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Beginning Rails: From Novice to Professional

Beginning Rails is the practical starting point for anyone wanting to learn how to build dynamic web applications using the Rails framework for Ruby. You’ll learn how all of the components of Rails fit together and how you can leverage them to create sophisticated web applications with less code and more joy.

This book is particularly well suited to those with little or no experience with web application development, or who have some experience but are new to Rails. Beginning Rails assumes basic familiarity with web terms and technologies, but doesn't require you to be an expert.

Topics include:

  • A gentle introduction to the Ruby programming language
  • Installing Ruby and Rails on a Mac, Linux, or Windows system
  • The philosophy behind Rails and why it matters
  • The Model-View-Controller architecture
  • The basics of relational databases and SQL
  • Setting up a MySQL database and creating a schema with migrations
  • Experimenting with your live application in the Rails console
  • Creating rich relationships between your models
  • Using controllers and templates properly
  • Leveraging helpers to keep your templates clean and logic free
  • Adding Ajax and visual effects to enrich your user interfaces
  • JavaScript with Prototype and script.aculo.us
  • How to send and receive mail from your application
  • Using and creating your own plug-ins
  • Ensuring your code against Murphy’s Law through writing tests
  • Using Capistrano to deploy your application

Rather than delving into the arcane details of Rails, the focus is on the aspects of the framework that will become your pick, shovel, and axe. Part history lesson, part introduction to object-oriented programming, and part dissertation on open source software, Beginning Rails doesn’t just explain how to do something in Rails, it explains why.

Every programmer fondly remembers the book that helped them get started. The goal of Beginning Rails is to become that book for you, today.

About the Author

Jeffrey Allan Hardy is a web developer, programmer, and occasional speaker with more than seven years of experience building large-scale web applications. He began working with Rails shortly after its first public release in 2004 and hasn't looked back. He is a partner at Unspace Interactive in Toronto, blogs at http:// quotedprintable.com, and lives somewhere in the deep Canadian wilderness with his wife, his dog, and a cat. Cloves Carneiro Jr. is a software engineer and web application developer with ten years of experience creating enterprise-level web applications for companies in the telecommunication and financial industries, including Cablevision, MTS, and Bell Canada. Born in Brazil and then living for some years in Canada, he now lives in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, with his wife, Jane. He owns and runs SpinBits, a Rails consulting and training company, and blogs at http://ccjr.name. Hampton Catlin was born in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1982, on a sunny day with highs in the mid-80s and only a 20% chance of precipitation.
He has been developing web applications since high school and fell in love with the Web all over again when he found the Rails framework.
The creator of the Haml markup language and Sass (Haml for CSS), Hampton blogs at http://hamptoncatlin.com and is currently a partner at Unspace Interactive in Toronto.
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