Introduction

In July 2004 David Heinemeier Hansson released Ruby on Rails, a Web framework for the Ruby programming language. It quickly gained momentum and became notorious for being a highly productive Model-View-Controller (MVC) Web framework that was particularly well suited to Agile development.

Favoring sensible conventions over verbose configuration files, Rails (as it is often called for short) aimed to simplify and improve the lives of developers by allowing rapid prototyping of Web applications.

Fast-forward a few years, and Rails is now considered to be an established framework that has had a significant influence on the world of Web development. It inspired many other frameworks, helped boost the popularity of dynamic programming languages on the Web, and has been used to implement some of the largest sites that are out there today.

Despite Rails' wide success and adoption, its community still remains Unix-centric, favoring Mac OS X, GNU/Linux, or BSD variants over Microsoft Windows. Consequently the majority of books on the subject and most of the literature you'll find online assume that you are using Unix-like operating systems and tools. Though I personally use all of the operating systems I just mentioned, I believe that learning a new language and framework can be challenging in its own right, so there is no need to make the whole experience more difficult by adding a new operating system and its ecosystem of tools to the learning curve.

Until today, if you were ...

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