52 Books a Year: #32 - Foundation Rails 2

Posted by Brian Sat, 12 Dec 2009 20:45:28 GMT

Foundation Rails 2
By Eldon Alameda


I had a brief role developing some portions of OrgSync my senior year of college. That was my first experience with Ruby on Rails and I loved it. This summer I wanted to get back into Rails, but a lot had changed since then with the release 2.0. To help get back up to speed I picked up Foundation Rails 2. This proved to be a nice beginner’s book that helped me understand a number of the new features.

Eldon Alameda’s writing style is clear with a bit of wit mixed in, much like a Pragmatic Programmer book. He gives an overview of many of the different features of Rails with an emphasis on breadth, not depth. To cover these topics in any depth would require a book three times the size. He also deviates some from the core Rails package, choosing to cover RSpec instead of RUnit. Given that Rails seems to be moving towards RSpec this seems like a good choice. My only major complaint was the lack of advanced code samples. The last section of the book builds a sample application, but no thorny issues are tackled.

It is important to actually write code while reading this book. A lot of ground is covered and there is no way you will retain any significant portion of it without immediately applying it. The book also assumes a basic working knowledge of Ruby. The language introduction is only thirty pages long here. As long as you keep these things in mind you will get a lot out of Foundation Rails 2.


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