If you've never built web applications before, Ruby on Rails makes it a whole lot easier to start. Whatever your experience, Ruby on Rails can help you build more substantial and powerful applications faster (and you'll have more fun doing it). Now Steven Holzner has written a beginner's guide to Rails that's as good as the framework itself.
With 100-plus books under his belt, Holzner may have more experience teaching programming technologies than anyone else on earth. So, whether he's discussing Ruby's core constructs (strings, variables, loops, arrays) or the Model-View-Controller architecture that's central to Rails, you can rely on him for accuracy, clarity, and relevance.
And efficiency. One concept at a time, Holzner manages to thoroughly introduce both Ruby and Rails in barely 350 pages (including the hands-on exercises and case study applications).
Holzner walks you through installing both Ruby and Rails, then learning enough Ruby coding techniques to get results. If you're a little weak on object-oriented programming, there's a chapter on classes, objects, and encapsulation. By Chapters 4 and 5, you're writing real web applications that access and store data -- and you're ready for Holzner's coverage of database-integrated web applications. Here again, Holzner assumes virtually no background, covering everything from creating your database to building a full-fledged shopping cart application.
By the end of the book, you'll know how to validate and test applications; centrally control them with Rails' Action Controller; and use Views. Holzner even offers up enough Ajax to whet your appetite.
As we've said, Holzner's written on just about every imaginable programming topic. Yet his enthusiasm for Rails is palpable. By the time you're done, we think you'll share it. Bill Camarda, from the January 2007 Read Only