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The Rails 3 Way (2nd Edition) (Addison-Wesley Professional Ruby Series) Paperback – December 20, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0321601667 ISBN-10: 0321601661 Edition: 2nd

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for the Previous Edition

 

This encyclopedic book is not only a definitive Rails reference, but an indispensable guide to Software-as-a-Service coding techniques for serious craftspersons. I keep a copy in the lab, a copy at home, and a copy on each of my three e-book readers, and it’s on the short list of essential resources for my undergraduate software engineering course.

—Armando Fox, adjunct associate professor, University of California, Berkeley

 

Everyone interested in Rails, at some point, has to follow The Rails Way.

—Fabio Cevasco, senior technical writer, Siemens AG, and blogger at H3RALD.com

 

I can positively say that it’s the single best Rails book ever published to date. By a long shot.

—Antonio Cangiano, software engineer and technical evangelist at IBM

 

This book is a great crash course in Ruby on Rails! It doesn’t just document the features of Rails, it filters everything through the lens of an experienced Rails developer—so you come our a pro on the other side.

—Dirk Elmendorf, co-founder of Rackspace, and Rails developer since 2005

 

The key to The Rails Way is in the title. It literally covers the “way” to do almost everything with Rails. Writing a truly exhaustive reference to the most popular Web application framework used by thousands of developers is no mean feat. A thankful community of developers that has struggled to rely on scant documentation will embrace The Rails Way with open arms. A tour de force!

—Peter Cooper, editor, Ruby Inside

 

In the past year, dozens of Rails books have been rushed to publication. A handful are good. Most regurgitate rudimentary information easily found on the Web. Only this book provides both the broad and deep technicalities of Rails. Nascent and expert developers, I recommend you follow The Rails Way.

—Martin Streicher, chief technology officer, McLatchy Interactive; former editor-in-chief of Linux Magazine

 

Hal Fulton’s The RubyWay has always been by my side as a reference while programming Ruby. Many times I had wished there was a book that had the same depth and attention to detail, only focused on the Rails framework. That book is now here and hasn’t left my desk for the past month.

—Nate Klaiber, Ruby programmer

 

As noted in my contribution to the Afterword: “What Is the Rails Way (To You)?,” I knew soon after becoming involved with Rails that I had found something great. Now, with Obie’s book, I have been able to step into Ruby on Rails development coming from .NET and be productive right away. The applications I have created I believe to be a much better quality due to the techniques I learned using Obie’s knowledge.

—Robert Bazinet, InfoQ.com, .NET and Ruby community editor, and founding member of the Hartford, CT, Ruby Brigade

 

Extremely well written; it’s a resource that every Rails programmer should have. Yes, it’s that good.

—Reuven Lerner, Linux Journal columnist

About the Author

Obie Fernandez has been hacking computers since he got his first Commodore VIC-20 in the eighties, and found himself in the right place and time as a programmer on some of the first Java enterprise projects of the mid-nineties. Obie has been evangelizing Ruby on Rails online via blog posts and publications since early 2005. He has traveled around the world relentlessly promoting Rails at large industry conferences. As CEO and Founder of Hashrocket, Obie specializes in orchestrating the creation of large-scale, web-based applications, both for startups and mission-critical enterprise projects. He still gets his hands dirty with code on at least a weekly basis and posts regularly on various topics to his popular technology blog.
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Product Details

  • Series: Addison-Wesley Professional Ruby Series
  • Paperback: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 2 edition (December 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321601661
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321601667
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #644,164 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Obie Fernandez is CTO and cofounder of Javelin, producers of the world-famous Lean Startup Machine weekend workshops. He runs a team of geniuses based in Atlanta, Georgia, producing the world's best software for lean startups and enterprises. He is also the series editor of the Addison Wesley Professional Ruby Series and was one of the earliest prominent evangelists for Ruby on Rails.

Prior to Javelin, Obie founded Hashrocket, one of the world's leading Rails-based web design and development consultancies, headquartered in Jacksonville, FL. Prior to Hashrocket, as a senior consultant at ThoughtWorks, Obie specialized in complex custom enterprise software projects. He has been hacking computers since he got his first Commodore VIC-20 in the eighties, and found himself in the right place and time as a programmer on some of the first Java enterprise projects of the mid-nineties.

