Agile Web Development with Rails (2nd ed.)

This is a book that pretty much does precisely what it says on its metaphorical tin. Written by Dave Thomas, a Rails developer, and David Heinemeier Hansson, creator of the Rails framework, the book starts by telling you how to get Ruby on Rails installed on your system, and then running through the development of a simple web application using Ruby on Rails and MySQL, and then contains a series of chapters on various aspects of Rails development, written in many cases by those responsible for that part of Ruby on Rails. These include things like using AJAX techniques with Rails, securing your application against the various forms of attack online, and testing Rails projects with unit testing.

The book has a generally conversational tone, and contains regular exercises and things to try based on each chapter, with suggested solutions and the sample code available from the book's web site. It assumes some Ruby knowledge before hand, but it'd probably be possible to pick enough up from the code presented in the book and the 13 page quick run through for anyone reasonably familiar with similar languages.

Overall, this book offers a reasonably complete introduction to developing web applications using Ruby on Rails, and also gives a brief introduction to agile software development methodologies, and I would recommend it to anyone thinking about using Ruby on Rails for web development.

Score: 9 out of 10

David Miles


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