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27 Mar 2012, 21:19
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John M Athayde (39 posts)

Thanks for checking out The Rails View! If you’ve got questions, issues, etc. please post them here. If there’s stuff we didn’t cover in the book, please let us know. We’ll be putting updated information online at http://www.therailsview.com

29 Mar 2012, 09:42
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Akshay Kumar (6 posts)

I was really looking forward to this but thoroughly disappointed with the quality so far. I mean absolutely horrendous mess of an otherwise promising book.

Just downloaded the code for the book. Doesn’t seem like any of it is actually functioning runnable code, missing class, missing controller code. Also it is badly organized as there is no easy way to see where the snippets for each chapter are.

Bunch of errors in the first 25 or so pages and I just had to give up because trying to figure out mistakes in the text while learning a new topic is just frustrating.

On pg 19 <%= render ‘layout/header’ %> won’t work it has to be ‘layouts/header’.

Pg 20 you say:

“We’ll start with the overall header itself. This will be a mix of images and CSS. Normally in the day-to-day flow, we’d either be firing up Photoshop to cut our pieces or we could have our designer send us the pieces. We’ve included the Photoshop file as well as the precut pieces, so you can experiment the way you prefer.”

Where is that file? Am I missing something here?

29 Mar 2012, 14:01
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John M Athayde (39 posts)

Akshay -

Will check the code out here in a bit. Haven’t looked at it since we did tech review a few months ago. Ensure that you are in the correct branch for whatever chapter you are in.

Please submit errata for book errors so we can address them.

If the Photoshop file is not in the github repository, I’ll get that added today.

29 Mar 2012, 18:40
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Akshay Kumar (6 posts)

What do you mean correct branch? There is no versioning for the downloadable source at http://pragprog.com/titles/warv/source_code

That is precisely the problem. It’s all just thrown in there with missing code that won’t run.

I’ll start submitting errata if things are getting fixed. Right now it just doesn’t seem worth spending any time at all on this.

29 Mar 2012, 22:13
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Alex Dearden (8 posts)

I have to agree with Ashkay, the book is impossible to follow. I downloaded the code and tried to run the first chapter (which I’m assuming is the code under artflow/layout, how about giving us a clue) and I get this error:

undefined local variable or method `assignments_path’ for #<#:0x007fad245bd780>

I wish I’d read these discussions before buying the book. As it is, it’s pretty useless. Nowhere do you give any instructions on how to follow along with the examples, in page 10, for instance, you say:

We will roll our own custom version at http://modernizr.com/download/ to only include the functionality that we need and place it in our assets/javascripts folder.

But nowhere do you specify the functionality that we need. Ok, I’ll just create a mammoth Modernizr file, not too bad, but I can’t run any code because it doesn’t work.

Please fix this or give us a refund.

29 Mar 2012, 22:48
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Alex Dearden (8 posts)

Steps I had to undertake just to get to the error above:

  1. download all the code (would be nice if there were separate downloads for each chapter).
  2. copy the code 2/artflow/layout content into the artflow folder I created as a Rails app (book should have instructions on how to do this).
  3. ran Bundle install and got an error for the version of devise (please don’t provide a Gemfile.lock file if it will cause errors.
  4. deleted Gemfile.lock file, ran bundle install again, this time it worked.
  5. tried going to localhost:3000, got error on non-existing table (please provide working database in the download).
  6. ran rake db:migrate, no longer got table error, but got the missing method error.

Obviously the errors should be fixed, but the rest of the steps I took should be specified in the book!

BTW That missing method ‘assignments_path’ (which I’m guessing is a route) is nowhere to be found in the code except in layout files. Neither a recursive search nor grep turned anything up. Getting desperate…

30 Mar 2012, 04:45
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Bruce Williams (14 posts)

Akshay, Alex; thanks for bringing these issues to our attention. Obviously the code should be runnable “out of the box” without these kinds of machinations, and we apologize – despite the best efforts of many technical reviewers it looks like the code snapshot needs modification, and the fault lays entirely with us, the authors. (Disregard the comment on a “branch,” John is referring to the source repo we use to generate the snapshots.)

