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19 May 2010, 01:51
Alex McTammany (1 post)

First of all, I could not of been more excited when I saw this new edition. I got even more amped up when I saw that Testing was Chapter 2 in building Depot. I’ve been saying that Rails books need to teach Rails the way people use it, writing tests all along. I know it’s taken me a long time to shake the habit of halfway testing in the console and not writing a real test. Good job. However, I bought this knowing it was beta, but thought that there would be some new references to Rails 3. Yes, there are some things I learned from re-reading how to build Depot, but I was disappointed when I saw all the chapters I wanted to read were just outlines. I enjoyed reading previous Pragmatic books, but I was shocked at how little was in here. I don’t regret buying it, and am excited to see the new versions as they develop, but I feel a little cheated. I think it would be much more courteous, as a company, if somewhere in the book description it mentioned how much of the book was finished and which sections are currently finished or not even written. All in all, keep up the good work and I’ll keep buying the books. But a little more notice beforehand would let me know that you guys do appreciate and care for your loyal customers.


19 May 2010, 17:26
Sam Ruby (633 posts)

In response to the question posed by the subject: of course that’s not it. There’s a bunch more to come. I happen to believe in release early and often in general, and in this case in particular I can say that I have received valuable and substantial feedback already as result. I have also been proceeding roughly linearly, meaning that I started and the front of the book and am working my way to the back. Content of the chapters that wasn’t previously discussed in any depth, namely deployment an mail, have been pulled forward to part II.

I’d also like to point out that Rails 3.0 hasn’t been released and doesn’t have a firm schedule to do so. If history is any guide, there is still a significant possibility of new function or changes being made prior to the release.

Thanks for the kind words on testing.

Even if you are familiar with previous versions of Rails, I suspect that you got more out of the Depot chapters than you may realize. I can personally attest to the magnitude of changes that were made to Rails that affect applications. If you have an existing Rails application, I encourage you to run

script/plugin install git://
rake rails:upgrade:check

In addition to the helpful output and links it produces, I think you will have benefited from seeing how a Rails 3 project is done the right way from the start, as described by myself, Dave Thomas, and David Heinemeier Hansson.

26 May 2010, 15:47
L H (4 posts)

Just out of curiosity, how much of the book is done so far, more or less? I am reading a copy of the 3rd edition in the office, but just starting playing with Rails 3 beta and I’d love to get into the 4th edition and see some of the differences, especially in the Depot app.

26 May 2010, 16:22
Sam Ruby (633 posts)

The depot app is complete, and now includes the sending of mail, and deployment using capistrano, passenger, mysql, bundler, and git (content which in previous editions were in Part III).

While the Depot applications in the two editions perform roughly the same function, there are a number of differences that go beyond what it required to get this application working on Rails 3. Examples: edition 3 showed a mix of REST/resource based controllers and action/non-REST based controllers, whereas edition 4’s primary focus is on REST. Edition 3 used Active Record backed sessions and described (early on) some of the issues with that approach. Edition 4 uses cookie based sessions and defers discussion of the alternatives to Part III.

If you get edition 4, look at the way URLs are used in the internationalization chapter. And the way that the description of testing is infused into the existing chapters (something I must admit that is partially motivated by the desire to keep the Rails scaffold generated tests passing all along rather than deferring that to the point where the burden would be onerous).

Even the “Hello World!” application changed, as Rails 3.0 now provides a HTML5 based layout for controllers.

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