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Rails 3 in Action 1st Edition
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About the Author
Ryan Bigg is a Rails developer in Sydney. He has been developing Ruby on Rails since version 1.2 and is recognized for his prolific and accurate answers on IRC and StackOverflow.
Yehuda Katz is a lead developer on SproutCore. He is known for his contributions to Rails 3, jQuery, Bundler, and Merb.
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Top Customer Reviews
There are MANY (20+) places in the book where following along line-by-line will cause breakages, and you will be left to figure out how to get to the place you need to go. This ends up being a bit of a problem solving exercise in and of itself, but I don't think that's what the authors had in mind.
Bottom line: wait for the second edition. Hopefully by then the authors will actually go through and follow their own tutorial!
The book walks you through the development of an app, step by step, and most importantly, includes testing. This is a subject that most books gloss over with, "normally you would write tests for this", or "in the real world you would probably want to write test". Some of the better books may devote a chapter, but don't really give you practical experience in writing tests as you go.
The approach the book takes is nice too in that it does just enough hand-holding. You're given step-by-step instructions when you need them, and referred back to previous reading if you should have learned something already. It starts with pretty basic topics, and works its way through to more advanced topics.
I would recommend going through the book, doing a couple of apps on your own, and then going through the book again to "get it". Well worth the read.
While the book does have a lot of errors, it also has a great support community behind it. Every problem I ran in to I was able to quickly find a solution to on the book's forum.
My problem is with the publisher. One of the reasons I bought the ebook was that, well, ebooks can be updated! No errors! Maybe with other publishers, but apparently not with Manning. Very weird. The cost can be that great. Tech readers expect it, but Manning doesn't get it.
As some of the other comments brought up, maybe this would be easier for someone more experience with Rails wanting into learn more about BDD\TDD, but the book's own description states it's an intro to Rails. It's hard to make the argument this book was written with experienced users in mind and therefore its mistakes are just plain irritating to someone learning.
I used this book recently in a class I took on rails. I'd had some experience at work but it was OJT and I wanted a more organized and thorough exposure to the technology. As well, the book said it covered the latest version (3.1.x) while at work I learned on 3.0.
I like that it strongly covers TDD/BDD with rspec and cucumber, but it's presenting, IMHO, a bad style in that it will write one test to cover lots of scenario items. As well, it puts a lot of code details in the features (direct css selectors) instead of writing the feature in english and putting those details in the step files. Granted this isn't a book on cucumber (see the excellent "The Cucumber Book" from Pragmatic) and I do understand the need to keep the page count down, but I don't think that trumps teaching best practices.
The book's focus on data factories for testing instead of fixtures have led me to start converting over at work. A very positive thing.
I also appreciated that the book was structured incrementally by building an app, ticketee, from the ground up. That leveraged the previous work so the examples and exercises could get more complex over time.
Three primary issues come to mind:
1) exercise style:
It wasn't always clear when one should do things line by line in the book or when some presented lines were just illustrations of something coming up (or even a way things might be done but not the right way).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
errors galore. i wish i hadn't bought and used this book. heck i wasted more time fixing the errors than learning.... and no these are errors u learn from. Read morePublished 24 months ago by David Tong
Quick disclaimer. I'm reading the Rails 4 version of this book through the Manning Early Access Program. Read morePublished on January 14, 2014 by Arthur Mills
Others, including the authors, have already commented on specific deficiencies and the publisher's sins. Those aside, this book may not be appropriate for all readers. Read morePublished on May 23, 2013 by Tony P.
First let me say this is not for the beginner. Stick with "Beginning Rails", then go to"Agile Development", now you might be ready for this joyous book!
I am in love. Read more
Definitely not a book for the beginner, although the first two chapters are a good lead in to ruby/rails. Read morePublished on January 11, 2012 by rehali