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Ruby on Rails: Up and Running [Paperback]

Bruce A. Tate , Curt Hibbs
1.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Rails: Up and Running Rails: Up and Running 5.0 out of 5 stars (1)
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Book Description

1 Sep 2006 0596101325 978-0596101329 1

Ruby on Rails is the super-productive new way to develop full-featured web applications. With Ruby on Rails, powerful web applications that once took weeks or months to develop can now be produced in a matter of days. If it sounds too good to be true, it isn't.

If you're like a lot of web developers, you've probably considered kicking the tires on Rails - the framework of choice for the new generation of Web 2.0 developers. Ruby on Rails: Up and Running takes you out for a test drive and shows you just how fast Ruby on Rails can go.

This compact guide teaches you the basics of installing and using both the Ruby scripting language and the Rails framework for the quick development of web applications. Ruby on Rails: Up and Running covers just about everything you need - from making a simple database-backed application to adding elaborate Ajaxian features and all the juicy bits in between. While Rails is praised for its simplicity and speed of development, there are still a few steps to master on the way. More advanced material helps you map data to an imperfect table, traverse complex relationships, and build custom finders. A section on working with Ajax and REST shows you how to exploit the Rails service frameworks to send emails, implement web services, and create dynamic user-centric web pages. The book also explains the essentials of logging to find performance problems and delves into other performance-optimizing techniques.

As new web development frameworks go, Ruby on Rails is the talk of the town. And Ruby on Rails: Up and Running can make sure you're in on the discussion.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (1 Sep 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596101325
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596101329
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 17.8 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,440,273 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

If you need an accelerated path to learning Ruby on Rails, look no further -- About.com: Ruby, October 2006

In just seven chapters, the book covers all the really important stuff about Rails
-- Bitwise Magazine, November 2006

Book Description

Lightning Fast Web Development

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

1.8 out of 5 stars
1.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Massive Disappointment 14 Sep 2006
By N. Bain
Format:Paperback
I recieved this book this morning and had finished it within an hour. 130 pages plus two annexes that gave no further information than is readily available by googling 'ruby on rails'.

Very much aimed at the beginner. But wait a minute.... I am a beginner, I have never programmed in my life before, I have never run a website before. So how come this added nothing to my knowledge. Easy. I read the quick start guides on the web (Free).

If you are looking for better value, check out Agile Web Development with Rails. When you get more advanced, David Black's Ruby for Rails is very good. (I have no connection with either)

Anyone want to buy a second hand copy??
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too little detail where it counts 27 Dec 2006
Format:Paperback
What a disappointment for an OReilly Book, this book is a sprint through the use of Rails, and when I say sprint, its a Ben Johnson sprint on some of todays finest steriods.

Classic example is on the use of migrations, badly explained, and only tells you just enough to get a single table up and running, no further explanations until much later in the book, in the ends leaves you totally confused about this whole topic.

Wierd depth too, some times hardly any, other times it goes mine shaft deep into detail. I read Tate's book "Beyond Java" and really enjoyed this, but this book seems to have been thrown together as quickly as possible to get onto the Rails bandwagon.

Could have been much much better guys !!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Save you money 2 July 2009
Format:Paperback
Weak, weak, weak. There is nothing in this book above the trivial. There is nothing in this book you can't read on-line for free. There is nothing in this book that will help with any Ruby-On-The-Rails problems. It's really a mystery why this book was printed, or indeed why the author owns up to writing this rubbish (except he got paid).

You can't give zero (0) points on Amazon, so it gets 1 star, by default.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Up and Running? Hardly! 20 Sep 2006
By Paul Lynch VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
O'Reilly seems to be suffering from more typos and code errors than they used to (in the distant past, before perfect bindings). This book suffers from a few that jarred on me.

If pressed, I'd describe this book as a reasonable taster for Rails. The authors assume that you are already familiar with the basic concepts (HTML, AJAX, and so on), and forgoes any serious coverage of Ruby. There is a basic, half page, description of MVC, and an awareness of object oriented programming is also assumed.

