Agile Web Development with Rails, 3rd Edition
Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf
Released: March 2009
Pages: 850

You want to write professional-grade applications: Rails is a full-stack, open-source web framework, with integrated support for unit, functional, and integration testing. It enforces good design principles, consistency of code across your team (and across your organization), and proper release management.

But Rails is more than a set of best practices. Rails makes it both fun and easy to turn out very cool web applications. Need Ajax support, so your web applications are highly interactive? Rails has it built in. Want an application that sends and receives e-mail? Built in. Supports internationalization and localization? Built in. Do you need applications with a REST-based interface (so they can interact with other RESTful applications with almost no effort on your part)? All built-in.

With this book, you'll learn how to use ActiveRecord to connect business objects and database tables. No more painful object-relational mapping. Just create your business objects and let Rails do the rest. Need to create and modify your schema? Migrations make it painless (and they're versioned, so you can roll changes backward and forward). You'll learn how to use the Action Pack framework to route incoming requests and render pages using easy-to-write templates and components. See how to exploit the Rails service frameworks to send emails, implement web services, and create dynamic, user-centric web-pages using built-in Javascript and Ajax support. There is extensive coverage of testing, and the rewritten Deployment chapter now covers Phusion Passenger.

As with the previous editions of the book, we start with an extended tutorial that builds parts of an online store. And, of course, the application has been rewritten to show the best of Rails V2.

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Pragmatic BookshelfAgile Web Development with Rails, 3rd Edition
 
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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Great Book For Established Scripters

By Chris Stringer

from Bend, OR

About Me Casual Reader

Pros

  • Informative
  • Well Written

Cons

    Best Uses

      Comments about Pragmatic Bookshelf Agile Web Development with Rails, 3rd Edition:

      I read this book in bits and pieces over the past 6 months, in between nights of writing code and spending time with my 8 month old. I have been developing apps in Rails for about 2 years now, but definitely knew that my on-the-job-training left me with a lot of gaps in my understanding of how things really worked behind the scenes in my Rails apps. Coming from a PHP background, I have to say that it has been a wonderful experience to work with the elegant, simple, yet powerful MVC stack that is Rails, and I have also become a big fan of the Ruby language.

      I have worked professionally in the software field for over 10 years now, so I came into this book with a decent understanding of objects, databases, MVC, etc. As the review title suggests, I think anybody with a programming background is going to enjoy this book. It really provides a clean, easy to digest analysis of the internals of Rails and how to do everything from auto-building the initial framework of your app to creating a RESTful API with XML and scaling to handle larger loads via caching, server configurations and other techniques. The book starts out with a real world example of building a simple shopping cart app and an admin tool to manage it. I have always preferred learning by jumping in and getting your hands dirty, and I think the book does a great job or walking you through this process. I am fairly sure you can even get all the code for this sample app from the publisher's web site, if you want to tweak or customize it further.

      Following the sample shopping cart app, the book iterates through all the other major components of Rails including ActionView, ActionMailer, ActiveRecord, Prototype/Scriptaculous, and more. My one (minor) complaint here is that different authors wrote different chapters here, and they all have different styles. Some of them tend to assume more than others about what you will understand without further explanation, so the amount of detail they each go into can vary. That said, you can always read up on the individual components on the web if you want to understand more about how they work.

      So if you have some programming experience, I would highly recommend this book as a great introduction to Rails, or as a means of continuing education if you are already working with Rails but want to fully understand all of its components. For total newbies, I would check out Simply Rails 2.

      Of course now that Rails 3 has been released, you could argue that both books will quickly become irrelevant until updated versions are released ;-)

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Still THE place to go for Ruby on Rails

      By Jay

      from Atlanta, GA

      About Me Designer, Developer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Concise
      • Easy to understand
      • Helpful examples

      Cons

      • Not comprehensive enough

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate
      • Novice

      Comments about Pragmatic Bookshelf Agile Web Development with Rails, 3rd Edition:

      I started programming Ruby on Rails several years ago with the first edition of this book, and recently picked up the third edition to get started with Rails 2. I found the same great introduction to rails with many of the missing pieces from the first edition covered nicely now. Parts I and II provide an easy and quick start with rails, with Parts III and IV digging in deeper. The balance of high-level vs. in-depth detail is just right for me. It doesn't waste your time re-teaching core programming concepts - you need to bring those with you. But if you are already a competent developer looking to expand into RoR, this is the right place to start.

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