CNK's blog

Rails Installer on Windows XP

I hear good things about using Rails Installer on Windows but thought I should have some first hand experience before the RailsBridge install fest on Friday. So I fired up the old Windows XP box in the back room and after installing all the Windows updates, I got started. I clicked “Download the Kit” and double clicked it to run. Almost immediately I got a warning about a file that was not accessible AND a popup window from Semantec AntiVirus. So I launched the tool and under “Configure” -> “File System Auto-Protect” turned off the auto-protect while the installer was running.

In the command prompt that was supposed to configure git and ssh, I seem to already have values. It came up with user.name and user.email for me - but I am not sure where it got my name and email address. Is that configured somewhere in Windows? And I should have checked for ssh keys before I ran the installer. It has a key pair with an older date - but it isn’t my usual pair. It might be my key pair from when I was playing with PGP encrypting my mail on ugcs ages ago. But not I don’t see that pair there so I have my doubts.

The stated versions of things are:

Git            1.7.9.msygit
Ruby           1.9.3p125
Rails          3.2.1

Looks pretty good. Wonder if there would be any problems upgrading the Rails gems to pick up the security patches.

Rails new works and I can start up Webrick in the usual way. Semantec asks me if I want to keep blocking “Ruby” and I answered no - and then I could see the welcome page at http://localhost:3000

Github stuff

The installer creates a task called publickey that copies the generated public key to your clipboard. On XP it complained about ‘clip’ not being a recognized command - but then worked just fine. I could paste my new public key into the appropriate place in Github. I think the path changes that RailsInstaller made only work in the Command Prompt app. I could push to gethub from the terminal but NOT from the shell in emacs. In emacs, my pushes just hung and never timed out or errored. I could Ctr-C out of them - and it always asked me if I wanted to terminate a batch job. I doubt this will bother any of our RailsBridge students so I am not going to investigate any further.

The video on the RailsInstaller site discusses deploying on EngineYard. We are planning to deploy the RailsBridge stuff on free Heroku instances, but I suspect some of the hints may be of use to us. EngineYard uses MySQL instead of Postgres but the “add the database driver for group :production” is the same. The video then says to run “bundle install –without production” so that version information about the database driver gets into the Gemfile.lock. THEN the video told me to edit Gemfile.lock and delete “x86-mingw32” from the version numbering for mysql2 - and anywhere else I see it. It also said to add “ruby$” as a line under PLATFORMS (above the “x86-mingw32” line).

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