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38 Reviews
5 star:
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4 star:
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3 star:
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2 star:
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally a Rails book to begin with.
Over the last year, I have picked up a few books on Ruby on Rails but the information exits me as soon as it enters. Creating a Rails book in the Head First style is what I needed personally. This is a beginners book, but when a book is subtitled "A learner's Companion", one shouldn't expect anything advanced. For those who are looking for an advanced book, then they...
Published on April 1, 2009 by C. Nielsen

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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Outdated
I recently decided to learn some programming so I can start creating some web apps of my own, since I felt that the world of business was gaining a lot of traction towards this direction. I know my fair share about HTML and CSS, and can even hack through a tiny little bit of PHP given my experience with Wordpress sites.

I thought a great deal about my business...
Published on November 8, 2011 by C.F.


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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Book, January 16, 2009
This review is from: Head First Rails: A Learner's Companion to Ruby on Rails (Paperback)
I have to agree with Paul and disagree with the previous two reviews. In fact it's difficult to believe I've been reading the same book as those two guys.

I do notice that both those reviewers already have experience using Rails and I suppose this could be the difference. Like Paul I have never used Rails in my life and was attracted by the current buzz around Ruby and Rails generally. I am, however, a pretty experienced software developer in other languages from Java & Python right the way back to the early days of Fortran.

When I learn a new language or framework I'm looking for a reasonable amount of detail as to how things work. Just saying, "hey, don't worry about that, Rail's will sort it out magically for you", just doesn't cut it for me. That might be OK if all you want to do is cut a one off bit of code and run, but I personally don't find that approach satisfying as a developer. I like to feel that I've really learnt the language when I buy a book like this.

So therefore it's fair to say I WANT to know something about how routing works and to me chapter two in this book just about has it right in terms of detail. Having read it, I now feel I know a little bit about the under pinnings of Rails without having been totally blown away with detail.

To be honest this is what I look to Head First books to deliver generally; that balance between depth and breadth of coverage and this book for me certainly does deliver. Now, of cause, there are people who just don't get the Head First formulation. They don't get the humor, they don't get the art work, they can't do the puzzles. Let's just face it, they don't get it. And for those people I'd say this book is probably not for you, because there is no doubt is a classic Head First book. But for people like me; existing developers, who want to get into Web 2.0 coding without being either patronized or bored to tears this book is a great starting point.

At the end of the day I suppose that I must just fall into the demographic that this book is aimed at and I assume the two early reviewers didn't. So I'd say if you're a developer that wants to get into Rails with just the right level of detail and wants to have some fun doing it, buy this book, You'll love it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written, relevant examples but hopelessly outdated., March 16, 2013
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This review is from: Head First Rails: A Learner's Companion to Ruby on Rails (Paperback)
It seems like I'll echo much of what's been written - this book is in dire need of an update. Let me share just one example. one of the very first examples in the book instructs the user to launch the bundled rails web server by issuing the following command:

> ruby script/server

as of Rails v 3, it works this way:

> rails s

A majority of the book is outdated in a similar fashion. It's a shame because the book is so well written, and laden with wonderfully practical examples. I hope the author will update the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Already out of date, July 24, 2012
By 
Bobby (Tri-State Area) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Head First Rails (Kindle Edition)
Most of the commands provided in the book no longer apply to the latest version of Rails. This book needs to be updated as soon as possible. If the commands were up to date with the latest version it would probably be a good book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ridiculously outdated!!!, June 6, 2012
By 
ingeniusone (Vienna, Virginia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Head First Rails: A Learner's Companion to Ruby on Rails (Paperback)
I wish I had read the reviews more thoroughly before purchasing, the book is VERY outdated...Didn't realize that until I tried some of the code examples...I agree with all the other reviews that this should be pulled from the market....

If you're learning Rails it's hard enough without having to figure out what is updated or not... Thoroughly USELESS!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great rails book, September 24, 2009
By 
Evan (San Francisco, California) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Head First Rails: A Learner's Companion to Ruby on Rails (Paperback)
This is the best Rails book I have picked up. It really explains what is happening within a rails application at each step of the process while you build - most other rails books simply have you build an application and hope that you pick up what is happening from the code that you are writing. This one is different. Highly recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So so, October 19, 2010
By 
David (New York, NY) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Head First Rails: A Learner's Companion to Ruby on Rails (Paperback)
Not bad, but the style of the Head First series is to lead you through a sequential series of exercises rather than explain to you what's going on with the language. God help you if you fail at one step in the programming exercises, because everything in a chapter is sequentially dependent. Also the syntax is not updated for Rails 3.0 and that's going to confuse a lot of people. Finally, very minimal installation instructions, which can be a particular challenge for Mac users, who have to go chasing around for the latest advice on how to install Ruby on Rails on Snow Leopard. Again, not a bad introduction, but certainly not a reference, and at least the edition I bought was not up to date.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommendations for learning from the ground up., March 14, 2009
This review is from: Head First Rails: A Learner's Companion to Ruby on Rails (Paperback)
I got started in programming with Head First Java (1st ed.) back in 2005 at age 27. Having read several or many more titles since then, Head First is a great place to start, especially for those new to programming. The absence of hazing and snark is somewhat priceless. The book calls for existing knowledge of a programming language, and for that I recommend starting here.

Everyday Scripting with Ruby: For Teams, Testers, and You

These titles in conjunction will make a rewarding experience. Both are very well written and complement each other nicely. There is also room for Head First HTML. You can do it, and this is a good place to start.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars So out-of-date as to be totally irrelevant, December 27, 2013
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I'm a big fan of the Head First format, following their Design Patterns publication.

However, Head First Rails cannot be of any use to anyone. The content is deprecated and is meaningless if using a current versions of rails.

If you decide to buy this book anyway, make sure you work through the first few examples immediately so that you can quickly understand just how limiting the information is and can apply for a refund in time before you're stuck with a bulky paperweight
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Do Not Buy This Book, September 18, 2013
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This review is from: Head First Rails: A Learner's Companion to Ruby on Rails (Paperback)
To reiterate what has been stated in the previous comments, I did not thoroughly read the reviews before purchasing this book and was extremely disappointed. This book is severely outdated and all of the syntax is irrelevant which makes the book effectively worthless.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book for introduction to Rails for experienced programmers, May 14, 2012
By 
TechieAnon (Philadelphia, PA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Head First Rails: A Learner's Companion to Ruby on Rails (Paperback)
I recently came across Ruby/Rails and found it to be very interesting and decided to learn. I went thru some web tutorials and got some understanding of framework but I felt that I did not get enough to do a reasonably complex project. I picked up this book and was pleasantly surprised. The material is presented in an interesting way and the book covers most important features in reasonable detail. It was a breeze to read. The book illustrates and accentuates the most important concepts in an easy way that reaffirms the learning. I found it to be one of the best books to learn a framework. The format is especially useful for the material.
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Head First Rails: A Learner's Companion to Ruby on Rails
Head First Rails: A Learner's Companion to Ruby on Rails by David Griffiths (Paperback - January 9, 2009)
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