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Agile Web Development with Rails 4 Paperback – Oct 11 2013

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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  • Agile Web Development with Rails 4
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  • Programming Ruby 1.9 & 2.0: The Pragmatic Programmers' Guide
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf; 1 edition (Oct. 11 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1937785564
  • ISBN-13: 978-1937785567
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 2.4 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 726 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #88,986 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


""When I started learning Ruby on Rails, I read the first edition of this book. Its holistic view of the Rails framework and community provides any new developer the kick start they need to a highly successful career. After reading through the latest edition cover to cover, I can happily say that it continues that trend and remains the first book I recommend to any new Rails developer.""--Mikel Lindsaar, Rails core commit team, creator of the Ruby Mail library, and director, RubyX

About the Author

Sam Ruby is a prominent software developer who is a co-chair of the W3C HTML Working Group and has made significant contributions to many of the Apache Software Foundation's open source software projects. He is a Senior Technical Staff Member in the Emerging Technologies Group of IBM.

Dave Thomas, as one of the authors of the Agile Manifesto, understands agility. As the author of "Programming Ruby," he understands Ruby. And, as an active Rails developer, he knows Rails.

David Heinemeier Hansson is the creator of the Rails framework.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was originally reading through a variety of other Rails books, and then started reading the Ruby on Rails tutorial 2nd edition by Michael Hartl. I read the positive Amazon reviews for the tutorial book, and in particular how it focused on TDD and Rails (not just Rails), and so I started there. Unhappy with that book, I cycled back and bought and read this book. Personally, I really enjoyed this book, and will definitely be referring to parts of it again as a reference.

The 3rd section of this book, in particular, is gold. It clearly discusses details of how Rails works, and in a concise manner. I love it!

What are my complaints with the Tutorials book (2nd edition)? Well first the code snippets are full of typos (my publication date is: July 2012 first printing), and that upsets me; I expect code snippets to be correct. The typos are all of the form of punctuation and special characters being omitted from the printed version (the online version is fine). Second, the tutorials book advanced too slowly for my tastes; largely because it is introducing so many technologies at once - rails, ruby, git, tdd, rspec, guard, etc), I loved the way this book is focused on Rails, and includes alot of technical details described clearly.

Don't skip out on this one - it is useful, especially when first learning the language.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
i have read almost all versions of this book and it always delivers. after finishing michael hartl's ruby on rails tutorial second edition (for rails 4), i thought i am not going to learn anything new from this book. was i wrong! this book covers more than the other one. this book really deserves to be the official rails book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Awesome book about ruby on rails.
I didn't have much experience before, after spending a few hours with this book I earned so much confidence.
Must have for any beginner in ruby on rails.
Great examples, like shopping cart and credit card transaction.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Love this book!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xb2bbed68) out of 5 stars 30 reviews
64 of 75 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb29725dc) out of 5 stars Lacks coverage of new features Nov. 20 2013
By Josh - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The product description for AWDWR4 includes this paragraph:

"Rails 4 introduces a number of user-facing changes, and the ebook has been updated to match all the latest changes and new best practices in Rails. This includes full support for Ruby 2.0, controller concerns, Russian Doll caching, strong parameters, Turbolinks, new test and bin directory layouts, and much more."

Shockingly, AWDWR4 includes no discussion of some of the aforementioned changes, including Turbolinks and strong parameters, which are the first two subjects I searched for in my copy of AWDWR4. The authors simply included a link to Turbolinks' GitHub repo, and there is literally not one mention of the term "strong parameters" in the whole book! AWDWR4 seems to be a hastily-updated version of AWDWR3, which I also own.

If you already know Rails 3, I recommend that you not waste your time or money on AWDWR4. After realizing that AWDWR4 is worthless, I bought PDF copies of Rails 4 in Action and The Rails 4 Way. (The print versions of these books are available for pre-order at Amazon.) These two books are currently in beta, but they're already over 700 pages long and they include sections devoted to strong parameters, Turbolinks, etc.

In the past, I bought Pragmatic books without bothering to evaluate them beforehand because their books had always been high-quality. This seems to no longer be the case, and I won't buy another Pragmatic book until one is recommended to me by someone I trust. Pragmatic joins O'Reilly in this regard.


