control file storage. I had been thinking it would be a good idea to be able to tag whole projects, but he pointed out that tagging the individual files, which will likely be raw data or analysis that is used in the final paper, would make it easy to search across projects. That way, you could pull together raw data and analysis from other projects to use in a new project. Great way to take advantage of the open source paradigm.


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