Discovering Ember.js


My workhouse, Mid-2010, 17-inch MacBook Pro appears to be developing a video hardware problem: with increasing frequency the external video display randomly flashes black, and Expose' displays window icons instead of windows. I think the video driver is either corrupt or the adapter/memory may be on the verge of failing. Because I rely so much on this machine, it's prudent to be on the safe side. So the old MacBook Pro has been replaced by a new, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro.

That's the good news.

The bad news is that I now need to migrate my data and reinstall my apps -- including rebuilding Ruby On Rails.

I have done this several times, and frankly, it's getting old. This is because Rails installation has become more complex over the years (at least for me). 

In the process of searching for the latest and greatest Rails installation guidance, I discovered the Rails.App project by Yehuda Katz which is intended to address the issue of simplifying Rails installation in a comprehensive manner. I'm aware of the supposed "controversy" and I'll wade into it and stand squarely behind and beside Yehuda.

He is 100% correct. Over the years, Rails installation has become so complex that Rails has become the Objective-C of web app development frameworks -- in the sense that the learning curve is enough to scare off the "hobbyist" or casual programmer.

Enter Ember.js:

Well, Rails.App led me to Ember.js this past weekend. Ember.js is intended to provide a simple javascript development framework that is suitable for complex applications. I spent some time playing with Ember.js and I'm happy to report that I am very excited about it. So happy that I'm going to hold off on installing Rails on the new rig. I know that any serious Ember app also needs a backend app and many are excited about the Ember/Rails combination.

Which brings me to the second Rails issue I've encountered: Rails is a bear to deploy for the casual/hobbyist programmer. As a result, I'm inclined to explore a Ember/Yii front-end/back-end solution. I'll delve into the backend in a later blog post.

In this post I want to summarize my initial Ember.js setup.

Here goes:

I'm especially psyched about the Coda 2 / PHP & Web Toolkit plugin combo as it provides a 100% self-contained IDE that does not require me to switch back and forth between an editor and browser.

The big deal here is that the plug-in turns on ALL of the Webkit inspector features (especially the Console log which is essential for Ember.js debugging) inside Coda 2!  See:

Prior to installing the plugin, I could not find a way to display the console log which forced me to use either Safari or Chrome for previewing app output.


More to come ...

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