Review: Agile Development With Rails, 3rd Edition


Agile Web Development with Rails: A Pragmatic Guide by Dave Thomas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars 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 chapter which covers deployment. The chapter devotes only a few small paragraphs to configuring Apache for passenger. To me, this section was completely useless unless you were already an expert with Apache configuration. I ended that chapter with a broken Apache server and no resources (from the book) to begin fixing it. Another problem that I had with that chapter is that it really didn't follow the pattern that the chapters in Part 2 used. In those chapters, the authors would should you how to do something relatively small, show you how to test it, and then provide some troubleshooting information if the task was particularly complex. The deployment chapter gave you a very brief and generalized tutorial in each section, and then just assumed that everything went perfectly. It didn't show you how to test anything, and it didn't help you troubleshoot any possible problems. Don't get me wrong. I know that no book will provide all of the information that I would ever need about a subject, and thank goodness for the internet in these situations. I was just hoping that all of the chapters in a book that I actually bought would provide better information than some person's blog. So in general, I guess I would have to say that this was a very good book with some bad chapters that were tacked-on at the end. View all my reviews >>

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