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Sinatra: Up and Running by [Harris, Alan, Haase, Konstantin]
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Sinatra: Up and Running Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Description

Book Description

Ruby for the Web, Simply

About the Author

Alan Harris is a software engineer with a decade of professional experience, and author of several books on software development spanning multiple platforms and languages. He has delivered numerous scalable, elegant solutions for companies ranging from non-profits to military subcontractors; he has also been a featured contributor in the developerWorks community. He currently works and resides in the DC area.

As current maintainer of Sinatra, Konstantin is an Open Source developer by heart. Ruby has become his language of choice since 2005. He actively participates in the Ruby community and regularly contributes to different widespread projects, like Rubinius and Rack. In 2010, he successfully took part in the Ruby Summer Of Code, working on Rails internals. Haase is currently studying IT Systems Engineering at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, Germany, and works part time as a software engineer at finnlabs in Berlin.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2742 KB
  • Print Length: 122 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1449304230
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (21 Nov. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006C3HPS4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #506,255 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Sinatra is a simple and powerful web server framework, and this book is worth reading if you're interested in Sinatra. However, this book is not as comprehensive as the O'Reilly book on Rails, nor is it as polished as other O'Reilly books.

Specific criticisms:
- There are some silly mistakes in the text, which better proof-reading and editing would have corrected. I think this probably extends to mistakes in example code.
- Some useful features of Sinatra aren't really explained - for example layouts are mentioned but not fully explained.
- The book gives a glimpse of how Sinatra works, but it doesn't fully explain Rack or the Ruby magic that Sinatra uses. I found myself wanting a more comprehensive explanation. Alternatively, I would preferred a full description of how to use Sinatra with less of how it works. Instead the book leaves me thinking "it's rather complicated, I don't think I really understand it".
- It would be useful to cover other Ruby tools that work well with Sinatra.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's all in here, you just need to find it. A good reference after going through a gentler introduction. I suspect this would be the well thumbed reference book on my shelf, if it wasn't for me having the kindle version.
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Format: Paperback
While the book is not massive it covers everything.
The size also means that coming back to it to find that comment, or that feature is damn easy.

Will recommand this book to everyone that wonder about a simple framework, or to expose an api.
100% worth the price
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars 17 reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's just right. A perfect introduction. 15 Dec. 2011
By Peter Cooper - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
An interesting quirk of Scandinavian society is the concept of Jante Law. It knocks down standing out and being individual, in favor of communal harmony. It's typically used in a negative context to lament restrictions and lack of risk taking within Nordic society but the flip side of the Jante coin is "lagom": the idea and ideal of having just the right amount of something.

Sinatra Up and Running is, second to K&R, the most "lagom" technical book I've read. At a mere 102 pages you may wonder whether it's worth buying - it is. Unlike most technical books - yes, including mine - it skips the waffle and provides a perfect level of detail going through from what Sinatra is, to how it works, and on to an example project that covers just 13 pages. Don't be fooled, though, this isn't one of those tiny format O'Reilly handbooks; it's a regular, full size book - just a thin one!

It's a good book and well written. I enjoyed it and picked up or was reminded of quite a few interesting bits and pieces. I'll probably refer to it from time to time. If your Sinatra experiences are rather on and off or you've not played with it for a while, it's a great, well-paced introduction. If, however, you're already a Sinatra guru and/or working with Sinatra on a day by day basis and have all of the main patterns memorized, there's not a great deal you're going to get out of it. Buy it to be a completionist or to support the authors, but if you want a book demonstrating in depth how to integrate Sinatra with everything or how to big giant Web applications, this isn't for you.

Inexperienced Rubyists may also find the book's direct no-nonsense style intimidating. If you know what a code block is, you're good to go. This may seem like a bizarre observation to most Rubyists, but I've encountered many beginners who've wanted to "build a Web site" and immediately leapt into an advanced Rails book, only to be confused. If you're still new to Ruby, read The Well Grounded Rubyist or Beginning Ruby first.

And I'm going to stop here, because that would be lagom :-)
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars not a book for beginners 9 Jan. 2012
By niteshade - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I can sense the quality of this book. As other reviews have stated, it is clear and concise, and I will keep it on my bookshelf for future reference. It has a certain zen feel, and if you can follow everything in this book, you will be a force of nature.

