Praise for

A couple of weeks back I discovered a great tutorial on Ruby on Rails by Michael Hartl at

The tutorial takes you through the steps of building a Twitter-like application (not a client!) from scratch. Aside from learning Ruby on Rails, this tutorial also teaches other useful technologies, techniques and best practices, such as:

  • Behaviour driven development (BDD) using RSpec for unit, integration and functional testing

  • Version control using Git

  • Deployment using Heroku

  • Basics of web design (CSS, Ajax)

  • Setting up a database (the tutorial uses the lightweight SQLite3 format, but this can be ported to ‘real’ databases quite easily with Rails)

  • Generating fake data for the test/staging database as well as the unit testing database

sloccount (SLOC: source lines of code) for the complete tutorial’s source code:

$ sloccount .
SLOC    Directory       SLOC-by-Language (Sorted)
1182    spec            ruby=1182
361     app             ruby=361
167     vendor          ruby=167
141     config          ruby=141
109     db              ruby=109
35      script          ruby=35

How to read these results?

  • app: The actual application is less than 400 lines of code (this even includes the generated HTML)! Try that using Java or ASP.NET… ;-)

  • spec: Tests are almost 4 times the size of the actual code (~1200 lines). These tests include unit, integration and functional tests!

  • Most of the remaining code is auto-generated Rails code.

You can get my commented sources from GitHub at

If you want to have a look at the application: It is currently deployed at Heroku:

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