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The Art of Rails Paperback – May 5, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0470189481 ISBN-10: 0470189487 Edition: 1st
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The Art of Rails®

Any programmer knows that an API is only half the story, and with Ruby on Rails® this is especially true. Good Rails development, like good web development, is much more about the design choices you make than the framework you have at your disposal. Written by an experienced web application developer, this book picks up where the API leaves off and explains how to take good Rails code and turn it into beautiful Rails code: simple, effective, reusable, evolvable code.

In a blend of design and programming, this book identifies and describes the very latest in design patterns, programming abstractions, and development methodologies that have emerged for the modern web. Ruby on Rails offers a completely new way of thinking about and using these emerging techniques, and learning to think like a Rails developer will enable you to rapidly design and write high-quality code with elegance and maintainability. With each design technique, you will discover how Rails incorporates it into its domain-specific language, and you will learn how to weave it seamlessly into your own Rails applications. Then you will learn how to take the next step and transform yourself from user into creator, making your own additions to Rails and crafting a development environment tailored to your specific needs.

What you will learn from this book

  • Techniques for organizing your code between and within Model, View, and Controller to eliminate code repetition and maximize your effectiveness

  • How to think like a REST-based developer and use Rails 2.0 to translate these thoughts into your code

  • Advanced Ruby and meta-programming: how to use features such as block-based development, monkey patching, and dynamic APIs to build your own additions to the Rails framework

  • Design patterns for AJAX, web APIs, HTML decomposition, schema development, meta-programming, and more

  • Behavior-driven development: A new style of testing and development centered around stories and behaviors instead of method calls and assertions

  • Ways to make your development both productive and fun in the software you write

Who this book is for

This book is for developers familiar with Ruby on Rails who are looking to advance their skills by learning the design and coding techniques that enable a mastery of web application development with Rails.

Wrox guides are crafted to make learning programming languages and technologies easier than you think. Written by programmers for programmers, they provide a structured, tutorial format that will guide you through all the techniques involved.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 309 pages
  • Publisher: Wrox; 1 edition (May 5, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470189487
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470189481
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,758,695 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Larry on May 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this book. (Of course, I enjoy most tech books because you can always pick up new information or a different/better slant on something you thought you already knew.)
It is obvious Edward knows his stuff, and he has a knack for describing and explaining difficult concepts.
I especially liked his coverage of AJAX, Methods and Messages, Procs and Blocks, and Mixins.
Good book, Edward. Thanks for writing it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Charles B. Forcey on March 30, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition
I own most of the Ruby and RR books and was nervous to buy another. I am pleased I did after reading this book cover to cover in the Kindle edition. Since Rails and Ruby are so flexible, intermediate programmers like myself spent a lot of time researching and wondering what methods are the most appropriate for inserting javascript, testing complex stories, or implementing RESTful architectures. The author picks up each of these questions in detail, mixing well written surveys of relevant approaches with well reasoned arguments for why rails and the community are moving in one direction and not another. Bravo! I am a much better Rails developer as a result of this book. The Kindle edition has some minor formatting glitches (they need to get their fixed font code formatting settled down especially) but was eminently readable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gunterman on June 23, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is not a 'cookbook'.
It does not cover installation of Rails on Windows - or Linux.
It is not a reference.
It does not cover any of the IDE's available for Ruby and Rails.

So what does it do?

When I first got the book, I thumbed through it - and wondered - Where is the code!?.

It has some code samples, but what I saw is not something that will 'build' a sample app - nope. At first I was bummed.

Then I started reading the book.

It became obvious very quickly the guy knew exactly what he was talking about - not just Rails - but the big picture of software development and how Rails utilizes (hence you utilize) application modeling, design specs, MVC, REST and Ajax, testing - among other topics.

But none of that is Rails you say?

Well, yeah, you are right.

But it's all the stuff around Rails and Rails is built to handle.

Bottom Line? He puts you into the 'mindset' to solve problems with Rails.

The actual details, he leaves to other books. But with this book, you'll have a grasp on how to go about handling problems with Rails.

And that was worth the entry price - and the time to read and comprehend.

If you want to just 'jump in and code' - then maybe this book isn't for you. If you want to 'get your head around' Rails - the philosophy - then start coding - then spend the time and read this book.

Glad I got it. No, you cannot have my copy - it's too marked up anyway.

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Arsalan Tavakoli on March 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
The Art of Rails is a phenomenal follow-on book for anyone who has completed a beginner Ruby on Rails book and is looking for moving on to the next step. Beginner RoR books (such as Agile Web Development with Rails and online tutorials, such as Rolling with Rails) focus on the mechanisms, getting the basic feel for the capabilities of RoR to quickly build web applications.

The Art of Rails is the next step, focusing on the policy and the how. Once the basic mechanisms are taught, the natural next step is the how -- how these mechanisms can be used to best achieve the initial goals laid out by each developer. This book dives into design paradigms such as M-V-C and REST in a thorough, yet pleasantly intuitive manner that guides the developer in methods of using good design and programming principles to build more flexible and efficient web applications.

For any developer that has learned the basics of Ruby on Rails and is looking for the next step, looking to really leverage the power of Rails to build web applications, this is certainly the book that helped me complete that progression.
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