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Advanced Rails--New from O'Reilly Media: Building Complex Web Applications in Record Time

January 10, 2008

Brad Ediger started working with Ruby and Rails in late 2004 when there was scarcely any documentation on the Rails framework. Since then, we've seen an explosion of books, blogs, and articles on creating web applications with Rails. According to Ediger, all of these seem to follow a common pattern: create a blog in 15 minutes or whip out a to-do list application. Many books devote an entire chapter to installing Ruby and Rails. In short, we have no lack of resources for the beginning and intermediate web developer.

Rails, however, is capable of much more. The 37signals applications (Basecamp, Highrise, Backpack, and Campfire) are built with Rails and many of the Internet's high-traffic sites such as Twitter, Penny Arcade, and Yellowpages.com use it. In his new book, Advanced Rails (O'Reilly, US $34.99), Ediger shows experienced Rails developers how they can build large applications such as these, providing key information that previously they would have to glean for themselves by scouring dozens of developers' blogs.

"Development and deployment of complex web projects is a multidisciplinary task, and it will always remain so," says Ediger. "In this book, I seek to weave together several different topics relevant to Rails development, from the most basic foundations of the Ruby programming language to the development of large Rails applications."

Advanced Rails aims to collect and distill the best practices and knowledge embodied by the community of Rails developers and then present everything in an easy-to-understand, compact format for experienced programmers. "In addition, I seek to present facets of web development that are often undertreated or dismissed by the Rails community," says Ediger. His book covers:

  • Metaprogramming
  • When to use the Active Support library for generic, reusable functions
  • How to install, write, and test Rails plug-ins
  • Different database management systems
  • Advanced database features, including triggers, rules, and stored procedures
  • How to connect to multiple databases and LDAP
  • Security principles for web application design, and security issues endemic to the Web
  • Optimizing performance
  • RESTful architectures
  • Why version control and issue tracking systems are key to any large or long-lived Rails project

Advanced Rails also explores how to extend Rails, use individual Rails components in other Ruby code, internationalize your application, and more. In addition, each chapter includes resources for further reading. Readers should have an understanding of the architecture of the Web, a good command of Ruby 1.8, and experience building web applications with Ruby on Rails.

Brad Ediger is a freelance programmer, specializing in Rails, who has used the framework since its release in 2004. He and his wife Kristen (a web designer) own Madriska Media Group, a web development firm.

For more information about the book, including table of contents, index, author bio, and samples, see the catalog page for Advanced Rails.

Advanced Rails
Brad Ediger
ISBN: 0-596-51032-2 $34.99 US
1005 Gravenstein Highway North
Sebastopol, CA 95472

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