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30 Jul 2008, 18:30
Lukas (7 posts)

I am not sure if this topic is in the right place here, or if I should have posted it in the discussions page for the new version of the book.

I have bought the version of the book written for Rails 1.2 about a year ago and finally got the time to dive into it. But after installing Rails 2.1 and working myself through the first few chapters I soon noticed that there have been some significant changes made in Rails 2. Still eager to learn Rails I am now trying to decide between the following options and hope that somebody will offer me some guidance to help me make a choice.

1) I continue with the book using this thread for help to workaround the differences between the book and Rails 2. Being a complete novice to Rails I would much prefer to avoid this option as it seems to me that I would end up trying to learn Rails 1 using Rails 2.

2) I downgrade Rails and follow the book, teaching myself the new version of Rails once I got a solid grasp of the materials. This option seems quite plausible to me ,but I am afraid that learning an outdated version will get me on the wrong track from the very beginning, making it difficult to learn Rails 2.

3) I buy the Beta ( of the Third edition of the book. Although for me this would have the advantage of receiving the print version once it is available I am unsure to what degree the current Beta version lends itself for a beginner to learn Rails.

In general, given that I like Rails (and from what I’ve seen so far, I do) I would definitely like to learn the new version sooner or later. I am just quite uncertain at the moment as to how to proceed.

One last thing, since I am on holidays at the moment I actually have the time to learn Rails and waiting for the final version of the new book to be release isn’t really an option as it would just add at least another year to me not knowing Rails.

30 Jul 2008, 20:09
Sam Ruby (633 posts)

Disclaimer: I’m a coauthor of edition 3, but not of edition 2. Whether this gives credibility or represents bias is something you will need to factor in when evaluating my answers.

1) Since you have already said that you would prefer to avoid this option, I will not comment further.

2) Once you learn Rails 1, learning the delta isn’t difficult. Some of the instructions you will find on the web will be inconsistent, and a few things (like scaffolding) have radically changed. Some of the aspects of newer concepts, like map.resources, may not be obvious at first if you go down this path.

3) The target audience for edition 3 is exactly the same as for edition 2, modulo the differences in Rails versions. If your ultimate goal is to learn Rails 2, this edition is the most straightforward means to do so.

30 Jul 2008, 21:03
Lukas (7 posts)

Thank you for your quick reply, I appreciate it.

In reference to your answer to my third point - is beta version of the third edition usable for my purposes, or is it currently not yet in a state suitable for learning Rails as a complete beginner?

30 Jul 2008, 22:42
Sam Ruby (633 posts)

The short answer is yes, I definitely believe so.

The third edition is a blended beta - chapters that have been updated for Rails 2.0 are clearly marked, and an assessment as to how much change is expected for the remaining chapters is included in the Preface.

“Infoworld”: recently posted a review.

If you participate in the beta, you will get updates as more chapters become available.

31 Jul 2008, 08:37
Lukas (7 posts)

In that case I will give it a try and pick up Rails 2 as much as possible, only resorting to Rails 1 for the chapters that have not yet been updated.

Thank you very much for your help.

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