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Agile Web Development With Rails

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  1,426 ratings  ·  93 reviews
Rails is a full-stack, open source web framework that enables you to create full-featured, sophisticated web-based applications, but with a twist... A full Rails application probably has less total code than the XML you'd need to configure the same application in other frameworks. With this book you'll learn how to use ActiveRecord to connect business objects and database ...more
ebook, 4th Edition, 472 pages
Published (first published July 15th 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,801)
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Josh Frankel
Not a good book for starting to learn the language. A much better choice is Michael Hartl's book Learn Web Development with Rails
Tom Purl
In general, this book does a fairly good job of helping you create a rails-based application. Part 3 includes some great in-depth information on the topics that are briefly discussed in Part 2.

I only have one real gripe about this book. It packs in lots of topics (e.g. db theory, AJAX, unit testing, security, deployment), but it doesn't really tell you much about them. Therefore, if you have a problem, then good luck figuring it out using the content in the book.

A good example is the final cha
Michael Economy
[Review of Second Edition]

Dave thomas is a pretty good writer, I thought that The Pragmatic Programmer was an excellent book. However, alot of the garbage suggested in AWD makes me doubt how much experience the author has writing scalable, agile, high traffic web-applications.

If you go into this book looking to learn how to code with rails, thats fine, but don't expect to learn to program well for the web from this book. Infact, be prepared to ignore large portions of the book.

Anyway I guess thi
Anton Antonov
Buzzwords don't make a great book.

"AWDR4" is a ... mess. The book doesn't have a clear goal of what to teach you. The "Rails is Agile" yada-yada, recital of the Agile manifesto and etc is just a facade. Rails is not an universal fix it all hammer that scales (architecture wise) in any project and size.

I might actually say that Rails as it is now in 2015, is in much trouble and definitely has to push focus on architectural changes and improvements instead of useless features *cough* *cough* Acti
Jul 25, 2007 Sam rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Programmers
If you are interested in getting started with Rails, this is the way to go. I'd recommend you read the first few chapters of Thomas' "Programming Ruby" first, to get a foundation in ruby first.
I read the first 100 pages last night. I'm really starting to like this rails stuff. This is really helping me get a handle on Rails. Good stuff.
I met Dave Thomas at a Ruby on Rails class. He really knows his stuff and I refer to his book at work.
Jevgeni Holodkov
It was one of the books with I read using rapid reading techniques. It means, that my review is going to be biased.

I liked the book - the first part was a hands-on tutorial on building a rails application from stratch. I believe it covered all the most popular issues we have when building web applications. The book includes information on how to do automated testing, like functional and unit testing. However, it expects to enter all commands to the rails console and does not always provide "res
Thomas Wolfe
Sep 01, 2011 Thomas Wolfe rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Thomas by: Michael Kory Woods
Shelves: programming, ruby, rails
Suggested by my friend Kory. I read the beta version of this book. Again, in some ways I prefer books with a few errors, keeps me on my toes. I've got a few ideas on what I'm going to build with this new tool, I'll post back here when I do (although now I kind of want to play with jquery since I really know nothing about that library and it could prove useful in rails, or well any type of web apps). It's quite verbose, but I guess for people who want their hand held a bit (I'll admit, hand-holdi ...more
The first half of this book does a nice job of holding your hand and leading you through the creation of an application. Then the authors stick their hands in their pockets and let you fend for yourself. They move from consistent and explained examples to tech shorthand which is the most frequent boo boo of programming books for beginners. I have yet to find the book that speaks English (as opposed to Tech-ese) from cover to cover.
After introducing myself to Ruby, I read this book to become more familiar with the Rails framework. I was very pleased with how this book was laid out. The first section has you dig right into creating a basic storefront by guiding you through the basics of using the Rails framework. This first section teaches you everything you need to create a basic site of your own. The latter sections of the book go into depth regarding each concept you learned in the initial sections as well as other advan ...more
Decent book to learn rails. I'm a total noob when it comes to web apps, yet this book was good enough to get me through my first site. The approach they take is to write a full website first, then go back and fill in the details. I think this was a good approach as long as you're willing to do the whole example site along with the book. However, it made it hard to use the book as a reference once you run off on your own. Many times I knew I had seen a topic in the book and couldn't find it later ...more
Pretty good book. If you've done any kind of development with Rails though this book would probably be too elementary for you. The great thing about rails is that everything is pretty intuitive so you don't really need this book to get up to speed.
Good introduction. The second part is great for beginners and shines some light into the dark magic of Rails.

