- Series: Expert's Voice
- Paperback: 621 pages
- Publisher: Apress; 1st ed. edition (October 29, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1590597818
- ISBN-13: 978-1590597811
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,532,837 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Practical Rails Projects (Expert's Voice) 1st ed. Edition
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About the Author
Eldon Alameda is a web developer who currently resides in the harsh climates of Kansas. He works as a regional webmaster for the U.S. National Weather Service; prior to this, he did development for a variety of companies including local start-ups, advertising firms, Sprint PCS, and IBM. During the 1990s, he also acquired a nice stack of worthless stock options from working for dot-com companies.
Top customer reviews
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Eldon Alameda has written the book for people who have some previous Rails experience or may have cracked open one of the introductory books on offer, but who want to learn the framework by observing a number of working projects. In some ways that leads to overlap with a book like Practical Rails Social Networking Sites (Expert's Voice), but whereas that built up one example this book covers seven ranging from a system to track progress through an exercise programme, to an appointment scheduler that interfaces with 37signals' Highrise using ActiveResource.
The first few projects proceed at an even pace and are likely to be helpful to a newcomer to Rails, there's a fair bit of overlap with examples available in other volumes, but they work well together. While the author discusses the decision to skip over the writing of tests and/or specs, it did seem that in a volume of this size that topic should have been given a little space, even if that involved sacrificing one of the sample projects.
I was similarly surprised to find a number of occasions where design decisions were made that conflicted with the RESTful approach that is now Rails convention. Early on that might have been one thing, but coming after a chapter extolling the virtues of resource-centric design that was quite a surprise and seemed an indication that the book had begun to sprawl a bit. In many ways it's a shame that this book wasn't broken up into a couple of volumes. Packaging the first few projects together as an introduction, then offering the last few as smaller supplements more tightly focussed on specific areas such as Ext JS usage, ActiveResource, etc. That way the material could have been tightened up and some of the repetition would have made more sense, and perhaps there would have been space to cover a few obvious missing pieces such as atom/rss feeds.
With a number of volumes now available that use specific projects to illustrate Rails techniques, this book isn't so distinctive as it might have been a few months ago, and many developers will probably want to go for a more focussed, more succinct option. If your learning style benefits from taking things slowly and you don't mind some repetition then this may be a good option, but don't forget to read up on accessible web development while exploring later chapters.
Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of this book for review by the publisher.
Now I need to build a fairly large web based application. And all the peices are in the other books or in online tutorials, but nowhere are they all pulled together. That is until Practical Rails Projects.
I got more useful information about really constructing a full web application from this book than all the others. For example, I really wanted a good looking application, easy to use application. So I tried building a sortable data grid using just Ruby and Rails. I wanted to eventually by able do in-place-editing also. What a pain. Eldon shows how to use Ext JS to put a sortable, editable grid on a page easily. The grid looks great. You can also scroll, page, sort by any column, and resize columns - all with about the same amount of code that I wrote just getting a grid that could resort on 2 columns.
If you feel like you've hit the wall in your Rails development, try this book. Hopefully it will help you as much as it helped me.
I have finished the my first quick read, and now with the required source code online I have made it through the first 5 chapters of excercises, and I am impressed with the breadth that is covered in 621 pages.
This book would be a great book for someone who is an advanced beginner (admittedly an oximoron) or intermediate Rails programmer. It takes the reader through 7 short projects with only 23 pages of space on initial handholding on how to get your development system up and running.
While the author skips the usual Test/Behavior Driven Development paradigm, it is a logical course in this case in order to cover so many topics.
This book covers many topics in with lots of breadth including Rest Based Authentication, Advanced Caching, converting PHP game sites that I found quite useful.
Lastly and most importantly for me was the last 4 chapters of the book that focused on a project using Rails 2.0 + some nifty integration with Yahoo Maps.
Especially with the active participation of the author in supporting this book and its readers, I strongly recommend it as an addition to any rails advanced beginner/intermediate programmer.
Then I find this book, and it gave me tips about ruby and put me challenges or exercises to follow, not pages to follow up.
Now I feel more confident with RoR.
The chapter on customizing a Typo blog was probably the most interesting. It's the most in-depth and thoughtful.
In all, not a terrible book but also not what I was expecting.