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Ruby for Rails: Ruby Techniques for Rails Developers Paperback – 11 May 2006

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Manning Publications; 01 edition (11 May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932394699
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932394696
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 3.1 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,006,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

A Ruby community leader, David A. Black is a director of Ruby Central, the parent organization of the annual International Ruby Conference (RubyConf) and the International Rails Conference. David is a Ruby core contributor and the creator and maintainer of the Rails-based Ruby Change Request Archive (RCRchive). He lives and works as a consultant in New Jersey.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I'm an experienced Perl and Python programmer and this is the first book on Ruby + Rails that I've picked up. I have to say that I found part 1 of the book (the first 90 of 475 pages) excellent, demonstrating clearly the amount of coding that is avoided by using the Rails framework.

But from then on until part 4 (near to the end) it felt like wading through increasingly thickening treacle with the book making very slow yet unthorough progress through the more common general purpose programming features with frequently repeated bad examples and a awful lot of superfluous "chit-chat"; I can only assume that the author had a hard time fleshing out the main contents to meet the required page count! Here's one of many possible examples from the text that illustrates the point:

"From now on, when you see this notation (in this book or elsewhere), you'll know what it means. (The second example (class method reference using a dot) looks the same as a call to the method, but you'll know from the context whether it's a method call or a reference to a method in a discussion.) // Objects come from classes. If classes are objects, that implies that they, too, come from a class. A class can be created with a call to the class method new of its class. // And what is the class of a class? It's a class called Class. Yes, there's a bit of "Who's on first?" here, but the concept is by no means impenetrable..."

Thankfully, the Rails focused contents toward the end of the book goes a long way towards redeeming the dire middle, and make for quite stimulating reading.

As a Ruby tutorial it is poor. As a Ruby or Rails reference it is also quite poor. But as a Rails tutorial it shines.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is excellent. It helps to teach not only rails but the ruby language that underpins it. Rather than treating them as two separate topics, the book focuses on showing how ruby and rails work together (rails is written in ruby after all...) This helps you to learn the ruby language with a focus on rails development.

It is written in a tutorial format and David Black has a very authorative writing style that is a little dry (i.e. doesn't have any of those silly 'jokes' that many tech authors use).

It starts with the basics of installing ruby and rails and walks you through a small rails application before going into the nuts and bolts of the ruby language. Most of the ruby parts are centered around rails with lots of references to how rails works in the background. This helps to give you a good grounding in Ruby but also helps you to understand rails in depth.

Be aware that it is not a reference book and you would probably be better with Agile Web Development With Rails by the two Davids for Rails reference and The Ruby Pickaxe book by the one David for Ruby reference. Learn to Program by Chris Pine is also worth reading if you have little programming experience and would like to learn Ruby from the start.

I would highly recommend this book to anybody who is starting to develop in rails.
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Format: Paperback
As a Rails newbie I've been purchasing a number of Ruby and Rails books/pdfs and this is one of the best.

Dave is a longstanding member of the Ruby community and I think his passion for the language may explain why this is such an excellent read.

He has managed to produce a technical manual that explains both what Rails is and how to use it, and Ruby's idioms and how they work in a Rails context, that is a joy to read. The book's contents prove to be both very informative and easy to grasp. A definite must have.
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Format: Paperback
Perhaps some fresh rails converts might be put off by the weight of the word 'Ruby' in the book's title ('but i just want to learn Rails'). To anyone who might have those doubts, my recommendation is to imagine that the book was just called 'Learning Rails'. David Black illuminates how the framework functions, and ways to use it effectively, very clearly. This book has filled in the (sometimes large) gaps in my understanding of Rails.

It's clear that a good deal of attention went into the sequencing of the content; it's perfectly paced, and presents just enough new information in each section to be able to digest and build on what came before. The result is very efficient learning.

David Black's writing is intelligent, unambiguous and very easy to read. It's (thankfully) free of quirky humour/funkiness, but this isn't a dry read; It's captivating because of his skill in explaining things.

Throughout the book Black emphasises the idea that learning Rails and learning Ruby shouldn't be seen as separate endeavours. By the time you've reached the end of this 'Learning Rails' book, you'll know a good deal of Ruby too.
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