Other criticisms: unit testing is only covered in the last chapter. Come on! It's a fundamental principle of Rails that you should develop your tests as you write, and leaving it all to last makes a mockery of that.

I wasn't entirely comfortable with the programming style; it relies on use of primary keys, when I would be happier with passing the ActiveRecord model object that owns that key to methods that accept it; it also often uses quoted strings where symbols are now preferred.

The writing style was also cookbook style - do this, do that, and it will work; but with very little explanation of underlying principles. In an introductory book like this, coverage of principles is far more important than in thicker reference books.

My biggest objection, and why the title "Up and Running" is inappropriate, is that deployment isn't covered at all. At least a cookbook version of deploying the example photos application using Capistrano and Mongrel should have been included to make the book meet its title.

This book is 167 pages long, including appendices and index. But 28 of those pages are in Appendix B, which is the (good) InVisible Ruby On Rails Reference (freely downloadable elsewhere). It's a short book.
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Amazon.com: 3.3 out of 5 stars  32 reviews
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Helpful and informative, also breathless and rushed 10 Sep 2006
By Michael Ernest - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is indeed a fast-paced book designed for experienced developers. Using it, I was able to build the Photo Share project it covers rather quickly. I got a good overview of how Rails works, too.

But while I appreciate the end result, I wasn't always so sure what I did or why I did it. The introduction of concepts is *so* fast and terse that I found it hard to connect concepts to practice. The section on Rails Strengths, on pp. 2-3, could certainly have been stronger on this point. Still, the points the authors wanted to make about the power of the Rails environment was unmistakable.

I disagree with the premise of the book about its intended audience. Web-oriented programmers are certainly ideal for this book; other programmers are going to struggle. A great deal of conceptual background is taken for granted. Because Rails make so many understood connections between components, it's worth a few more pictures and diagrams to illustrate those relationships. The many diagrams on data table structure were not as helpful to me.

There are errata that can be quite annoying if you are following along carefully. Mis-stated filenames crop up now and then. In a few cases I followed the book exactly and lost a bit of functionality. The book does not advise on error paths or what to do when something goes wrong, so if you're not making file backups or otherwise tracking your changes, you'll go down a rat-hole or two.

On the whole, the book has a feel of being a bit rushed and breathless, rather than merely short in form. This means going over the material several times. Often I found a key piece of information buried in a paragraph when a bullet point would have made it easier to spot. I know people are bullet-shy these days, but when you're writing real information as opposed to concepts, listing it out is helpful.

My review copy came free, so I can't complain about price. That said, I wouldn't buy this book at the price it wants.
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but short 31 Aug 2006
By Bruce Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Given that this book is only 127 pages long without the Appendix, it's a pretty pricey little item. I liked the content of the book, and certainly learned a lot about how to bring up a Rails application, but a $29.99 retail price seems exorbitant.

In this first edition there are also plenty of typos and some errors in the example code (VERY frustrating). Luckily the corrected source code can be downloaded from O'Reilly free.

I would have given this item 4 or 5 stars if it would have been half the price. Alternatively, this little book would make a great introduction to a more comprehensive book on Rails. Stand-alone, it feels like a rip-off.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They didn't subtitle it "Lightning-Fast Web Development" by mistake 11 Oct 2006
By Scott Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I love books like this -- get in, get out, get on with it. I'm incredibly busy these days. (Who isn't?) Gone are the days where I can afford to hunker down with a 1,000 page tome, and quite frankly I just don't want to anymore. I place real value in brevity in computer books. This isn't Shakespeare. This is business. Let's get on with it.

Maybe I'm biased; Ruby on Rails: Up and Running takes the same approach that my co-author and I took with JBoss At Work. Rather than a series of disjointed "Hello World" examples, Up and Running starts with a simple application and builds it iteratively through the end of the book. Seeing the application in action, coming to life one chapter at a time, is both rewarding and educational. My copy is dog-eared from repeating the same steps, in order, for the next several applications that I got "up and running" on my own.

