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The Rails Way: Driving Rails into the Enterprise (Addison-Wesley Professional Ruby) Paperback – 16 Nov 2007

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Product details

  • Paperback: 912 pages
  • Publisher: Addison Wesley; 1 edition (16 Nov. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321445619
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321445612
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 5 x 23.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,248,655 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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About the Author

Obie Fernandez is a recognized tech industry leader and independent consultant. He has been hacking computers since he got his first Commodore VIC-20 in the eighties, and found himself in the right place and time as a programmer on some of the first Java enterprise projects of the mid-nineties. He moved to Atlanta, Georgia, in 1998 and gained prominence as lead architect of local startup success MediaOcean. He also founded the Extreme Programming (later Agile Atlanta) User Group and was that group’s president and organizer for several years. In 2004, he made the move back into the enterprise, tackling high-risk, progressive projects for world-renowned consultancy ThoughtWorks. He has been evangelizing Ruby and Rails online via blog posts and publications since early 2005, and earned himself quite a bit of notoriety (and trash talking) from his old friends in the Java open-source community. Since then, he has presented on a regular basis at numerous industry events and user group meetings, and even does the occasional training gig for corporations and groups wanting to get into Rails development. Nowadays, Obie specializes in the development and marketing of large-scale, web-based applications. 


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By S Butterworth on 8 Jan. 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
At over 900 pages this is a Rails How-to on a biblical scale. Clearly written by someone who has got their hand dirty in lots of real world Rails applications the book offers detailed and well targeted advice. There are other books out there for getting started with Rails but once you're up and running this is the book you need by your side.

Pragmatic use of Rails is about using great plug-ins and making use of all the framework has to offer this book helps you discover the full extent of what Rails has to offer so you can spend less time coding and more time reusing.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. D. Townsend on 13 Mar. 2008
Format: Paperback
If you are serious about developing using Ruby on Rails: buy this book. There is no doubt it will come in useful, even if you consider yourself an advanced RoR developer. I was very comfortable with RoR before I read this book, expecting to only find a few bits and pieces useful, but the level of detail is really great, explaining exactly how each line works, helps both novices and expects alike.

If you want to learn by example, this book might not suit you, as it is more of a reference book than a step by step guide. What it will give you however is a great, deep knowledge of Rails allowing you to 'invent' your own examples along the way. My advice to novices: choose yourself a basic project to begin with (e.g. make a address book system with login), and then read the book with the idea of "how do I do this best?", make notes, then when you feel confident - put all the pieces of your system together.

My summary:
This is the only RoR book I have read that goes beyond the information you can find on the internet and is actually worth buying. You will not be let down. You will refer to it all the time.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By deric on 19 Mar. 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is hard to use as a reference. It is not concise and walks you through examples like a baby. I had to read this book from cover to cover to find the gems... If your a beginner in ruby/rails, have created a basic rails application, have the time to work through 900 pages and don't mind fluff, then this is a good book. However, there may be short sections throughout the book that might go over your head, but you can always come back to those sections later... The chapter on REST was really useful for me.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 32 reviews
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
must-have reference for rails devs. 7 Dec. 2007
By pounding on the keyboard - Published on
Format: Paperback
I've been waiting for this book since the Sample chapter on activeRecord was released. I suspected this book would answer all the people decrying Rails lack of (java or PHP-like) docs. Well, it is breathtaking in its scope (really), it is the definitive working dev's reference to the APIs, development, testing and deployment best practices and most widely adopted/tested plugins and gems (with a few holes). I believe every dev should go thru the table of contents slowly and carefully (several times).

Obie F seems to have assembled a huge team of resources to collaborate on each chapter, and it shows in exhaustive coverage. The table of contents entry for the testing chapter is 2 1/2 pages long and rspec is separate from that. So when i hit a problem, i think i'll hit this book first, then google rails mailing lists, and the intarweb tubes.

Negatives (cause I'm looking for perfection):
- footnotes are clustered at each chapter's end. Good luck finding a superscript number in a 75-page chapter.

-typesetting needs work. It doesn't clearly convey a hierarchy of topics, subtopics, and sub-subtopics , there's just lot of serif, non-serif, bold, italics and sizes on pages that walk through APIs (ajax, ActiveSupport chapters). Better to use outline-style numbering (e.g. Pragmatics). p. 229: the code example mixes an opening single-quote and backticks. Bad, bad.

