Foundation Rails 2

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Apress, Oct 22, 2008 - Computers - 480 pages
1 Review

You've heard about this amazing web framework called Ruby on Rails that's taken the world by storm, but thought it was way too complex for you? Think again.

Foundation Rails 2 takes you through your first steps in Rails, explaining in plain English how to start building dynamic web applications. And there's never been a better time to jump in to the Rails world, as the release of Rails 2 was a major evolutionary leap forward from previous versions.

Unlike other Rails books, this book doesn't throw you into the deep end right away in the hopes that you'll learn to swim. Instead, we'll start out with the basics and continually expand your knowledge until, by the end of the book, we're building a Rails application with dynamic features such as user registration, geocoding, filtering results with AJAX, RSS feeds, and an XML interface. Meanwhile, we'll talk about the important issues that other books often leave out such as testing your application's code, securing your application from hackers, optimizing your code for the best performance, and of course, deploying your application.

This book takes a focused approach to guiding you through understanding how the pieces of Rails work individually and how they fit together. Instead of emphasizing boring theoretical discussions, Foundation Rails 2 lets you get your hands dirty with the framework and learn the hows and whys of Rails faster than ever.

We start with a tour of what makes Rails special and why you need to learn it, move into a gentle introduction to the high points of programming in Ruby, and then take a tour of a sample Rails application. Next, we dig deeper into the core components of Rails before building a complete Rails application together. By the end of this book, not only will you know how to build Rails applications but you'll understand the reasons behind what you do.

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I just finished this book and I have to say, it was an excellent read! I am not a programmer, by trade, I have to write some code for work, but it’s normally just shell scripts, or lisp based stuff (skill), so I am more of a hobbyist I guess. I became interested in Ruby on Rails last year after I wrote a “hobby” app in java that need to access some google data and was very disappointed to learn that my “desktop” app would always be considered “untrustworthy” since it was not tied to a web site. When I tried to correct this by trying to turn my app in to a “web app”, I found a lot of info saying that java web apps were hard and that Ruby on Rails was the way to go, not to mention that running code on a JVM is a premium on many hosting sites.
I found this book, and read it online via a service that my employer subscribes to, and once I started reading it, I just could not stop! I had very little exposure to Ruby other than looking at a few online tutorials. This book has just enough ruby info at the beginning to get you started and let’s you learn more as you progress thru learning rails.
The book covers an incredible amount of info, but does it with, I think, just the right amount of detail at just the right time, so that you feel you are getting a good understanding of what’s going on with out slowing you down to cover every aspect of a given ruby construct.
One thing I had never been exposed to that is also covered in this book is the concept of testing, and how it makes sense to write the tests before you write the code. At one point during the last 2 chapters (where you write a complete app from scratch) I really felt that we should have been writing the Rspec tests as we went along.
There were a few issues with some of the code in the book (which I wish I had written down to include here), nothing major, and it figuring out what was wrong was not beyond what you had been taught, so it was almost like a little homework assignment,
Thanks Eldon, excellent job, and I hope your daughter found her “Bear Bear”!

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About the author (2008)

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.