The second development tool in the “simple must have” category would be Capistrano. Capistrano is a deployment system that was written in ruby and is (not suprisingly) integrates quite nicely with Ruby on Rails. However! you can quite happily use it for any system, because at it’s heart, it is just a remote scripting tool.
When you run capistrano, you call a recipe, which is executed on the remote server or servers via SSH and it works really well.
The capistrano hand book has the latest installation instructions, so check there, but the basics (at the time of writing) are:
gem install capistrano
This will install the cap application. The tutorial from Simple Complexity – it deals with most of the difficult stuff (it’s actually really easy) and I don’t think I can put it any more eloquently.
Follow the steps and then you too can love the one-command deployment. I use it at MadPilot (for 88 Miles) and at Bam all the time. It’s great.
Next week: Part III