Top critical review
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Do Not Buy This Book
on November 5, 2011
I am deeply disappointed. I should have read the more recent reviews. This book is about an earlier version of Rails and Ruby. Even the most basic commands, such as how to start the web server, are totally different (">ruby script/server" in the book, ">rails server" in the current version). If there is a way to find the versions of Ruby and Rails about which this book was written, I haven't found it, mainly because--as far as I can tell--there is no mention in the book about what version of Ruby and Rails it was written to support.
I also haven't found a cross-reference on the web that tells me what a given command's analog is between the old and new versions. It took an hour of utilizing the most well-known search engine on the web to just figure out the current command for starting the web server--I don't have time to do that for every single command supported by Ruby OR Rails!
Apparently the site the book directs you to for the software downloads only has (or directs you to--it isn't all in lone location) the latest versions. It also wouldn't have hurt to put four or five pages of instructions outlining how to actually install Ruby and Rails onto a given platform, I'm baffled how they say their rationale for this is that "this is not a how-to book" (direct quote) when that is EXACTLY WHAT IT IS!!! "HOW TO" use Rails! Ruby and Rails (and Ruby Gems) all use different methods to install onto a given machine. I'm still a bit perplexed about Ruby Gems. I'm not sure exactly what they are--I have a couple of hunches, but the book certainly doesn't explain it.
As soon as Rails 3.1 became available (October 2010), this book should have become unavailable. Either that or Head First Publishing should have maintained a site from which one could download everything covered in the book. I mean, it is all OPEN SOURCE! The website for the book makes no mention that the book (or the site) is about the earlier versions of the software.
Buy this book if you want to dive "Head First" into Rails for Ruby...into an empty pool!!!