This is not, however a book for Ruby beginners, or for novice (or perhaps even intermediate) developers looking to Sinatra for an alternative to the complex behemoth that is Rails. Don't be lulled by the thin size of this book: it is dense. After the first chapter, when it considers the rich array of paths Sinatra offers, it delves into the HTTP specification, the underlying architecture of Sinatra, hacking the Sinatra system itself, Rack, and modular applications.

However, these deeper and back-end topics are the entire beast. Besides a cursory few examples in the first chapter, there is little attention paid to organizing applications, design patters, or best-practices. There's not much hand-holding, in other words.

If you see yourself needing to manually distinguish MIME types or define custom HTTP headers, this book seems great. It's a book for computer scientists looking to add another weapon to their arsenal. It is not a book for dilettantes or the inexperienced. However, I have a sneaking suspicion I will come back to this book after I get used the Sinatra system.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Introdcution 1 Jan. 2012
By Anurag Priyam - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Finished the book in three hours straight. Content coverage is just right; couldn't think of anything in particular that this book leaves out. And the writing style clear and succinct.

The book explains Sinatra's API very well with simple and (mostly) meaningful examples. The internals are explained in the context of actual Sinatra code or a simplified version if the implementation is a little complicated. I love how the book introduces related information, but essentially beyond the scope of the book, by explaining it a bit and then providing an online resource for further reading - HTTP specific concepts for example.

I would have given them a full five if the hands on example of building a Sinatra application was something more interesting and creative than writing a blog engine (it has become poster boy of all web frameworks :|).
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast, Thorough Introduction 12 April 2012
By Ryan Riley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book through in its entirety in just a few days. It was short but thorough, and I thought it covered all the necessities rather well. Even if you don't use either Ruby or Sinatra, I'd recommend picking this up to find out just how simple building web applications should be.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable reference, and nice wrap-up example project 9 Jan. 2014
By H. Paul Robertson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In the introduction, the authors mention a couple of things about potential readers (the perennial author's dilemma). 1) They should have Ruby experience or else experience building web applications with other systems; and 2) to be patient while you're reading the book if you find something that you already know, and consider that other readers might not.

In spite of those statements, here are my recommendations for a reader's level of experience prior to reading this book:

1) This book is for people who know Ruby, at least at a working level. Before starting this book I had very minimal Ruby experience, but lots of server-side web development experience. Nevertheless, I stopped reading early on and read another book to learn some more Ruby before returning to this book, and it made a big difference.

2) This book is for people who are somewhat familiar with the underlying aspects of web server functionality. Concepts are not explained in much detail.

3) This book is for people who know something about Sinatra and its conventions already. In multiple cases, the authors make a passing reference to a concept as though it's understood (for example, they say "assume you have a folder named 'public' with a file in it" but never explain that it is a Sinatra convention that any static content in the /public/ folder is automatically served by Sinatra). Not knowing this, I was confused by the explanation that followed until I did some research.

4) This book, or at least some of the more advanced parts about Rack, are for people who are familiar with Rails. I am not, so I didn't really understand the analogies and comparisons that the authors make throughout that part of the book.

That's not to say it's a bad book. There's just a big jump between the early content, which is easy to grasp and follow along with by typing in code examples, and later content which quickly goes very deep, which relies on certain prior knowledge in order to understand it, and which doesn't give enough detail to be able to run the code examples. In my server-side experience with other systems, I would never have needed to go to the level of depth of the content in two of these chapters. My feeling is that this book would have been better served by more mid-level content and prescriptive guidance on how to architect applications, versus content that is mostly entry-level or very deep level.

One thing I really like about this book is that although most of the examples are very lean in terms of their practical utility, the entire last section is a full application (a static blog engine that integrates with GitHub for content). Unfortunately I was never able to get that example working -- one improvement would be to have more detail on how to run it and to have the reader start running the code early and often rather than at the very end. In spite of that, I felt like the previous content and the provided explanations were sufficient that I understood every line of code in the project as I was typing it in.
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