Yes, we are having a meeting this month! I apologize for my tardiness in posting this note.

This month we’re going to go into the finer points of creating Rails forms with a screencast from Pragmatic called “Forms Essentials”. They’ve been gracious enough to give us permission to show the episode to our group. It’s a part of their Mastering Rails Forms series. We are also going to get an overview of CouchDB, a “distributed, fault-tolerant and schema-free document-oriented database accessible via a RESTful HTTP/JSON API”, implemented in Erlang. Here’s a technical overview if you want to read up on it.

Part One

Episode 1: Form Essentials (30 minutes)

We’ll start by building a search form, and then move on to a form for ordering custom pizzas. The pizza form starts out with a simple text field and checkbox, but ends up with a pull-down menu for the pizza crust type (a one-to-many association) and a group of checkboxes for the pizza toppings (a many-to-many association).

You’ll learn how to:

  • use various form helpers to create form fields
  • create forms that are backed by Active Record models using form_for_
  • create forms that aren’t backed by a model using form_tag_
  • set default and initial values in form fields
  • use form field values in the params hash
  • prevent a common security problem related to mass-assignment
  • create pull-down menus for one-to-many associations
  • use checkboxes for many-to-many associations

Part Deux

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of something called CouchDB. Here we’ll answer all your questions like: What is it? How do I use it with Ruby? Why should I care? Does it like to party? We’ll cover a history of CouchDB, how to set it up, and how to get started using it today!

Brian Smith is a principal at Downtown Cartel where he works on cool and exciting stuff all the time. He also is one of the brains behind hashtags. He is really interested in problems involving deep data analysis and distributed computing. 

As per usual, we will be meeting in the offices of Datran Media/OtherInbox on the 8th floor of the Omni Hotel Building (enter by the stairs at 7th and Brazos). Please show up early to get a good seat!


The Austin On Rails SXSW Happy Hour is on for Monday, March 16th! Woot! Please show your support for this event by marking yourself as coming on Upcoming and Facebook.

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Looking forward to seeing you all!