Show Articles


Ruby on Rails Books Review


I love reading technical books, especially well written books.

I prefer PDF/chm based ebooks over their paper counterparts as they are easier to search and copy-paste.

you maybe knowing I am writing a book on Rails.

here is the list of books, and my ratings and reviews 


Agile Web Development with Rails : A Pragmatic Guide

by Dave Thomas, David Hansson, Leon Breedt, Mike Clark, Thomas Fuchs, Andrea Schwarz 
(The Facets of Ruby Series) (Paperback) 610 pages 

The first rails published book, also  for newbies it is their first Ruby on Rails book

this book has won this years award for best technical book 

Any rails enthusiast will go through many sources and references before buying a book to settle down. The first book generally is "agile development with rails" as it is highly advertised by rails site, rails developers  and 37 signals themselves.

this book  would get you the feel of what is possible with Rails, first version was based on Rails .14, then came second version for rails 1, but by then rails 1.1 was launched, so it became a bit redundant, but after readers like me asked for an update, they have a beta book with rails 1.1 with rails coverage, have got the book, but not yet read it completely

if you are a experienced programmer who has worked on MVC before, know or used Agile practices, you can safely leave first few sections, "introduction"
 and "getting started"

third section "building an application" is where action starts, you build a shopping cart completely and they call it the Depot application, second edition brings in Ajax into shopping cart, while the original one was form based.

I would suggest replicate the steps given by teh users, dont try too apply too much logic on how rails works at this stage,  just play along.

once you cross 75% of the app you start getting questions on how Activerecords work and how to use your own logic.

Rails framework is covered in detail in "Part III -The Rails Framework", the only part of the book ehich I still frequently refer is this area.

I would rate this book 9/10

if you are planning a switch to ruby on rails, this will not be your last book, you will be referring only "Part III -The Rails Framework" frequently

once your initall apps start working ,  you need to learn new tricks to impress your colleagues or boss, go for "Rails Recipe"



Rails Recipes

by Chad Fowler 

book has six sections 

User Interface Recipes

inplace editor was the first recipe which we integrated, later live preview and drag and drop sortable list was implemented

Database Recipes

model versioning , I am using for authoring my book, also we have integrated it in a CMS.

we were already into migrations once I saw migrations screencast, 

Active records ouside rails will be useful for many developers, I got started that way only.

I have not yet completed this section yet, may find a gem or two 


Controller Recipes

Testing Recipes

Big-Picture Recipes

many commonly asked feature implementations are thrown in here 

Email Recipes

one of my  team member is impressed with rich content email

overall a good book, but some of the recipe was available prior to the book on many scattered blogs. but a good place to extend your rails knowledge.

 intertesting piece of information, Chad fowler had worked in india for 1 and 1/2 years. not sure which company in Bangalore,

he has also written another book

My Job Went to India 52 Ways to Save Your Job

my rating 8/10 


at this level you want to jump into Ruby and code the way professionals do.

 you have two options 

1) the pickaxe book (Programming Ruby: The Pragmatic Programmers' Guide)

2) Ruby for Rails Published Manning 


Programming Ruby: The Pragmatic Programmers' Guide, Second Edition 

by Dave Thomas, Chad Fowler, Andy Hunt, 864 pages a large book

 lot has been already written on this book, and most ruby developer would vouch for it.

but I am not impressed with this book 

it did not get me anywhere when I was writing my first Ruby App (you read it right Ruby not rails), My app is a DSL for domain registrars( I work for Broadspire, a LA based web hostng company which is also an ICANN approved registrar )  it uses and XML based API called EPP, for interacting with domain registry's. I needed to build XML commands, send xml commands over ssh (we had bought SSL certificates), process returned XML.

I was better off with class api docs at rubycentral and for other code rubyforge. 


 Ruby for Rails : Ruby Techniques for Rails Developers

by David Black, 532 pages 

"I couldn’t imagine a better person to write Ruby for Rails. It’s a great honor to have the man who taught me so much about Ruby now help others understand the language for use with my framework."

Creator of Ruby on Rails
Partner at 37signals

 with such a good foreward I had to ask my CTO to get it for our library.

I feel this book is complete, for web developers who come from other programming languages background

rails, tags: ruby on rails, books, review, rating
created:06/14/2006 09:31PM
Live Search:


Best of My Posts