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Practical Rails Projects (Expert's Voice) [Paperback]

by Eldon Alameda
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 28, 2007 1590597818 978-1590597811 1

The best way to learn Rails is by creating a variety of applications with it.

You already know the basics of Rails, and you’re familiar with the exciting features and benefits associated with using this Ruby–based framework. You’re now at the point where you need to gain firsthand experience with Rails by thoroughly exploring the features and building several different types of web applications.

Eldon Alameda takes a focused approach to guiding you through the creation of multiple real-world examples that are designed to get your hands dirty with the core features of Rails, while providing you with the valuable experience of creating real Rails applications.

Projects you’ll work on include creating a simple blog with an external API, constructing a workout tracker with a RESTful interface and graphs, and converting an existing PHP site to Rails while adding an advanced JavaScript interface. As an added bonus, the final project makes use of the edge version of Rails as you build an application that utilizes Active Resource, which provides an opportunity to explore the various changes and features that will be included with Rails 2.0. Each project is designed to provide you with the necessary information and tools to give you a running start at solving that problem yourself, and each project includes a number of additional ideas and exercises for ways that you can extend each application to fit your own needs.

What you’ll learn

  • Implementing caching options
  • Developing applications the RESTful way
  • Adding graphs to your Rails application
  • Connecting to a legacy database
  • Building generators to automate installation of common files
  • Building an XML-RPC API into your Rails applications

Who this book is for

This book is for anyone who has gone beyond the basics of Rails and wants to learn higher–level Rails techniques. It is also useful for those experienced in other disciplines (such as Java and PHP) who want to learn Rails.


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Practical Rails Projects (Expert's Voice) + Practical Rails Social Networking Sites (Expert's Voice)
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Eldon Alameda is a web developer who currently resides in the harsh climates of Kansas. He works as a regional webmaster for the U.S. National Weather Service; prior to this, he did development for a variety of companies including local start-ups, advertising firms, Sprint PCS, and IBM. During the 1990s, he also acquired a nice stack of worthless stock options from working for dot-com companies.

Product Details

  • Series: Expert's Voice
  • Paperback: 621 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1 edition (October 28, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590597818
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590597811
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,814,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fairly comprehensive, but lacking in places December 1, 2007
Format:Paperback
Practical Rails Projects is a weighty tome, coming in just shy of 600 pages, which led to this review taking a little longer than it otherwise might: not just because the book took a while to get through, but also because it wasn't quite so practical to lug it on the bus as some of the others I've recently covered. A result of that heft is a fairly comprehensive volume, but one that doesn't feel quite so consistent as it perhaps should.

Eldon Alameda has written the book for people who have some previous Rails experience or may have cracked open one of the introductory books on offer, but who want to learn the framework by observing a number of working projects. In some ways that leads to overlap with a book like Practical Rails Social Networking Sites (Expert's Voice), but whereas that built up one example this book covers seven ranging from a system to track progress through an exercise programme, to an appointment scheduler that interfaces with 37signals' Highrise using ActiveResource.

The first few projects proceed at an even pace and are likely to be helpful to a newcomer to Rails, there's a fair bit of overlap with examples available in other volumes, but they work well together. While the author discusses the decision to skip over the writing of tests and/or specs, it did seem that in a volume of this size that topic should have been given a little space, even if that involved sacrificing one of the sample projects.

Unfortunately the book loses pace a little later on, particularly with the introduction of the Ext JS library which is used to build user interfaces but ends up occupying far more space than the actual Rails code in the later chapters.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I initially had some complaints with this book as the source code was not up on the Apress Website. This has been rectified in less than 24 hours and I want to thank the Author, Eldon Alemeda for making it happen.

I have finished the my first quick read, and now with the required source code online I have made it through the first 5 chapters of excercises, and I am impressed with the breadth that is covered in 621 pages.

This book would be a great book for someone who is an advanced beginner (admittedly an oximoron) or intermediate Rails programmer. It takes the reader through 7 short projects with only 23 pages of space on initial handholding on how to get your development system up and running.

While the author skips the usual Test/Behavior Driven Development paradigm, it is a logical course in this case in order to cover so many topics.

This book covers many topics in with lots of breadth including Rest Based Authentication, Advanced Caching, converting PHP game sites that I found quite useful.

Lastly and most importantly for me was the last 4 chapters of the book that focused on a project using Rails 2.0 + some nifty integration with Yahoo Maps.

Especially with the active participation of the author in supporting this book and its readers, I strongly recommend it as an addition to any rails advanced beginner/intermediate programmer.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource for every ruby developer March 6, 2008
Format:Paperback
I try to learn ruby on rails form a lot of sources, but as Eldon says I ended with great books but every single one, guide me so well that in the end I only know how to do the stuff on the book, one single project for each book..

Then I find this book, and it gave me tips about ruby and put me challenges or exercises to follow, not pages to follow up.

Great deal!

Now I feel more confident with RoR.
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