We’ll get a fresh copy up ASAP – I’m working on the these issues as I type here,. Please stay engaged and look for updates here very shortly. Once again we apologize.

(If you run across problems in the book text itself, please do submit them at http://pragprog.com/titles/warv/errata/add so we can communicate them in full to other readers.)

30 Mar 2012, 07:54
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Alex Dearden (8 posts)

Thanks Bruce, that’s good to hear, but might I also suggest that the book itself be revised for instructions on how to use the code and follow along with the examples?

As I’ve said, currently there simply aren’t any instructions at all. Hopefully those changes can be easily made to the electronic (epub and pdf) versions and posted for us to download again.

I look forward to being able to use this book.

30 Mar 2012, 08:54
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Bruce Williams (14 posts)

Alex, we’ll definitely add details to the errata for the book – and I’m adding a README in the code download to help people get started (e.g., a tour of the locations of files, installing dependencies and using Rake to set-up the DB.) Actually changing the book is a bit more complex (we’ll check with our editor, but there may be a need to maintain parity with the printed version). Regardless we’ll do our very best to reduce any confusion and get people over the initial hurdle and happily following along.

Once again thanks for reporting the issue – and by all means if you have questions on the content or would like to discuss specific view-related concepts you’re interested it, both John and I are around to give our 2¢.

30 Mar 2012, 14:29
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Alex Dearden (8 posts)

Please let us know when the code is fixed and the errata and README added so I can try the examples again.

31 Mar 2012, 17:13
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Bharat Ruparel (146 posts)

Hello Bruce/John, Can either of you or both of you please go through the chapter code and make it usable as Alex and Akshay are pointing out above? And please provide separate download for the runnable code? This is going to create “big” problems for inexperienced Rails developer who naively buy this book. It is very surprising to see this quality of book come out of Pragmatic Programmers! There is something broken big somewhere in this book’s creation process! I bet none of the big names endorsing this book took time and trouble to run the examples and QA it. Anyway enough venting for the day :)

The chapter 1 code under Artflow/layout has additional problems in addition to the things pointed out by Alex above:

I had to manually add a migration to add a “name” column to the designers table before rake db:seed could be run.

Edit: I worked for only 5 more minutes before conceding defeat in being able to intelligently and “pragmatically” follow this book’s code. It is clear to me that both Alex and Akshay have tried to make this work.

rae db:seed reported additional error that the name column in designers table was missing. I manually added the migration and ran it thinking life should be good from now on. Big mistake:

typing rails s brings up a spade of devise warnings! Please note that your code’s Gemfile.lock has devise version locked to 2.0.3 but there is no 2.0.3 available on the rubygems anymore it is 2.0.4 ! So people have to know that they will have to a) delete the Gemfile.lock file and run bundle install again. Only an experienced Rails programmer knows that.

typing in localhost:3000 brings up the standard Rails screen without a hint of the Artflow! Looking at the routes.rb reveals why. it is still “rooted” to “welcome#index” Trouble is: there is no WelcomeController! I just deleted some “negative” stuff that I was typing, no point in doing that.

Note to Dave and Andy: Please discourage the authors from releasing books which haven’t gone through a beta process, otherwise you will have messes like this on your hands to deal with. If this does not get addressed in a timely manner then please refund the amount that was charged to my credit card for this book. Kindly ensure that this does not happen again.

31 Mar 2012, 17:59
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Bruce Williams (14 posts)

Bharat, John and I are currently addressing these issues with the example code and will be releasing an updated zip file soon, to include an easier setup process and basic instructions . Thank you for bringing up these concerns.

02 Apr 2012, 06:50
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Bruce Williams (14 posts)

Just a quick update, as we know we’ve had several people chime in with concerns about running the code examples. We hear you, and have been spending time fixing it – issues with the installation process (bundler problem with Gemfile.lock, changes to Devise), making things easier to understand and get running (adding READMEs both at the toplevel and per chapter, supporting a single Rake task for setup), and, yes, just fixing a few things.

