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Ruby for Rails: Ruby Techniques for Rails Developers Paperback – May 11, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 532 pages
  • Publisher: Manning Publications (May 11, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932394699
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932394696
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,290,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David A. Black is a long-time Ruby developer, author, trainer, speaker, and community organizer. 

More About the Author

David A. Black is a well-known Ruby developer, trainer, consultant, event organizer, speaker, and author. David has been programming in Ruby since 2000, and is currently a Lead Developer at Cyrus Innovation in New York City. A founding director of Ruby Central, Inc. and a Ruby standard library contributor, David has written or contributed to a number of popular books about Ruby and Ruby on Rails, including "Ruby for Rails", "The Rails Way", and "Ruby in Practice". He is a member of the Professional Development Committee of ACM.

Customer Reviews

This is a book that I highly recommend to anyone wanting to do non-trivial projects with Rails that don't already know ruby in depth.
Steven Ganly
David Black spends much of the book covering Ruby internals to give you a better feel and understanding for the structure of Rails, Ruby, and their numerous idioms.
Ilya Grigorik
This book has very short simple examples of each code concept and from just reading the book, I have gotten a very good view of Rudy.
T. Bartee Lamar

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

96 of 99 people found the following review helpful By Thomas O. Lianza on June 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
I am extremely pleased with this book, and I think it's because I read it at the right point in my studies of Ruby and Rails. I have no Ruby background (Java, mostly) and wanted to pick up Ruby on Rails because of how great it all sounded - sidestepping so many of the problems of JSP/ASP/PHP/etc.

So, the first book I picked up was the PickAxe book, and read it pretty much from start to finish. It turns into a reference about 2/3 in, but the first part of the book is worth a straight-out read. That book gives you everything you need to get up and running with Rails, and has some brief coverage of the Ruby language, semantics, etc - enough to get you by.

Between that book and some Ruby language-related websites, I could build a decently complex web app. I discovered the various helpers from ActionView and got better at building good models with ActiveRecord, and understood the overall flow of the application. I was hooked on Ruby on Rails.

But, if you're like me, you eventually find some of the mystery frustrating. How does inheritence really work? Why do I see modules in some places and classes in others? How do you you make them aware of one another? When I generate a Rails app, what code is it building and where does it go? How come I can use the logger object in my controller, but my helpers can't see it? How does active record know about my database fields?

The mysteries pile up and you eventually need more, but I found the general purpose Ruby book "Programming Ruby" wasn't sticking with me. It covered a ton of topics I didn't care about, and the ones I did care about I didn't realize I was supposed to, because it wasn't obvious how the Ruby in the book related to Rails.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By D. Mitchell on June 26, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was really disappointed with this book. It got very good reviews so I bought it without ever looking inside. It says it's written for programmers from many different backgrounds, but it's really for fairly new programmers. The author repeats himself a lot and is incapable of stating things in a concise manner.

I would prefer a book that gets right to the point and highlights what's important or not intuitive. The intro section on MVC is a good example of his repetition. You find yourself thinking you're reading the same sentence several times.

You'll still learn a good amount about Ruby and Rails from this book, but if you've been programming for a while you'll be aggravated by the pace this books introduces the material.

So in short, if you are relatively new to programming, this could be a good book for you. If you are looking for a quick start this may also meet your goal, but it's done in about twice (maybe three times) as many pages as necessary.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By BrianKremer on September 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
The book's preface indicated that the author is well versed in Ruby, and that he got into Rails when it was brand new. It sounded like he was in a position to teach the subject matter well, and I really liked his angle: Rails was written in Ruby, and Rails extends Ruby... you really cannot fully utilize Rails without learning Ruby, and this book teaches you all about Ruby, with an eye on Rails. Perfect!

There are four parts to the book. The first part is an introduction which explained how Ruby works, how Rails works, and why it's important for Rails developers to have a good handle on the Ruby programming language. This was more detail than I had gotten in my online reading, and not so much detail that my head blew up immediately. A real plus. Also in the first section, we walked through the beginning of the development process for a simple "music store" web application. This defined a context for the pieces of the Ruby puzzle that were about to be dumped on the table.

The second part of the book really delved into the guts of Ruby programming. It defined objects, variables, classes, instances, constants, modules, methods, inheritance, scope, and control flow techniques. It had been 8 years since I'd done work in Java, and that was my only experience with object oriented programming. Ruby is kind of the same, but not really.

The third part of the book is all about the classes and modules that are built in to Ruby. This is very important stuff, necessary in order to get a feel for what you can do (manipulations and comparisons) with different data types. And there is a lot you can do. This part also describes how arrays, hashes, and regular expressions work in Ruby.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By James Edward Gray II on August 17, 2006
Format: Paperback
If you are one of the many new developers coming to Ruby through Rails, this book is certainly required reading.

Within these pages you will find a solidly paced and effective tutorial of the Ruby programming language. The book speaks to programmers with only a little experience and yet experienced Rubyists will likely learn a few things by the end. I know I did.

The book does a nice job of keeping the material Rails centric. Examples often show a Rails slant, though the concepts are primarily vanilla Ruby. This allows you to learn powerful new techniques that will likely help you in many new areas while staying focused on the current goal.

This book also has the best description of Ruby's "singleton classes" yet put in print. It's probably of value to all Rubyists for that alone.

I highly recommend this title.
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