Customer Reviews

This book is a must read for everyone who wants to understanding Rails in a deep way.
Rafael Izidoro
Not enough, and your eyes will glaze over, too much and it will seem to be restating the obvious without giving you any finer points to chew on.
Katrina Owen
This book will help with those "what if" questions and it will give a few examples on how to do things the "Rails way".
Cody B.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Peter Cooper on December 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
The Rails 3 Way is an interesting book representing a large amount of effort digging into Rails 3. It shares insights and technical knowledge you'd struggle to patch together from blog posts and documentation. It's a very opinionated book and will not be to everyone's taste. For starters, ERb isn't covered at all, instance variables in views are scowled at, and Test::Unit is treated with contempt.

It's not an introductory book in any sense and Obie acknowledges this in his introduction. Obie bills it as a "day-to-day reference for the full-time Rails developer" - a fair description IMHO, but the book feels disjointed in places and has a scattershot approach to what it cares to cover. You need to be clued up to digest this book properly. For an intermediate to expert Rails developer (especially one yet to move to Rails 3) or an expert Rubyist new to Rails, The Rails 3 Way is a useful book that unearths some of the trickier parts of Rails 3 a professional needs to know about. I recommend it - but not as wholeheartedly as the original edition for a number of reasons:

* Parts of the book feel curiously short or scattershot in their coverage. The AJAX on Rails chapter is a mere 16 pages. The RSpec chapter is 33 pages long and provides only an overview (and says as much) though given the recent release of RSpec 2.0 and the new RSpec book, this may be a plus. Rails Engines aren't discussed or covered at all except for a small sidenote that links you to a gist on GitHub. It's not all bad though - some chapters are great, complete guides to a topic, such as Active Record Associations and Advanced Active Record.

* A lot can be gathered from what's not mentioned in the book at all: Capybara, Selenium, Webrat, Searchlogic, SASS, factory_girl..
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By David Copeland on September 6, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Had I written this review after about a month with this book, I would've given it very high marks. However, after several months with it, attempting to us it in a real Rails 3 project, I find it wanting.

It's billed as a reference for Rails 3, and seems intended as something to have dog-eared, by your side, while cranking out a Rails app. In my experience over the last several months, it has been a source of frustration, providing me with little more than introductory information on topics that, sadly, are better covered by the rails guides or in various blog posts.

The section on Active Record, specifically on querying, is very light. It's mostly a printout/summary of some of the methods available, with no substantive examples, or anything close to what might be required in the real world. AREL is barely mentioned; all we get is a link to the github page.

There are two bigger disappointments: testing and AJAX.

The AJAX section is not remotely sufficient to become effective with the rails 3 Unobtrusive JavaScript stuff, and most of this section is spent on RJS, which the book says is not recommend (so why is it there?). The way in which Rails deals with AJAX, and the tools it provides, are very poorly documented in general, and this is the sort of gap you'd expect this book to fill in. Not the case.

Testing: Testing is not even listed in the index. Let me repeat that: Testing is not even listed in the index. There is a chapter on RSpec, which is wholly out of place, most of the chapter just dealing with general RSPec stuff. There is some rails-specific stuff, but overall this is IT for testing.
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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Johan Pretorius on June 12, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have no issue with the contents of the book, only the Kindle implementation thereof.

Listings and tables are converted to images, and some of those are so small that it is all but impossible to read on the Kindle.

Unfortunately, the Kindle for PC version is even worse, the image rendering is pathetic, to say the least.

I've bought 3 other Kindle books from the Addison-Wesley Professional Ruby Series as well, only Eloquent Ruby and Rails AntiPatterns can be read in their entirety on the Kindle, Service-Orientated Design with Ruby and Rails is as badly delivered as The Rails 3 Way.

At least one can get some of the missing details by looking at the source code repositories for each book, but that is no excuse. If you buy a book (paper copy), surely the expectation is that all pages can be read?
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Katrina Owen on June 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
The Rails 3 Way is not quite a reference manual, nor is it a tutorial.

Before picking this up, you're probably going to want to have hit your head against something in the framework, or have tried to solve something that the framework doesn't necessarily lend itself well to, or just plain gotten stuck on something. In short, I think that you need a fair amount of context before this book is useful in any way. Not enough, and your eyes will glaze over, too much and it will seem to be restating the obvious without giving you any finer points to chew on.

This book's best audience is probably the intermediate Rails developer who has written some rails applications, has a basic understanding of the RoR framework, but still thinks that much of what happens is "magic".

If this is you, this book has much to offer. It covers all the major pieces of developing with Rails 3 from configuration to AREL to caching to writing your own plugins (and more).

For such a developer, The Rails 3 Way is likely to take you from being a haphazard poke-a-stick-at-it programmer to a deliberate, skillful, productive, and confident RoR developer.
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