- Ruby on Rails has shaken up the web development industry in a huge way — especially when you consider that version 1.0 of Rails was only released in December 2005. The huge waves of enthusiasm for the new framework, originally in weblogs and later in the more traditional media, are probably the reason why this book is in your hands.
- This book will lead you through the components that make up the Rails framework by building a clone of the popular story-sharing web site digg.com. This will give you a chance to get your feet wet building a simple, yet comprehensive web application using Ruby on Rails.
- While the first edition of this book hit the shelves shortly after Rails 1.2 was released, the Rails Core Team quickly hurried off to work on an even better and even more polished version of the framework — a version that was released in December of 2007 as Rails 2.0. Although seen as an evolutionary (rather than a revolutionary) update, Rails 2 features improvements in almost every corner of its comprehensive code base, hence the requirement to update this book. And the improvements continue: as we go to press, the 2.1 release of Rails is imminent.
- Without going into too many boring details, rest assured that with Rails 2 you have the fastest and most secure, concise, fun and rewarding version of Rails in existence. You get a secure web application almost out of the box; using the latest web technologies such as Ajax has never been more accessible; and it’s just as easy to produce a well-tested application as it is not to do any automated testing.
- If that’s all Klingon to you, don’t worry. I’ll get you started, and by the time you finish this book, you’ll be able to discuss all things Web 2.0 with your friends and coworkers, and impress your dentist with geeky vocabulary.
Who Should Read This Book
- This book is intended for anyone who’s eager to learn more about Ruby on Rails in a practical sense. It’s equally well suited to design-oriented people looking to build web applications as it is to people who are unhappy with the range of programming languages or frameworks they’re using, and are looking for alternatives that bring the fun back into programming.
- I don’t expect you to be an expert programmer; this isn’t a pro-level book. It’s written specifically for beginning to intermediate web developers who, though they’re familiar with HTML and CSS, aren’t necessarily fond of — or experienced with — any server-side technologies such as PHP or Perl.
- As we go along, you’ll gain an understanding of the components that make up the Ruby on Rails framework, learn the basics of the Ruby programming language, and come to grips with the tools recommended for use in Ruby on Rails development. All these topics are covered within the context of building a robust application which addresses real-world problems.
- In terms of software installation, I’ll cover the installation basics of Ruby and Ruby on Rails on Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux. All you need to have preinstalled on your system are your favorite text editor and a web browser.
What You’ll Learn
- Web development has never been easier, or as much fun as it is using Ruby on Rails. In this book, you’ll learn to make use of the latest Web 2.0 techniques, RESTful development patterns, and the concise Ruby programming language, to build interactive, database driven web sites that are a pleasure to build, use, and maintain.
- Also, as web sites tend to evolve over time, I’ll teach you how to make sure you don’t wreak havoc with a careless change to your application code. We’ll implement automated testing facilities and learn how to debug problems that arise within your application.
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2020
- Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)