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Head First Rails: A learner's companion to Ruby on Rails [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

David Griffiths

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Kurzbeschreibung

16. Januar 2009 Head First
Ready to transport your web applications into the Web 2.0 era? Head First Rails takes your programming -- and productivity -- to the max. You'll learn everything from the fundamentals of Rails scaffolding to building customized interactive web apps using Rails' rich set of tools and the MVC framework. Please note this book covers Rails 2. By the time you're finished, you'll have learned more than just another web framework. You'll master database interactions, integration with Ajax and XML, rich content, and even dynamic graphing of your data -- all in a fraction of the time it takes to build the same apps with Java, PHP, ASP.NET, or Perl. You'll even get comfortable and familiar with Ruby, the language that underpins Rails. But you'll do it in the context of web programming, and not through boring exercises such as "Hello, World!" Your time is way too valuable to waste struggling with new concepts. Using the latest research in cognitive science and learning theory to craft a multi-sensory learning experience, Head First Rails uses a visually rich format designed to take advantage of the way your brain really works.

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Synopsis

Figure its about time that you hop on the Ruby on Rails bandwagon? You've heard that it'll increase your productivity exponentially, and allow you to created full fledged web applications with minimal headaches...but you don't know where to start? "Head First Ruby on Rails" is the book for you. Using the latest research in cognitive science and learning theory, "Head First Ruby on Rails" is a multi-sensory experience designed for the way that your brain works. We'll take you through the basics of the Ruby language, and the nuances of the Rails development environment, with a healthy dose of object-oriented programming tossed in for good measure. Creating functional applications through the book you'll move on to more complex topics such as database relationships, testing, security considerations, and even some web services, Ajax, and XML.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

David Griffiths began programming at age 12, after being inspired by a documentary on the work of Seymour Papert. At age 15 he wrote an implementation of Papert's computer language LOGO. After studying Pure Mathematics at University, he began writing code for computers, and magazine articles for humans. He is currently an Agile coach with Exoftware in the UK, helping people to create simpler, more valuable software.

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Amazon.com: 2.9 von 5 Sternen  37 Rezensionen
27 von 27 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Finally a Rails book to begin with. 2. April 2009
Von C. Nielsen - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
Over the last year, I have picked up a few books on Ruby on Rails but the information exits me as soon as it enters. Creating a Rails book in the Head First style is what I needed personally. This is a beginners book, but when a book is subtitled "A learner's Companion", one shouldn't expect anything advanced. For those who are looking for an advanced book, then they should check out The Rails Way by Obie Fernandez.

Ruby on Rails is an interesting and controversial framework, and is often difficult to get beginners help for. There are quite a few elitists who frown on designers and newbies like us trying to learn a framework, so we can make our designs more interactive. But you know what...Tough. There are countless cases where an engineer falls short at the CSS/DOM level and the designer has to take over. This leads to designers having to learn a bit of engineering....

The best thing to do is start at the beginning and practice a lot. Head First Rails covers a lot of projects (interesting) instead of just one (an easy way to lose interest).

In a nutshell, Head First books are designed for a certain type of person. Some don't understand, and complain about them..."theres a lot of pictures", etc... but they miss the point of the books. They're for beginners who want to learn fast and want to retain. They're designed as an educational experience and not a reference. For reference, there's plenty of books by O'reilly and Addison Wesely and others to cover that.

One reviewer here claims that this book teaches old conventions, i.e. the doesn't teach the RESTful method. This is not true. There is an entire chapter devoted to REST, and the project is mashing up a Google map. REST is a trendy term, and can be learned in an hour. As a matter of fact, it took about an hour to do the Google/Ajax map mashup in Head First Rails... sure beats the typical digg/fake bookstore projects in the other Rails books.

Head First Rails has been a joy to read. Its one of those rare books that I carry around with me. If you want to learn rails not just in the modern style but also historically (and thats a big deal, there's tons of Rails 1.x sites out there that need updating), this is the one to start with. After this book, i recommend learning Ruby itself, either in "Learn to Program" by Chris Pine (for beginners) or "Programming Ruby" by Dave Thomas and Andy Hunt. After that, I reccomend "The Rails Way" as a reference by Obie Fernandez if you plan on staying in Rails. The Rails Way has everything one needs to know, but is definitely not for beginners. Start here.
15 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Outdated 8. November 2011
Von C.F. - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
I recently decided to learn some programming so I can start creating some web apps of my own, since I felt that the world of business was gaining a lot of traction towards this direction. I know my fair share about HTML and CSS, and can even hack through a tiny little bit of PHP given my experience with Wordpress sites.

I thought a great deal about my business goals and decided that RoR would be the better option for me over objective C and the iOS platform. I've heard nothing but good things about Ruby on Rails and seen way too many great web apps created with it so I decided to give it a shot.

But after thumbing through the many books on the subject, I almost gave up on trying to learn this language on my own -- most of them completely lost me, and I had absolutely no idea what the hell they were talking about. I mean, I didn't even know what Ruby on Rails is exactly (it's a framework for the Ruby language -- wait, what??)

My brother, a computer science major, told me good things about the Head First series. As I looked through this book, it seemed beginner-friendly enough so I went ahead and bought it.

I have to say I'm quite disappointed with the book.

At first, it looks great. They give you hypothetical scenarios ("Your friend's boss needs an app created that can do X, Y, Z... Can you help?" and walks you through how to do it with Rails) -- perfect for me, given that I'm mostly a "how/if" learner. There are lots of visual cues and pictures, so it feels like you're learning in a classroom environment and the teacher is drawing lots of diagrams to help you better understand the material you're reading.