- a number of what could be considered core topics are not covered: search/indexing libraries (ferret, solr, sphinx), HAML/SASS, pinging and site stats libs like mint, god, AWStats, etc. Postgres (this is a biggie), they recommend deploying to Mysql and Redhat/Centos/Debian /gentoo without much detail. textmate/vim/emacs/eclipse. source control libs like darcs and git. Rspec *is* given 30 pages, this is big. (There's not room for detailed discussion, but they could have mentioned these things ina sentence somewhere. most of these topics are covered in detail somewhere in blogspace, except for ferret/solr/sphinx deployment strategies, where you have to read mailing list archives.

- rails is on cusp of widespread adoption of release 2. I haven't seen anywhere that AW or Safari online books plans to issue regular PDF or online updates to the book. This is the main criticism if it is correct, relative to how Pragmatic has been releasing its books.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
This and "The Ruby Way": Always-On-Your-Desk Books 6 Jan. 2008
By Larry - Published on
Format: Paperback
I think the classic "Agile Web Development with Rails" is a better book for learning about Rails. But while this book comes in second in that category (which ain't bad), I think as a reference it comes in first.
One thing I especially like about this book is that he explains *why* certain things are the way they are. Quite a few times I found myself thinking, "So *that's* why it's like that" or "So *that's* why they did it that way". Good stuff.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
A must-have reference for any Rails developer 12 Dec. 2007
By Michael Slater - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an outstanding book. It's not a good introduction to Rails, which it isn't intended to be, but for someone who knows the basics of Rails this book is both an essential reference and a valuable tutorial on the deeper aspects of Rails. Despite the fact that it is, at its heart, a reference, there's so much insight in the descriptions that it's a great tutorial as well for the intermediate Rails developer.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Time for an update 11 Mar. 2009
By Mark Obrien - Published on
Format: Paperback
The Rails community is flourishing, and the technology is evolving quickly. Before too long, Rails 2.3 will be in general release. This book is a solid reference, but its roots are in Rails 1.x, with a couple of scraps tossed in to earn the "Rails 2.0" seal on the cover. As a rails newbie, I got a foundation from this book, but unfortunately, if you try and take this book literally but you are working in rails 2.x, you will get frustrated. There are plenty of resources on the web to help fill this gap. I like having a physical reference, so I'm glad I bought the book, but newbies beware. I would love to see a new edition of this book, thoroughly updated to reflect the current state of rails.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Good author, bad publisher 26 Oct. 2008
By Clinton Begin - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a good book that could have been better with a better publisher. I'm very disappointed with Addison Wesley here.

First, the production quality of this book is horrid. If I had picked it up physically in a book store, I would have never bought it. The paper is thick and heavy, yet cheap, like elementary school construction paper. I have books of equal page numbers that are a centimeter thinner. I literally took a razor blade to mine and split it in two so I could carry it around to read it (that's how committed I was to reading it, which says something for the content :-). For anyone interested, splitting it exactly at Chapter 12 works without it falling apart.

The editing was horrid too. Somewhere between the copy editor and the technical reviewers, someone should have caught the repetition. As an author myself, I know how hard it is to review your own work, especially when it comes to wordiness and repetition. So I don't blame the author, but the editing/reviewing process. The editors/reviewers should have also caught some of the continuity problems, starting with the very first chapter. When I started reading the book I had about a year of Rails experience and had read about 3 other Rails books. While I read the first chapter, I was thinking: "Wow... how lost are Rails noobs right now?"

Next, there are 30 pages of fluff at the beginning of the book. Again, not likely a decision of the author, but filler inserted by publishers. By comparison, The Ruby Programming Language (O'Reilly) has 5 pages before the first chapter. There is also over 100 pages of API reference, which were outdated the second the book hit the shelves. Again, I cannot imagine Obie actually suggesting this, and I know how pushy publishers are. Note to Addison Wesley: There's this really neat thing called the internet where we go for up-to-date API references now!

Finally, this is not a Rails 2.0 book. This is where I truly sympathize with any author of a technical book. Writing books takes a damn long time and is very hard. It's often the case that the technology changes by the time the book is finished. But that does not mean that a publisher should LIE on the front cover on the book. Of course, Rails 2.0 is mentioned in the book. But so many things from the migrations to the ActiveRecord discussion were not even Rails 1.2! Some of the soft information and suggestions were still worthwhile, but it still isn't Rails 2.0. So to put a big "Covers Rails 2.0" stamp on the front is borderline dishonest... at most, it "mentions 2.0 sometimes".

This is still a good book and a worthwhile read. Under almost any other publisher it is a 5 star book. The star lost is at the hands of Addison Wesley (I wanted to take two, but Obie doesn't deserve that). I hope a second edition comes out that covers all of these production quality issues, thus putting a better frame around a worthwhile piece of work.
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