I'm sure many have heard discussions about the DLR and IronRuby coming out of MIX07.

As a guy who cares about great developer experiences and great user experiences, I've also paid some attention to Ruby on Rails.

So last night, I thought I'd dig in.

Instant Rails seems to be a popular place to start. A one-stop-shop for Ruby + Rails + Apache + MySQL. All runs on Windows by just extracting a zip file. (The only hiccup I encountered was making sure that port 80 was available.)

After I got things running and clicked around a bit, I realized I was trying to learn Japanese by picking up a book and trying to cross reference concepts to a Japanese-English dictionary.

Not very effective.

What I needed was a "vocabulary" and "grammar" introduction. (In quotes, because I'm referring to my Japanese analogy and not programming language constructs.) 

After the obvious search term--"ruby tutorial"--I stumbled upon an amazing tool: Try Ruby.

Holy cow! A ruby interpreter in-browser. A great way to understand the language. I had a bit of trouble dealing with mistyped lines, but otherwise, it's an amazing tool.

More programming languages should be presented this way.

This is certainly worth a few hours on a Tuesday night.

Kudos to the developers.