But here's what I found as I dug into it:

- They give you absolutely no direction whatsoever on how to install Ruby and Rails. I'm on a Mac, and for some reason it's EXTRA complicated to install RoR on OS X (hint: you have to download Xcode first). Spent 2 hours trying to figure this out. I don't understand why they couldn't have taken the time to do this as every other beginner book on RoR has done so.

- There was a huge change in syntax from Rails 2 to Rails 3; you use "rails new <app name>" when creating a new app and simply "rails" instead of "ruby script/". If I relied solely on this book, I would've quit in frustration after the numerous attempts of trying to type something and getting the "ruby: No such file or directory" error

- Because it's outdated and running on Rails 2, I wasn't able to go along the lessons starting from chapter 2 -- which is really where you start digging in deep into how Rails works. I couldn't even run the server because of errors with the config/routes.rb file -- and I can't decipher it at all.

It's really too bad -- the lessons look like they would've been amazing and would've given you what you need to wrap your head around the Rails framework. I really hope Head First decides to update this book.

For now, I'm following "Ruby On Rails 3" tutorial by Michael Hartl (along with the video lessons) and "Agile Web Development For Rails (4th Edition, For Rails 3.1)" by Sam Ruby and DHH. Unfortunately they don't look as n00b-friendly as "Head First Rails" does but those who want to learn the framework at this time really have no other choice.
11 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen Do Not Buy This Book 5. November 2011
Von MSB - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
I am deeply disappointed. I should have read the more recent reviews. This book is about an earlier version of Rails and Ruby. Even the most basic commands, such as how to start the web server, are totally different (">ruby script/server" in the book, ">rails server" in the current version). If there is a way to find the versions of Ruby and Rails about which this book was written, I haven't found it, mainly because--as far as I can tell--there is no mention in the book about what version of Ruby and Rails it was written to support.

I also haven't found a cross-reference on the web that tells me what a given command's analog is between the old and new versions. It took an hour of utilizing the most well-known search engine on the web to just figure out the current command for starting the web server--I don't have time to do that for every single command supported by Ruby OR Rails!

Apparently the site the book directs you to for the software downloads only has (or directs you to--it isn't all in lone location) the latest versions. It also wouldn't have hurt to put four or five pages of instructions outlining how to actually install Ruby and Rails onto a given platform, I'm baffled how they say their rationale for this is that "this is not a how-to book" (direct quote) when that is EXACTLY WHAT IT IS!!! "HOW TO" use Rails! Ruby and Rails (and Ruby Gems) all use different methods to install onto a given machine. I'm still a bit perplexed about Ruby Gems. I'm not sure exactly what they are--I have a couple of hunches, but the book certainly doesn't explain it.

As soon as Rails 3.1 became available (October 2010), this book should have become unavailable. Either that or Head First Publishing should have maintained a site from which one could download everything covered in the book. I mean, it is all OPEN SOURCE! The website for the book makes no mention that the book (or the site) is about the earlier versions of the software.

Buy this book if you want to dive "Head First" into Rails for Ruby...into an empty pool!!!
12 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Good sanity check even for intermediate Rails developers 2. Februar 2009
Von Kent S. Rancourt - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
I have seven years of professional experience as a web developer- mostly with Java- and became interested in Rails about two years ago. In that time I've been through several books and struggled through a few Rails apps of my own. More than anything else, my struggles stem from the frustrations of dealing with a dynamic language where your IDE doesn't give as much context help as you'd hope for. Worse- although Ruby and Rails both follow the "principle of least surprise," I often find myself struggling to recall proper syntax and semantics for certain things. Routes, RJS, validation, various helper methods, etc. are all difficult to master when you do not use them every single day.

All that said, the big benefit I got from Head First Rails was a sanity check. Its easy-to-digest explanation of core Rails concepts really cemented my understanding of the framework- which had been cobbled together from various books, blogs, and screencasts. The book is repetitive at times, but when you're trying to learn something, that can be a good thing. Despite being repetitive, the book certainly is NOT boring; in fact- it's quite a pleasure to read.

My chief complaint is that the book could stand to be twice as long. An introduction to the Ruby programming language would make for a good first chapter- or maybe an appendix. This would be better than the old "we'll learn Ruby as we go along" approach. Also, the book completely neglects to address test-driven development practices except for a few brief paragraphs towards the end. This is funadamental and even beginners need to learn this!

Overall, I think it's a great book if you don't know much about Rails or if you are an intermediate Rails developer looking to cement your understanding of the framework. Definitely plan on adding a few others to your library though to supplement this.
58 von 71 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen To each his own - This one is not for me. 10. Januar 2009
Von Bharat C. Ruparel - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Normally, I do not like to a) write negative reviews and b) return books that I buy. This is an exception.
I have come to expect outstanding quality and value in the Head First series, but was disappointed in this book. First, the book is aimed at rank beginners not even intermediate Rails programmers so if you have any Rails experience at all, don't bother. There are much better starter books available, e.g., Simply Rails 2.
Second, this is far more serious. The author uses old Rails best practices! Case in point, now a days, REST is an established practice in Rails. An example of this is to use Restful routes, e.g., map.resources. Instead, the author ends up using map.connect for more than three quarters of the book! I fail to understand it.
Also, simple concepts in Rails are dragged on in many pages whereas at the most one paragraph would have been sufficient. I have many Head First Books including HTML/CSS and Design Patterns so I am not critiquing the style followed in the series. I enjoy it, but this one is very light, too light on substance and I do not believe that it has been reviewed by anyone who is half-way up to speed with current Rails best practices.

This is an honest but constructive critique to warn the future buyers. If you have no Rails experience, you might like/enjoy it. If you have any, look elsewhere.
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