We’re reviewing our changes now (with an eye to making things as seamless as possible) and assessing putting out an update to our ebook as well. We’d like to get our code download changes out Tuesday, so please check back; we’ll be reaching out for feedback and to assist in any setup questions that might come up. We understand that many do like to run the example code and follow along, so making sure you can do that successfully is very important to John and me.

Thanks!

02 Apr 2012, 07:38
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Alex Dearden (8 posts)

I’m sorry Bruce, but this statement confuses me a bit:

“We understand that many do like to run the example code and follow along”

Does that mean that wasn’t the original intention of the book, for people to follow along with the code examples?

I’m niot being facetious here, I’m genuinely curious how the book was written.

02 Apr 2012, 12:50
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Bharat Ruparel (146 posts)

I urge all the readers to be a bit patient. It seems like the authors are making a genuine attempt to improve upon the existing situation. Bruce, I am standing by and will be happy to go through the code and work with you. Tuesday it is. Thanks. Bharat

02 Apr 2012, 17:09
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Akshay Kumar (6 posts)

I agree with Bharat. The authors are genuinely trying to fix the situation. Give it a week and most of this will be fixed. Also a lot of us will have worked through it by then and should be able to help on the forums.

Best, Akshay

03 Apr 2012, 22:13
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Sean Gates (1 post)

Agree with all the comments so far and am terribly disappointed. I am new to Rails and Ruby and thought this would be a good place to start after a lengthy absence from hands on coding.

I am also currently a contributing author to a book and have collaborated on software development books in the past - so I do appreciate how much work is involved. Hopefully you will teat this as constructive feedback, even though I only got through chapter 1

1) It feels like you wrote an app and then documented what you did in a pretty disorganized way - as others have said, working source would have been more useful 2) As others have also said, I would like to see how I am doing as I am going along. I did assume that by the time I got to the end of chapter 1 I would have something I could run. It was obvious just going through the code that that was never going to be the case (yes I did hand type everything). Even if it did work that first chapter is way too long to wait before I get to see what I have done, and no doubt would have taken ages to find and fix all my typos. How about starting with a basic page. Then once you have created the header you can invite the reader to have a look at what they have created before moving on to the footer (etc etc) 3) Yup, a few more rails basics to tell me what to do. Spent a lot of time googling just to follow you. 4) Fairly amused by the description which include the phrase Detailed information on how to install these for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux is included in the book. 5) Its not really about understanding views - seems to be a documentary on how you choose to use them in one application (ok this may be unfair, I haven’t read the whole book)

It’s not all negative, I did actually learn a hell of a lot about rails and how it handles views, but it will be some time, and hopefully a few more iterations on your part, before I will bring myself to tackle chapter 2

04 Apr 2012, 01:13
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Bruce Williams (14 posts)

Sean, thanks for your comments. We should certainly call out more explicitly what the expected level of familiarity is (considering we’re focused on a single layer of the framework and intentionally don’t go into detail on the controller and model layers, this may make it difficult for those without some experience to follow along at times), but we should have also covered setup in more depth, too. We definitely could have done better. We are hoping to address that more comprehensively in our code READMEs; part of the code update we’re trying to get out now.

The first chapter is definitely a long one, and your point are well taken on more visual feedback as you go through the chapter. As for organization, we went through several permutations trying to tackle how to effectively explain layout structure (e.g., at one point we tried a series of independent “tips,” but there was far too much coupling); if you have any comments on better flow/pacing we’d love to have them as errata. We’ll be taking a hard look at this chapter in the future and we’d love to have your feedback.

We’re glad you did pick up some things–and hopeful that with a little more work on our part we can help you move forward more effectively and with far less frustration.

04 Apr 2012, 01:11
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Bruce Williams (14 posts)

Alex,

(Sorry for the late response – work and book code edits!)

