on 14 September 2006
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??
on 27 December 2006
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 !!!!
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.
I have to sum up by saying that, despite its flaws, this gives a good, quick, preview of Rails development, and I can't think of a better one on the market at the moment; it is also better, I believe, than any of the web site based introductions, but stops far short of the comprehensive reference that is 'Agile Web Development with Ruby on Rails' (Dave Thomas and DHH).
on 2 July 2009
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.