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75 Reviews
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69 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent resource in a wilderness of hell
There are as many rails tutorials on the web and in book form as there are ruby methods. An infinite expanse of information - most of it leading to heartbreak and frustration.

Hartl, with this book as well as the first venture, takes the reader by the hand and gently guides him/her/it/them/monkeybacon through the world of ruby and ruby on rails with the...
Published on December 27, 2010 by Dean Eikleberry

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55 of 60 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great book but poor Kindle version
This is an exceptionally well-written tutorial, probably the best way to learn Ruby on Rails. The Kindle version, however, is very poorly done. Code listings are shown as images on the Kindle -- with small grey font which is very difficult to read even when zoomed-in. Furthermore, text search does not include the code listings and command examples. For example, I...
Published on February 26, 2011 by System Architect


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69 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent resource in a wilderness of hell, December 27, 2010
By 
Dean Eikleberry (Hollywood, California United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ruby on Rails 3 Tutorial: Learn Rails by Example (Addison-Wesley Professional Ruby Series) (Paperback)
There are as many rails tutorials on the web and in book form as there are ruby methods. An infinite expanse of information - most of it leading to heartbreak and frustration.

Hartl, with this book as well as the first venture, takes the reader by the hand and gently guides him/her/it/them/monkeybacon through the world of ruby and ruby on rails with the excitement and ease a master has when taking students along for a ride.

I have a collection of books and tutorials and, WITHOUT FAIL, each and every one of them ends somewhere with some sort of mistake in code that I've never been able to get over (including the first book by Hartl, by the way). Not so with this one. I completed the project outlined in this book. First time that's happened with any of the other books/tutorials.

As I am a functioning idiot, this is no mean feat. It is quite an accomplishment. Not by me, but by the author.

If you are able to view the tutorial videos, those will make your life that much better.

Buy it. Now.
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55 of 60 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great book but poor Kindle version, February 26, 2011
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This is an exceptionally well-written tutorial, probably the best way to learn Ruby on Rails. The Kindle version, however, is very poorly done. Code listings are shown as images on the Kindle -- with small grey font which is very difficult to read even when zoomed-in. Furthermore, text search does not include the code listings and command examples. For example, I needed to find an explanation of the command "rake db:test:prepare" but got back "0 matches found".

Though the Kindle edition is awful, the excellent content is accessible on web pages for free at [...]. There, one can also purchase a (fully searchable) PDF version directly from the author.

I don't know whether it's Amazon's or the publisher's fault, but the Kindle edition of this book is a complete waste of money.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply best-in-class, December 28, 2010
This review is from: Ruby on Rails 3 Tutorial: Learn Rails by Example (Addison-Wesley Professional Ruby Series) (Paperback)
Arriving at Rails after a career in finance, it was especially important for me to find a book that took a holistic approach to developing Rails applications. Mr. Hartl's book does an exceptional job of addressing both the structure and function of Ruby on Rails, as well as the most modern methodologies for developing web applications. Without this book, a novice web programmer like myself likely would have missed learning test-driven development (TDD), which is critically interfaced with producing robust applications.

Mr. Hartl has also put together an outstanding series of screencasts, comprising over 15-hours of video, providing an inside look into an advanced user's coding process. The screencasts pay dividends well above their investment of time and money.

A cursory examination of Mr. Hartl's resume, including his teaching awards in physics at Caltech, will evidence his great talent for simplifying the complex. Having explored this book among a half-dozen of its peers, I can attest that it is indeed best-in-class.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a Book for Beginners, November 22, 2011
This review is from: Ruby on Rails 3 Tutorial: Learn Rails by Example (Addison-Wesley Professional Ruby Series) (Paperback)
This book will most likely overwhelm a beginner. Don't get me wrong the author knows his stuff and is a good teacher but you have to wrap your head around so many other technologies. Git, Rspec, Test Driven development was just too much for me to take in all at one time.

In my opinion those are advanced topics that should be introduced at the end of the book or in another book. My personal belief is you should lay a solid foundation by just learning the basics of Ruby on Rails first and then learn all the extras like Git and Rspec which is icing on the cake. Ruby on Rails = The Cake. Git, Rspec, Test Driven Development = The Icing.

Once you have a solid knowledge of Ruby on Rails then you can learn how to use Git for version control and Rspec for Test Driven Development. I think a good place to start with just learning the basics of Ruby on Rails is Kevin Skoglund's Rails 3 tutorial on Lynda.com. After following his tutorial you should have a solid basic foundation and then you'll be ready for Michael Hartl's book. All that being said Michael Hartl's book is very good but might be a little too much on the plate for beginners.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for any RoR novice, January 6, 2011
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This review is from: Ruby on Rails 3 Tutorial: Learn Rails by Example (Addison-Wesley Professional Ruby Series) (Paperback)
While there are tons of other RoR tutorials out there, they all usually reach a point where the gently increasing learning curve suddenly goes vertical. Not so with this book.

The author doesn't make things overly complicated, makes it clear when you need to be aware of new concepts and when not to worry (because it'll be covered later), and while this book does follow the traditional "develop an app while learning" method, it does so while introducing you to tools and techniques that Rails developers use in the real world. Before you know it, you'll be creating new git repos, pushing them to Github, creating branches for new developments and using test driven development (with tools like Rspec) to test your new code. If most of that went over your head *and* you want to learn Rails, you *need* this book.