I was merely pointing out the different ways people learn with technical books (all of which the author should cater to); some downlood the code and run it, some merely use the code as a source of handy snippets to paste into their own projects and experiments (so they don’t have to type what they read), and some never download the code at all, instead just following along (if they’re reading chronologically in the first place) or mentally applying what they’re reading to their own projects. I, for instance, commonly run code examples when learning a topic I have little to no familiarity with (e.g., when learning a new language), while I may read and just mentally apply/hack on experiments with others. I wasn’t making a judgement call, nor was I trying to discount the importance of making the examples work for readers (quite the opposite, actually).

04 Apr 2012, 01:25
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Bruce Williams (14 posts)

A quick update on our code update; we’re working tonight on starting to get the changes, READMEs, and some miscellaneous errata fixes into place for review; we need to make sure it addresses the issues brought up and doesn’t cause any problems with the way the ebook is built. Please bear with us; getting this out (correctly) is a huge priority for us, and we’ll push it out publicly as soon as possible.

04 Apr 2012, 15:14
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Bharat Ruparel (146 posts)

Bruce, Thanks for the updates. Please take your time correcting the errors and double checking. A few days here or there do not matter :) Thanks. Bharat

04 Apr 2012, 15:23
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Akshay Kumar (6 posts)

Actually it would be nice if you could provide an early download now. Doesn’t have to be an official errata update or anything just whatever you have so far. It doesn’t have to be perfect right now.

This way we don’t have to wait a few days, it breaks the flow and also because we can help you with the review.

04 Apr 2012, 19:38
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Thomas G Chappell (4 posts)

At least on the current Mac OSX (with Xcode 4.3.x) getting all the gem installs from the current code base to run is not trivial.

gem install cucumber-rails

depends on the installation of nokogiri. It is important to follow the instructions at: http://nokogiri.org/tutorials/installing_nokogiri.html (after making sure Xcode 4.3.x command line tools are installed) to get nokogiri installed before trying to install cucumber-rails. I ended up with a mixture of commands from nokogiri.org to finally get it to work. Using homebrew 0.9,

brew install libxml2 libxslt libiconv brew link libxml2 libxslt libiconv gem install nokogiri – –with-xslt-dir=/usr/local/Cellar/libxslt/1.1.26

worked for me…

04 Apr 2012, 19:53
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Akshay Kumar (6 posts)

Why do you need to do all that? Just use rvm and bundler. Add dependency to Gemfile, then bundle install in your project root and you are good to go.

04 Apr 2012, 20:11
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Thomas G Chappell (4 posts)

That doesn’t work under Lion with Xcode 4.3.x (or as I understand it, any version of Xcode 4). libxml2 and libsxt aren’t there (or are not the proper libraries for compiling nokogiri), and need to be installed with either Homebrew or MacPorts.

05 Apr 2012, 00:04
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John M Athayde (39 posts)

Do you have GCC or just LVVM installed?

https://github.com/kennethreitz/osx-gcc-installer

to find out if you have gcc, type “which gcc” at the shell prompt

05 Apr 2012, 00:42
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Thomas G Chappell (4 posts)

/usr/bin/gcc

I’ve not had any problems with compiling anything related to Ruby or Rails except for nokogiri. It seems to be a well documented problem, since when you use homebrew to “brew install libxslt”, it then gives you specific instructions on how to do a gem install of nokogiri.

05 Apr 2012, 01:25
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John M Athayde (39 posts)

Thomas - Thanks for that. We’ll add a note about that in the Read me in the code fixes we’re working on now.

06 May 2012, 12:15
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Manu J (6 posts)

A bit disappointed with the book. The ajax lesson is very thin. It does not cover returning json, showing validation errors, respond_with style etc

08 May 2012, 15:32
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John M Athayde (39 posts)

Manu -

I’m sorry you were disappointed. There are so many topics and we couldn’t possibly cover everyone in depth, especially with AJAX, where there are multiple books written just covering that subject.