Update (2014-01-22):

In response to a comment on my review, I compared the indexes in AWDWR3 and AWDWR4. What motivated me to compare the indexes was the fact that AWDWR4's index doesn't include entries for either strong parameters or Turbolinks, which is surprising for a Rails 4 book. I checked the first pages of both indexes and here's what I found:

AWDWR3: Action Controller, 309, 321-332
AWDWR4: Action Controller, 309, 319-330
Same number of pages. (These are the pages in AWDWR4 that should have included discussion about strong parameters.)

AWDWR3: Action Dispatch, 309-319
AWDWR4: Action Dispatch, 309-319
Same exact page numbers.

AWDWR3: Action Mailer, 177-183
AWDWR4: Action Mailer, 177-183
Same exact page numbers.

AWDWR3: Action View, 343-368
AWDWR4: Action View, 341-366
Same number of pages.

As I wrote above, AWDWR4 seems to be a hastily-updated version of AWDWR3.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb2972630) out of 5 stars Good for beginners April 27 2014
By Siddhardha - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the second book on Rails that I purchased to learn new features in Rails 4 (the first one being Ruby on Rails Tutorial - I bought the paper copy which covers Rails 3 but the free online version covers Rails 4). As someone relatively new to Rails, I found this book easy to follow. I tried all the sample code and it worked without any problems. The explanations accompanying code is clear for the most part. Since I already learned the Rails way of doing things in Ruby on Rails Tutorial book, the main value addition in this book for me was in Part III - Rails in Depth - a lot is discussed and several ideas tossed around for someone to use in a real project.

The main downside of this book is that some of the treatment is superficial. For example, an authentication mechanism is developed in the book which is good for illustrative purposes but it's not replaced with a relevant gem that's ready to use (such as devise). This book uses MiniTest for the most part for automated tests. In my work place MiniTest is considered to be too basic in terms of functionality/scope and therefore cucumber/rspec/capybara are used instead. This book barely mentions these gems and capybara is not mentioned at all. Another thing to note is that this book does not use TDD but develops tests as after the fact - which is not necessarily bad in itself (depending on your style of development) but something to be aware of.

If you are a beginner to Rails, you can checkout either this book or Ruby on Rails Tutorial book - both will get you started. If you have preference towards TDD, then go with Ruby on Rails Tutorial. Personally I liked the TDD style of Ruby on Rails Tutorial. I suspect that neither of these two books will be very useful to intermediate/advanced Rails developers.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb297290c) out of 5 stars A great starter for a rails noob Nov. 13 2013
By Aaro Helander - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I have some experience for C# .net web development as a business information technology student. I'm a complete noob with practically zero knowledge of ruby and ruby on rails. Regardless I find this book very intuitive to follow, and I think if you know any object oriented language to some degree, you can pick this up and start learning ruby and rails easily at the same time.

To make the point clear, I think this book is NOT for total newbies due to the way many concepts are just thrown around without explanation, but great for those who know the basic programming concepts already and just want to read something that makes them see the big picture of rails and get started as fast as they can.

I think I won't be going back to .NET for a long time..
HASH(0xb2972e28) out of 5 stars Recommended March 3 2016
By P. R. B. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I used this book for a Frameworks class in college, and i was quite impressed.
The "depot demo" it walks you through creating touches on lots of great material, like database tables, relations, and AJAX just to name a few.
This isn't everything you will need to know to go make millions on your great idea, but it forms the foundation of understanding of Ruby on Rails.
The writing style is excellent as far as textbooks go - i really like all the books written by Dave Thomas (yea yea, no not the Wendy's guy).
HASH(0xb29726f0) out of 5 stars They've updated this book for the worst May 6 2015
By jcfromsanjose - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a step back from previous versions. They've shuffled things around, but not in a good way. They've also pruned down information, and no longer mention details that I relied on such as examples on how to do things using both sqlite and mysql! This book now leans toward sqlite, and leaves you to search the net for how to do the same thing with mysql. I loved the earlier versions, but don't recommend this one at all. Do yourself a favor and choose another book.