If you're looking for an exhaustive reference guide, this isn't the right book. (Agile Web Development with Rails, by Dave Thomas and David Heinemeier Hansson might be a better fit.) Up and Running is more like an afternoon pair-programming session with a couple of really sharp guys. The back cover copy says it all: "...a quick, no-nonsense introduction that shows you how to build real applications."
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In two minds... 4 Oct 2006
By Johannes de Jong - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I'm in two minds about this book, but one thing I know for sure; I wish that this book was around when I started off on my Rails journey, minus the mistakes and the bad representation though!

Bruce and Curt take you from a very fast paced intro to a fairly complete and professional photo sharing application. Personally I will go back to this application when I want to experiment with Rails/Ruby.

They describe the Active record, the corner stone of Rails, adequately and after working through chapters 2 and 3 you should have a fair grasp of the how rails implements the active record pattern. I especially liked their use of the ruby console to show the reader how certain things work. I personally feel that too few Rails programmers use the power of the console to experiment with Ruby, remember you learn by experimentation.

They then go ahead and show how you can build a quick and dirty interface with the "controversial" scaffolding around the database you created in chapters 2 and 3. This where Rails shines for me; as scaffolding allows you to get something up and running fast. Their coverage of this subject is more than adequate.

In chapter 5 Bruce and Curt take the rough-and-dirty generated Rails application and turn into a pretty professional looking application using style sheets. Nothing new here but it shows you where and how you do it under/in Rails.

Chapter 6 uses the power of Ajax to add the icing on the cake for the photo application. A great intro as to how Ajax is implemented/used under Rails.

Chapter 7 describes the automated testing functionality in Rails and this for me was the chapter I benefited the most from. I'm a mainframe programmer that has taken up Rails, and Ruby with it, as a hobby and this automated testing is foreign to me. So this book has shown me how to test the right way in/under Rails.

The book ends with a summary and pointers to where more information can be found. Basically the appendix is one large cheat sheet of Rails that can come in handy as your Rails knowledge grows.

Personally I think that the books formatting SHOULD be improved, for instance it should be made much clearer to the reader when he has to do something and boy the reviewers, editor(s), whoever deserves the blame, must be shot for allowing so many typos to slip through.

In the beginning I said I was in two minds about this book, basically this is because I'm not sure if I should recommend this book.

On the one side I feel this book is worth purchasing. I really do feel, even with the typos and faults, that with hard work and care you will learn what Rails is all about and that this book will give you a solid foundation to get you started on your Rails, and Ruby, journey.

On the other side I feel that as a paying customer you deserve better, there is nothing more frustrating than learning something new and the tutorial you use to learn it is full of mistakes.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Its terseness is a plus 8 Jan 2007
By Margo Wycam - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Although the book is overpriced, the value I have gotten from it makes it worthwhile. Like others, I did not pay list for it.

I had previously purchased the Pragmatic Programmers book on Rails. The book was too big. I doubt that I ever opened it. This book is thin and simple.

In each chapter I make a list of the action items, things that I am expected to do. I also make a list of results that I am expected to see. I check them off as I do them.

The result is that for the first time I am doing a little RoR. It gets me started. I agree that there are filename typos. For instance, in the first chapter the controllers directory is called the controller directory.

I don't agree with the person who says that this book is not for people who read it in front of a computer while they have internet access. That is exactly who it is for. I do read the chapter first to see what I have to do, but then I go over it again in front of the computer.

All in all, I am well-pleased with this book, because it got me off of my duff and into RoR.

By the way, the section on installing RoR is peculiar. They tell you in the first chapter to install RoR using Gems. I did that and it worked like a charm. One command, basically.

But in the Appendix on installing Rails it says that there is no simple way to install RoR on Unix. In fact, Gems was as simple as can be.

It is probably true, sadly, that the book is rushed. But judged by its value to me I rate it quite highly. Other than typos I don't know if spending more time on the book would have made it any better.
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