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3.6 out of 5 stars
Agile Web Development with Rails 3.2 (Pragmatic Programmers)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2011
After reading Michael Hartl's 'Ruby on Rails Tutorial: Learn Rails by Example', I was sadly disappointed by Agile Web Dev. with Rails.

While there are solid examples of how to use AJAX, create XML templates, and more; the book does a poor job of explaining how it all works and the Rails functions being used.

The book takes on a somewhat casual approach, addressing you as if you're a developer creating a shopping cart for a client. As a result, there were a number of one-liners or even strings of sentences about 'you' and your imaginary client. A lot of this came off as fluff that was a huge waste of time and was flat out annoying.

For a much better way to learn Rails, choose Ruby on Rails Tutorial by Hartl.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2012
This is the third edition that I've bought and read. I still love this book.

This edition is much shorter than the previous editions. I tend to read books cover-to-cover, so I appreciate when they aren't full of reference information that I can find online. I think this book struck the right balance of breadth, depth, and length. My buddy Shailen Tuli thought it was too short. Your mileage may vary.

I think the only thing bad about this book is that it focuses on Rails 3.0. Because Rails 3.1 has something called the "asset pipeline", it's not so easy to make the jump. I decided to stick with Rails 3.0 for the time being because I really like having a book to refer to.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2011
This book seems to be aimed at someone who is completely new to this whole "programming thing." As someone who is already familiar with several other web development languages, this book was torture. It takes a chapter of fluff to communicate 2-3 concepts. It also does little to explain the magic behind the curtain. While Ruby on Rails relies heavily on conventions, the book does not do a good job of explaining the deeper inner workings to a point where a developer would be comfortable developing more advanced sites than their simple examples.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2011
New projects often force or motivate me to use new programming languages or development frameworks. The web is fine as a reference if you know what you look for, but if you're new, this book is unbeatable. It covers the whole process from installation and development to deployment and maintenance, and is thus a good companion for quite some time.

The first part (Getting started) helps with installation and setup, gives you an overview of Rails, and provides an introduction to Ruby. Skip the sections that you don't need, otherwise the part is worth a complete read.

The second part (Building an Application) is written around an example web shop. If you're working on a different application, these 200 pages can be quite a lot to read completely. However, this part is structured so well, that you can build whatever you want while following the steps, if you peek ahead into the next part.

Part III (Rails in depth) provides details on important elements of Rails like active records, controllers and views, and caching. Furthermore, it guides you well when making changes to your live platform, using plugins, or implementing non-browser applications.

This (fourth) edition of this book is the first one to address Rails 3, and you avoid a lot of confusion if you have the right one. Unfortunately, it has lost more than 40% of its pages compared to the second or third edition. Besides overall shortening, the section on securing Rails applications has been removed for example. However, since Rails takes care of the most important security aspects by itself, this is not too much of a sacrifice.

Overall, I can highly recommend this book especially to beginners. It sets you up with all you need to get started and to get basic applications up and running, and thus the whole book is a gem by itself. Advanced users can still find some information in Part III, but experts would probably need more detailed references.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2013
Great book, with easy to learn path with real world case for developing shopping chart. Authors made very good explanations about MVC concepts and how to implement them in RoR. I' enjoy reading it.
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on December 8, 2013
This book is great!

I have been programming for many years and was interesting in learning more about writing Ruby on Rails applications so I purchased this book. I really enjoy the format as it walks you through step-by-step in creating a working application. The style allows you to learn by doing.

I have read this book multiple times and still find hidden gems *rim shot* of knowledge. I keep it on my desk as a quick reference and highly recommend it to anyone starting out learning Rails.

Additionally, I would recommend the Ruby on Rails Tutorial by Michael Hartl. It is a free online book that is of equal size to this printed book but allows you to build another completed application and see slightly different ways of doing things. Both this book and Michael Hartl's book will put you will on your way to learning Rails.

Lastly, make sure and get the latest version of this book, which at the time of this review would be Agile Web Development with Rails 4. Rails is constantly improving and Rails 4 was a major release (they release a new major version about every 3 years) with some changes you need to know about.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 2012
I'm not a beginner on Ruby on Rails, but this book is a great resource to learn it. There are many tricks and the author knows how to teach. It's a great book.
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on November 5, 2012
I've been developing for less than a year although I've gone through a ton of learning materials both in print and online. With regards to Rails, I've gone through Michael Hartl's excellent tutorial Ruby on Rails 3 Tutorial LiveLessons Bundle: Learn Rails by Example, and a number of other tutorials online. My first thoughts when going through the first 1/3rd of this book is, "I'm really happy I didn't buy this as a total beginner."

The book goes quickly over Rails features that I would have found totally confusing 6 months ago. Only because I know what things like helpers are and how they work can I really take advantage of this book. So if you've been playing around with Rails and understand the basics and may have even built a few small applications, I'd highly recommend it as the whole framework is tied together and relevant descriptions of everything written by the people who designed it. However if you're looking to get started in Rails, I'd spend some time online or with much more beginner focused books before moving on to something of this level.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 11, 2013
awesome book for learning Ruby on Rails. Very current and nicely organized.
highly recommended if you want to learn good programming
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on April 12, 2013
There is no better book for getting started with Ruby on Rails.

In fact, this is probably the best quickly style, walk through guide of any tech topic I've seen.

The book goes like this:

1. Install ruby on rails
2. Build a depot application
3. Improve the depot application
4. More in-depth reference style explanation of different areas of rails.

Try picking up a book on Drupal before you complain about how hard it is to get started with this book :)
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