I'm not a particular fan of the writing style - too much text for me - but it reads fairly easy and gets the point across.
Rich Daley
I read the first edition of this book years ago and, wanting to get back into Rails, I read it again to bring myself back up to date.

It was good to read the major differences since Rails 0.9, although most of the book was not new to me. Most importantly, however, it's given me all the right pointers in the direction of where to go next to learn the specifics I need for my projects.
Chris Maguire
Great intro to rails. It felt a little backwards building up a site before going into the details, but it wasn't too bad. I feel confident now that I could sit down at a rails app and at lease have an idea of what's going on.

I didn't follow along or do the exercises, which is crucial, and the book was still good.

This book changed my opinion of rails from "meh" to "wow". Rails is very powerful stuff. I don't necessarily like Ruby all that much but Rails is a pretty full-featured and capable too
I think this is really a great book, describing everything you need to start with Rails. For this reason as well as to recommend anyone starting out with Rails to read this book, I rate it 5 stars. However, the book is not advanced enough to teach Rails from scratch to developers already familiar with modern web development. Anyway, I recommend even experienced web developers moving to Rails to run quickly through this book, take notes and move on to "The Rails 4 Way".
Franklin Colorado
Well enough written but some programs don't work. Rails seems to have problems.
This was the best book I found for Rails web development. If I had to choose between "Simply Rails" and this book, I would choose this book. The reason being that Simply Rails is a very gentle walk through of an example website, and that's about it. This book has that as the first section, and then continues on with more technical discussions of the major moving parts in the rails framework, and thus serves as both a primer and a reference.

The 4th edition is due to arrive soon, and is retooled
Delhi Irc
Location: GG6 IRC
Accession no: DL026800
Doğa Armangil
A must-read for Rails developers.
Pangiotis Atmatzidis
The intro says that you can keep up if you don't know ruby and with relatively little CSS/HTML but I don't think so. I don't know much about CSS or HTML but I know ruby and have written two applications using Sinatra and MVC. Everything seems easy, I am trying to cope with the abstraction level but I wouldn't say that this book is for beginners. On the other hand I like its approach, goes directly to web development without loosing too much over various subjects, rails is a framework after all, ...more
read it for the last few chapters which is Rails in depth. it is really worth.
Naoto Koshikawa


1. 開発環境の準備
2. デモアプリの開発
3. rails詳説




Essential reading for savvy designers and developers cleverly boarding the ruby on rails train. All designers should learn to code. Ruby is a beautiful language and rails makes a practical partner to bring your next napkin sketch into reality. This book was written in part by DHH, the creator of rails among other things. That rendered the book a trusted source for conventions and best practices.
A good book to have read at some point for historical reasons - DHH's involvement kind of makes that an imperative. However, it's dated (actually pre 1.0) so many of the specifics are no longer correct or recommended, and it misses big chunks of what is now conventional rails (RESTful routes for example). A better source for current practice (at least until 3.0) is The Rails Way by Obie Fernandez
Mike Han
Like many other reviewers has said, this book is an absolute necessity for all the newbies who are learning ruby on rails for all sorts of reasons. I certainly like the way the book leads you to dig right into the coding something basic before educating you with all the little details afterwards.
Bruno Bonamin
The best programming book I have ever read. The soft introduction to a new language, paired with an easy-to-follow narrative; which takes you through the building of a real production application while learning the Rails framework, makes this book amazingly enjoyable besides from interesting.
The de facto standard for getting up and running with RoR, from what I've heard. I read the 4th edition. The material was good, but there seemed to be a lot of errors that sent me searching the online errata or on Stack Overflow. Hopefully the later versions have fixed those areas.
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