This is a very ambitious beginning project that you are working on. I applaud you!
You are correct that you will need a native client. ?File change notifications are tricky. ?You are not going to find a solution that will work with windows, mac and linux. ?I suggest focusing on one platform until you build the first version.?
Background stuff that always run is called a daemon (on mac or linux) or a service (on windows.) ?You will need to learn a lot in order to?successfully?program one.
For mac and linux, you can get free libraries that will help you to ensure the daemon starts on boot, for windows you will likely have to pay someone a nominal fee for their code. ?Please ask on a C# or .NET mailing list for more information. ?
Ruby is not a suitable language for this kind of application, because ruby doesn't distribute well. ?By that I mean, it is difficult to take your code and run it on an arbitrary machine. ?The only safe way to do that when you are talking about client machines is to package the entire ruby runtime and all of the gem and library dependencies along with your code. ?=(
So, for your client code, I recommend you look into distributing a compiled binary for mac/linux and a compiled library or .NET exe for windows.
Respectfully, I disagree with ambert about directly talking to the database. ?1) you don't want to distribute the keys to the kingdom (database access) with your app 2) you are right to separate the concerns of the server from the client.. the client talks to a well-defined interface on the server so the client and server can change?independently?(ie: you can change the db schema without requiring a new client be downloaded.)
At this point, it should be clear that you are going to create 2 applications: a file monitoring / reporting application and a server / diff / emailing application.?
The latter is much much much easer than the former if you are distributing it out in the wild.
If you just want this for yourself, you can do it with cron and a shell script (like most things.)
On Mon, Jul 26, 2010 at 6:35 PM, Mark <[address removed]>
I am a fairly new member to RoR community and programming for that matter. I want to create a Rails app that pulls info from a file on a computer every time that file changes.
-So I'm thinking I need to have some code installed on the client computer?
-the installed code would have to be at the admin level incase any user causes the file to change?
-the installed code would then report back to a Rails application after each change of the file
-the program would need to run in the background no matter who is logged in.
Would a Ruby written program be the correct choice on the client computer or should that part of the equation be written in something else?
Anyone see in problems with trying to create this?
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