- Series: Beginning Series
- Paperback: 361 pages
- Publisher: Apress; 1st Corrected ed., Corr. 3rd printing edition (October 19, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1590596862
- ISBN-13: 978-1590596869
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 14 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,381,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Beginning Rails: From Novice to Professional (Beginning Series) 1st Corrected ed., Corr. 3rd printing Edition
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From the reviews:
"This book on Rails, a Web application development framework based on Ruby language, is both timely and accessible to beginners. … this is an excellent book for a novice in both Web applications and the Rails framework. At the end of the book, the readers will have developed a fairly sophisticated Web application while learning about Rails." (Suma Adabala, ACM Computing Reviews, October, 2008)
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My only complaint is that the information is outdated. This isn't the fault of the book, it's simply a result of its being several years old now. I can't wait for the next version to come out.
I believe that the most difficult thing for a newbie is following the flow of logic in a MVC framework, from the web form that creates/finds a model object's params, to processing params in the controller and Active Record, including validations, showing errors and letting users correct them, CRUD processes in the DBMS and all the routing, renders and redirects that show users what's happening. The authors take each subtopic of Active Record, views and controllers, give an short, intuitive summary of why it's important, then give the most common use scenarios, along with common traps or misunderstandings that might arise.
Chapter 7, Ajax, tackles a large subject in a very condensed manner(they say as much on p. 228). While the overview is good, it's more like a 30,000 foot view that doesn't quite give you enough confidence to start coding in Prototype and scriptaculous. For that, there's the excellent "Ajax on Rails" Raymond book, as well as a couple others in the pipeline.
The rest of the covers testing, sending emails and deployment in, again, a condensed manner. Rails is a fast-moving target, there's a lot of topics that could have been covered here: rspec, test/spec, mocks and stubs, plugins to make fixtures usable, or avoid using fixtures, etc. But it's a great smallish intro to Rails. The appendix intro to Ruby is superfluous. If you already know python, perl or PHP, it might be all you need to get started coding ruby. Otherwise, you'll probably need a more complete intro and reference (Black's "ruby for Rails" is highly recommended).
So this is a topic-structured tutorial for Rails, in contrast to Apress' social networking and e-commerce books, which are project-based and present more code with less explanation (and covered more plugins like Ferret, acts_as_taggable, etc) If you ahve the luxury of borrowing a few different intro rails books , i would encourage it. One or the other method of presenting Rails may work better for you. But you can't go wrong with this book.
The typesetting is clear: code is readable, Tips and Notes are clearly demarcated. The one thing is tat some of the blurbs printed on gray backgrounds are a bit difficult to read
The other issue I have is that the book is geared towards MySQL, which is fine, I use MySQL, but Rails now comes set up for SQLight by default and this book is command line only, with no instructions on how to set rails to create the right database files, as it is creating for SQLight. The book states you do not need to know about databases, that is incorrect the way it is set up. It would be true if set up better.
This book all-in-all is TOO command line heavy. You can set up Aptana or Netbeans to work in, and they are much easier to use. I would say that this is for the intermediate to professional. The book stated that if you have not made a website before, you will learn how. That is only true if Google becomes your new best friend. I have spent more time with it that with the book.
Lastly, get another book to learn Ruby. You WILL need to learn Ruby if you really want to make websites. This is NOT the only book you will need to get started.
If another addition comes out, it should be twice a big, with more information for new users and way more on Ruby and data bases. It should also give the reader an option (via directions) on GUI or the command line. I would recommend the author use command lines and Netbeans in future writings, as both are free and can be used for a lot more later on. Aptana would be my next choice, as it is for web languages. However, it is my second choice as the reader should no be in that mind set, as this is a different (and faster) animal.
Over all, if you are a web programmer, learn Rail, learn Ruby, but learn it with a better book.
Most recent customer reviews
The author is knowledgeable, but the examples bounce around all over the place. That was really frustrating.Read more