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Beginning Rails 3 (Expert's Voice in Web Development) 1st ed. Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1430224334
ISBN-10: 1430224339
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rida Al Barazi is a passionate web developer experienced in building smart web applications for startups. He has been designing and building for the web since 2002. He started working with Rails in 2005 and spoke at different web and Rails conferences in Europe and the Middle East.Rida was raised in Kuwait, grew up in Syria, started his career in Dubai and currently lives in Toronto. In his free time he enjoys music, concerts, movies, traveling and meeting new people. Rida's contact information can be found on his website, www.rida.me.

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Product Details

  • Series: Expert's Voice in Web Development
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1st ed. edition (August 31, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430224339
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430224334
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,651,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. E. Head on October 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
Every Rails books needs to set the stage, to "explain the rules" so to speak, since using Rails is quite different from other "traditional" approaches of web development (LAMP, etc.). Beginning Rails 3 sets the stage nicely, and continues to deliver throughout the entire text - at least, until it comes to getting your Rails app on the web.

The first three chapters follow the typical pattern of a Rails book, explaining the origins of Rails, why it's good, how to install it, and then setting up a very simple web app so the reader can see how easy it is to get Rails up and running. One thing I liked in particular was in Chapter 1, where the authors stressed the importance of being open to the "Rails way" of doing things. This was a nice touch, as there's a good chance the "Rails way" is different from what the reader is expecting, especially if they have some experience developing with PHP.

From there the authors continue to get more in-depth on the various aspects of Rails, focusing on Active Record (the database aspect of a web app) and Active Pack (the "bridge" between the user interface and the database) for the first half of the book. Readers who prefer the programming aspect of development will enjoy these chapters, though they do get a bit dry to read in some places, with some sections (throughout the book actually) being virtually nothing but code for several pages.

One key thing to note at this point is that beginning with version 3, Rails is much more modular than before. This makes it much easier to "take out" things you don't need, or switch certain portions for something else (like using HAML for building your HTML templates instead of eRB, or DataMapper in place of ActiveRecord).
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Format: Paperback
Beginning Rails 3 is a book that does a great job introducing an aspiring web developer to the world of Ruby on Rails, and the architecture conventions that Rails utilizes. The book is a good size, goes over the 'hows' and 'whys' of the basics, while creating a useful example project.

I work as a Web Designer that is starting to branch into development, and I had some experience with earlier versions of Rails in a couple work environments, but never really caught on to the concept. This book helped clear quite a few things up. Previous "beginner" books I had read didn't explain fully enough, didn't flow well, or were written as what seemed like edited versions of more advanced books. The authors of Beginning Rails 3 do an excellent job of explaining each step. There is a good balance of code entry and explanation, and does not stray from the current topics. The instruction comes across at a decent personal level--as if the authors are there sitting at a table with you over a cup of coffee. Each chapter was also easy to retain in memory. There are also a couple of nice appendices, which give primers for Databases and the Ruby language itself.

The project is a blog, which is quite relevant, and can be utilized once completed. Many Rails books in the past have dealt with projects or examples that are hard to build on once learned, such as a store (without anything to sell), or small examples that can't be built upon. I found the project itself to be a key benefit of this book, and plan on deploying for my own blog once I make a few modifications.

I really enjoyed this book. Lately, it seems like beginner's books are a bit too dumbed down, or are written in an almost juvenile matter. This book was different, and had a very professional approach with true real-world exercises. I recommend this book for anyone who has some knowledge of the field, but needs a firm foundation for getting to the next step.
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Format: Paperback
Although my skills are a bit more developed over a novice, there are still some rails topics I get caught up on and have trouble pushing my brain past to get me into the intermediate level. This book cleared up most of my weak areas in my code and even allowed me to add a few golden nuggets to my code that I never would have had otherwise. Ajax for example is a topic in this book that it touches on briefly but is a great start to branching out further into this direction in making your code feel like a legit asynchronous application using jQuery. Also the new action mailer is described in this book which is something I haven't had time to really go over yet and it seems easy enough from the examples. Of course the book goes through just about every aspect of rails that you can get without feeling to overwhelmed and I think most beginners will have a great time learning with this book as its clear and concise.

What I liked most about the book is that it is very descriptive at describing each of the different aspect of rails, which allows you to wrap your head around the assumptions so you are not left wondering why things are the way they are or how they work.

The application you build is a blog application and although its a bit redundant in today's web-based applications, its a concept people understand fairly well and so it makes it easier to digest when going through the examples.

I highly recommend this book to any beginner or intermediate user who is searching for some knowledge in the new Rails 3 world and needs to get up to speed with this fast paced framework. I hope the author comes out with a sequel more geared for intermediate+ users so we can learn to do more customizations, ajaxiness, and get into the meatier stuff that you see in ruby on rails applications today.
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