Hello World is the traditional way to start any new framework. Hello World in Rails is fairly simple, around six lines of code. In this section we’ll create an MVC hello world using a simple model, a controller, and a view, in fact the full MVC stack.
This will take us about three minutes. Rails is nice that way.
Create your rails application
At a terminal type:
rails new HelloWorld
This initialises a new blank application called HelloWorld
Start your rails application server
At a terminal navigate to your HelloWorld directory and type:
Wait for the application to start then in a web browser visit:
Creating a Controller
Create a new file in the app/controllers directory called hello_controller.rb
class HelloController < ApplicationController def index @text = "Hello World!" end end
This controller defines a single method called index. Index is the default controller action. If you’re familiar with HTML this should make sense.
The index method creates an instance variable called @text.
Creating a View
In the app/views/hello directory (you’ll need to create this directory) create a file called index.html.erb containing the following
<h1>Hello World</h1> <%= @text %>
Views have access to the controller’s instance variables. You don’t need to do any work to pass them through, they’re just there.
Create a route
Visit config/routes.rb. Take a moment to read the helpful instructions, then add the line:
get '/hello' => 'hello#index', :as => :hello_world
This line creates a named route (called hello_world). It matches the HelloController index method.
In a web browser visit:
And there we are. Of course we’re only touching on the awesome power of Rails here, but this should give you an idea of how easy things are to get going.
Exercise - Goodbye World
Change your app into a goodbye world app. Here are the thing’s you’ll need to do:
- Add a new controller goodbye_controller.rb.
- Add a route.
- Add a view
Make it so that you can visit http://localhost:3000/goodbye to see the goodbye view.
Exercise - Tell the time
We’re going to create a simple website that displays the current time and date.
- Create a controller called something like time_controller.
- Add a route
- In your controller create a variable called @time which contains the value: Time.now. This is just the current time.
- Write a view which outputs the value of the @time variable. Look up strftime for help with this.
Exercises - Root URL
Adjust your app so it responds to the root url. You should be able to visit:
and see hello world.
- First delete public/index.html
- Now view the instructions in config/routes.rb to create a default URL.