Interestingly, he demonstrates how you can create working Rails apps with a minimal knowledge of Ruby - which kills the assumption that Rails neophytes need to have a strong grasp of the Ruby language before tackling Rails development.

Combined with 15+ hours of video lessons complementing each chapter of the book, this makes for an essential tool in the arsenal of any aspiring Rails developer.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Failed to teach simple concepts on how a rails app is developed, July 4, 2012
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This review is from: Ruby on Rails 3 Tutorial: Learn Rails by Example (Addison-Wesley Professional Ruby Series) (Paperback)
Focused on everything but explaining the WHYs. This allowed me to follow the book in a very procedural one dimesnsional way until i had this awesome looking app that i had no idea how i would make on my own after completing the book. Michael tells you to do things and that about it. Doesnt tell the whys and the hows are extremely verbose in explanations - for example he called pound signs (#) octothorps. Michael failed to cover simple concepts of developing a basic app. He was all over the place in his book. While talking views and HTML concepts, Michael would randomly jump into test cases using rspec. I love the fact that chapter one introduces git and completes with a webapp running on Heroku, but after that everything went down hill. He focused much of the energy on configurations, rspec, a bunch of gemfile addins and just way too much verbose octothorp garbage. Just read the rails guides. They are great!!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And an entertaining read to boot., January 10, 2011
By 
Pierre Johnson (Salt Lake City, UT United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ruby on Rails 3 Tutorial: Learn Rails by Example (Addison-Wesley Professional Ruby Series) (Paperback)
After tinkering around with Dreamweaver and other excuses not to get into coding my web pages myself, this book made it interesting, fun and easy to want to stick with it. Entertaining and well-crafted prose makes it a joy to read, without ever getting off subject or losing time.

What an easy way to feel like you're getting a whole set of personalized lessons for $25. You'll kick yourself later for wasting time with other books before trying this one. Hope there will be more coming!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, but unfortunate kindle edition, July 24, 2011
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I can highly recommend this book as an introduction to Rail3. It thoroughly describes most aspects (though leaves one important one out, localization). As an already seasoned web developer on other platforms, this book was a great introduction to the entire Rails ecosystem, and the Ruby language itself.

However there is a general problem with the kindle edition. The code examples are not embedded as text but as images. This has the following drawbacks.

* It can be difficult to read, in particular, it is difficult to distinguish parenthesis, braces, and burly braces.
* Setting a wide margin decreases the size of the image making it more difficult to read.
* Copy/pasting is not possible.
* Searching for text is not possible.

It would have received 5 stars, had the code examples been in text form.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best beginner book for Rails, June 15, 2011
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This review is from: Ruby on Rails 3 Tutorial: Learn Rails by Example (Addison-Wesley Professional Ruby Series) (Paperback)
Ruby on Rails tutorial by Michael Hartl is one of the few books that explains the basics of Rails ecosystem in a very simple manner. I didn't have to refer to any forum or log on to any freenode chat throughout the time I read this book. The whole ecosystem and the gears (gems) that are connected with Rails could be daunting to many. I am a Database administrator by profession and was scared when I read various online Introductions to Rails.

Firstly the installs are painful. Ruby, gem, rails etc. Here is where the author's simple no-nonsense approach starts. He relies heavily on the ecosystem for the best tool(gem) available to do the job. RVM to have a modular install for anything Rails (Ruby, gemsets etc) was excellent as I did not tinker with the underlying installs of the same software. I could uninstall(implode) RVM when I needed and reinstall gems in a much cleaner way using this amazing tool.

Secondly rspec for testing. I was curious to see why the author chose rspec over Test::Unit and found various members on forums supporting his decision due to the power and clarity of the tool. Annotate helped me in viewing the model in a descriptive form that I have been used to in the database world.

The best part of the tutorial was the 'Validating Users' part wherein we developed the login mechanism ourselves, from getting to know the various encryption algorithms available to the way we think of coding the same functionality (has_password? anyone???) was brilliant.

When I completed the book I was not only a bit conversational with the Rails world but also had developed lateral thinking in coding any functionality be it in the classical database world where I live in. For me there cannot be a better introductory book to Rails than this (believe me when I say I did try out the no.1 obvious choice that all the forums listed and was unhappy with the whole flow of the book).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finanlly, an experiential approach to Rails by a real educator, February 16, 2011
This review is from: Ruby on Rails 3 Tutorial: Learn Rails by Example (Addison-Wesley Professional Ruby Series) (Paperback)
I buy dozens of web development/design books each year and I've loved many of them but I've never written a review until today. I actually put down Ruby on Rails 3 Tutorial to write this. There are so many dull and gray programming books out there that have an overly theoretical approach or a completely disjointed approach that leaves you with disconnected bits of knowledge. Michael Hartl gives you what few authors can, a complete and concrete picture.

This books takes you by the hand as you create several Ruby on Rails applications from start to finish. In his strategic choice of applications, Michael articulates key concepts in action. He effectively applies the practice first, theorize later approach. It builds upon the belief that true understanding comes from practicing and experiencing the concepts. Theory is then extracted from that deep practical understanding. This books stands out for its thoughtful pedagogical approach. Michael's tone is patient, helpful and compassionate. Ruby on Rails 3 Tutorial makes Rails accessible to programmers and non-programmers alike.
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Ruby on Rails 3 Tutorial: Learn Rails by Example (Addison-Wesley Professional Ruby Series)
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