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Sinatra: Up and Running 1st Edition

17 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1449304232
ISBN-10: 1449304230
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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Ruby for the Web, Simply

About the Author

Alan Harris is a software engineer with a decade of professional experience, and author of several books on software development spanning multiple platforms and languages. He has delivered numerous scalable, elegant solutions for companies ranging from non-profits to military subcontractors; he has also been a featured contributor in the developerWorks community. He currently works and resides in the DC area.

As current maintainer of Sinatra, Konstantin is an Open Source developer by heart. Ruby has become his language of choice since 2005. He actively participates in the Ruby community and regularly contributes to different widespread projects, like Rubinius and Rack. In 2010, he successfully took part in the Ruby Summer Of Code, working on Rails internals. Haase is currently studying IT Systems Engineering at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, Germany, and works part time as a software engineer at finnlabs in Berlin.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 122 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (December 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449304230
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449304232
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,987 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Peter Cooper on December 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
An interesting quirk of Scandinavian society is the concept of Jante Law. It knocks down standing out and being individual, in favor of communal harmony. It's typically used in a negative context to lament restrictions and lack of risk taking within Nordic society but the flip side of the Jante coin is "lagom": the idea and ideal of having just the right amount of something.

Sinatra Up and Running is, second to K&R, the most "lagom" technical book I've read. At a mere 102 pages you may wonder whether it's worth buying - it is. Unlike most technical books - yes, including mine - it skips the waffle and provides a perfect level of detail going through from what Sinatra is, to how it works, and on to an example project that covers just 13 pages. Don't be fooled, though, this isn't one of those tiny format O'Reilly handbooks; it's a regular, full size book - just a thin one!

It's a good book and well written. I enjoyed it and picked up or was reminded of quite a few interesting bits and pieces. I'll probably refer to it from time to time. If your Sinatra experiences are rather on and off or you've not played with it for a while, it's a great, well-paced introduction. If, however, you're already a Sinatra guru and/or working with Sinatra on a day by day basis and have all of the main patterns memorized, there's not a great deal you're going to get out of it. Buy it to be a completionist or to support the authors, but if you want a book demonstrating in depth how to integrate Sinatra with everything or how to big giant Web applications, this isn't for you.

Inexperienced Rubyists may also find the book's direct no-nonsense style intimidating. If you know what a code block is, you're good to go.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By niteshade on January 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
I can sense the quality of this book. As other reviews have stated, it is clear and concise, and I will keep it on my bookshelf for future reference. It has a certain zen feel, and if you can follow everything in this book, you will be a force of nature.

This is not, however a book for Ruby beginners, or for novice (or perhaps even intermediate) developers looking to Sinatra for an alternative to the complex behemoth that is Rails. Don't be lulled by the thin size of this book: it is dense. After the first chapter, when it considers the rich array of paths Sinatra offers, it delves into the HTTP specification, the underlying architecture of Sinatra, hacking the Sinatra system itself, Rack, and modular applications.

However, these deeper and back-end topics are the entire beast. Besides a cursory few examples in the first chapter, there is little attention paid to organizing applications, design patters, or best-practices. There's not much hand-holding, in other words.

If you see yourself needing to manually distinguish MIME types or define custom HTTP headers, this book seems great. It's a book for computer scientists looking to add another weapon to their arsenal. It is not a book for dilettantes or the inexperienced. However, I have a sneaking suspicion I will come back to this book after I get used the Sinatra system.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Anurag Priyam on January 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
Finished the book in three hours straight. Content coverage is just right; couldn't think of anything in particular that this book leaves out. And the writing style clear and succinct.

The book explains Sinatra's API very well with simple and (mostly) meaningful examples. The internals are explained in the context of actual Sinatra code or a simplified version if the implementation is a little complicated. I love how the book introduces related information, but essentially beyond the scope of the book, by explaining it a bit and then providing an online resource for further reading - HTTP specific concepts for example.

I would have given them a full five if the hands on example of building a Sinatra application was something more interesting and creative than writing a blog engine (it has become poster boy of all web frameworks :|).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Riley on April 12, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book through in its entirety in just a few days. It was short but thorough, and I thought it covered all the necessities rather well. Even if you don't use either Ruby or Sinatra, I'd recommend picking this up to find out just how simple building web applications should be.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By H. Paul Robertson on January 8, 2014
Format: Paperback
In the introduction, the authors mention a couple of things about potential readers (the perennial author's dilemma). 1) They should have Ruby experience or else experience building web applications with other systems; and 2) to be patient while you're reading the book if you find something that you already know, and consider that other readers might not.

In spite of those statements, here are my recommendations for a reader's level of experience prior to reading this book:

1) This book is for people who know Ruby, at least at a working level. Before starting this book I had very minimal Ruby experience, but lots of server-side web development experience. Nevertheless, I stopped reading early on and read another book to learn some more Ruby before returning to this book, and it made a big difference.

2) This book is for people who are somewhat familiar with the underlying aspects of web server functionality. Concepts are not explained in much detail.

3) This book is for people who know something about Sinatra and its conventions already. In multiple cases, the authors make a passing reference to a concept as though it's understood (for example, they say "assume you have a folder named 'public' with a file in it" but never explain that it is a Sinatra convention that any static content in the /public/ folder is automatically served by Sinatra). Not knowing this, I was confused by the explanation that followed until I did some research.

4) This book, or at least some of the more advanced parts about Rack, are for people who are familiar with Rails. I am not, so I didn't really understand the analogies and comparisons that the authors make throughout that part of the book.

That's not to say it's a bad book.
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