[Nitro] Og standalone experience - whew - so good... but hard to get anywhere as a newbie.

David Williams david at makingthings.com
Sat Oct 27 15:39:29 EDT 2007

I'm just starting with Og.  I love the way it's put together and the way it
feels to work with it and I think I'll be able to do great things with it.

Congatulations to all concerned.

class Book
  property :author, String

Makes the database, table and makes sure it's all up to date! Are you
kidding?  This is SO easy.  So good.

I have comments which I hope can be helpful in showing what I encountered.
Sensitive to how these posts can sound I'd like to emphasize that my
intention is not to whine, but to point out how hard it is for newbies to
get a purchase in here.  I'd also like to help if I can.  

1) There are a lot of dead ends that a newbie encounters when trying to
understand Og.  There's the beautiful http://www.nitroproject.org/ with
documentation with version 0.42 (but the version number is very hard to
find).  The online repository seems to have not been altered since June
2007.  When I try to add a note to the Fora (prior to which I was required
to get an OpenId) I find that having composed a post, the post button is
ignored (Firefox / Windows).  A few words on the front page describing where
things are would be so golden.  Sometimes just a sentence or two of accurate
status can be so helpful.

2) When I do a gem install og I seem to get Og 0.41, yet I see mentions of
0.50.  What is the latest release?  When is 0.50 going to be released.  I
worry when I see so much heavy lifting and refactoring going on in the
codebase that 0.50 is not going to be for a while.  This means that I don't
know what to concentrate on 0.4x or 0.5.

5) The most active forum seems to be this one
(http://rubyforge.org/mailman/listinfo/nitro-general) but I can't see how to
search it!  This makes a lot of the knowledge tied up in it inaccessible.

6) Finding a few paragraphs that describe and give examples of polymorphism
and schema_inheritance is quite a challenge.  Having looked around a little
I have gleaned snippets from tests.  Could someone consolidate these and put
them into the source code so RDoc at least can find them?

7) I grabbed the latest version from the darc's repository, since people
were saying "Don't use the 0.4x, use the latest".  This was tricky itself...
but that's another story.  But I found that SchemaInhertance doesn't seem to
work.  (Og::SchemaInheritanceBase is missing?). And I can't find any test
files to see how I should use polymorphism.

8) I installed the latest version via gem.  I made the gems myself according
to the instructions I found.  But this was tricky since a) the rake script
seems to assume a unix-y shell and so didn't work too well and b) once I was
doing it on a Linux box the code to transfer the .gemspec's into the dist
directory didn't seem to work.

If any of this can be delegated to me with guidance please give it a shot.

I think my main hope in this is to get someone - George maybe - to write a
short paragraph that can be put around (on rubyforge and nitroproject)
saying "Hi!  The team and I working on stuff like crazy.  Here's where we're
at.  If you just want to play use 0.4x - be aware that ___ and ___ have been
massively re-written also don't worry about the startup speed, that's been
fixed too. If really need the new features, you'll need to pull from the
repo, however, be aware that ___ and ______ are not working right now.  ____
will be fixed tomorrow, but _____ doesn't look too close at all.  If you
want to contribute or discuss, use ____ forum, since we don't look at the
others too much.  My timeframe for a general release for Nitro and Og V0.50
is _____."  Or something.  This would have made my entry into Og much more

Thanks and sorry for the long post.

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