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.)
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.