I’ll talk to Bruce and see if we can get some more in depth coverage of Ajax-related content on the blog.

10 May 2012, 17:29
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Manu J (6 posts)

I know but quite a lot of time was spent on the basic stuff like layout. I wish you had just used twitter bootstrap and shortened that chapter. Huge amount of resources exist for layouts. Whereas for the newest unobtrusive style javascript support provided by rails, there are very few good resources available especially if you want to return json.

The chapter I like is the one on Presenters. That makes the book worth it for me. I wish you had given UJS similar attention :)

14 May 2012, 13:47
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John M Athayde (39 posts)

Manu J -

I’ve looked at Twitter Bootstrap and we personally don’t like a lot of it. For our own work we cannibalized the good parts, but redid the grid system.

The point that we make in the book and that I’ve made in presentations is that just slapping boilerplate or bootstrap or 960.gs or any of these things will end up causing you headache in the long run. We’ve seen it in our Hungry Academy guys who’ve used it on projects. We’re constantly helping them debug a weird issue where they’re trying to override a bootstrap default.

For our teams, we’ve made different custom “bootstraps” of our own to support our unique needs and missions.

We’ll look at writing some articles for the blog on more in-depth UJS stuff. Bruce and I are in the same town this week so we’ll be able to sit down and map some of this stuff out.

Thanks for the feedback and we’ll post here when we get some UJS offerings up on TheRailsView.com.

Cheers J

14 May 2012, 14:06
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Manu J (6 posts)

Bootstrap was just an example :). Since I’m not a designer, never had trouble with layouts.

Eagerly awaiting the UJS posts :)

18 May 2012, 17:14
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Jose E (10 posts)

Hello,

It seems that what I manifested on my own thread here is a Collective concern. For now, I’d like to know Where’s the official place to download the latest source files? You’ve mentioned a GitHub Repo, Could you please give me the URL? I’ve downloaded the .tar.gz compressed from this very pragprog site, But it seems it’s not up to date, right?

Where should we check for the latest changes?

J

22 May 2012, 13:54
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Jonathan O'Connor (2 posts)

John, to counteract Alex and Akshay’s comments, I actually found the book excellent. I’ve read most of it, without looking at the source code, and I had no problem following the examples. I also used the first chapter to “bootstrap” 2 new projects I started. That helped a lot.

Lastly, is the book finished? It’s not clear from the website if the book is in print or still in early access program.

05 Jun 2012, 18:32
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Jeff Katz (1 post)

I’ve gone through about 15 books on ruby, rails or web development in the past year, and have enjoyed the process and the books I’ve read. I’m sorry to say, but this book is a mess. Following along with the code is very difficult, as some of it is completed where I thought we were supposed to be filling in our own code, and then there are different versions of using the code for different spots? None of this is eplained in the book.

I saw your reasoning for not including twitter bootstrap, but there should still be a section on twitter bootstrap as for someone who just wants to get up and running, this is an important skill to have.

To the authors, I would try to watch someone go through this book, I think you would be surprised at how difficult this is. Look at Javascript and Jquery, the missing guide book, for how a much more clear book on views can be written, and how the code can be presented more clearly.

I think that writing a book on this topic is a great choice, and its a currently unmet need - unfortunately this book does not do much to solve it, so I hope that you improve it.

14 Jun 2012, 01:51
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John M Athayde (39 posts)

Jose - The latest changes are here on this site. We push the changes whenever we make them to here.

Jonathan - The book is finished. We’ll be fixing errata and adding articles on TheRailsView.com as we have time to cover additional topics that people feel we didn’t cover in depth enough, etc. If the Prags decide to do a second edition, it’ll be revisited at that point.

Jeff - I’m sorry you feel this way. I’m not sure what else you want me to say. Twitter bootstrap has more than adequate documentation and using it is the equivalent of scaffolding for the view. If you go to production with it, it’s amateur at best (unless, of course, you are Twitter, and then it’s part of your internal UI specification, which everyone needs to build for their own app).

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