This is another good introductory book for Ruby on Rails.
I would say that if you have to choose just one book, get RailsSpace instead: that has more beginner type advice in it. However, this has plenty of good stuff too, and it does cover some things the RailsSpace book did not, so if you don't follow my advice I don't think you are really cheating yourself.
The free PDF version that I loooked at does have some limitations, including no access to the book's source code that otherwise would be available at SitePoint. Also, I just don't like PDF books. I know, I know: I've even opined that ebooks are going to be a big part of our future, but remember: I'm a grumpy old guy. I like paper books. You should also know that the free PDF is 464 pages while the real book is 700. It's not clear to me exactly where the 200 odd page difference lies, but the book obviously has more.
That aside, I found this easy to follow and very informative, especially as I had just finished RailsSpace. I thionk the two books together helped me grasp some concepts more quickly than I might have otherwise. The PDF version does have one nice feature you probably aren't going to find in the book: full color illustrations. Note that it also has full color ads interspersed with the pages every now and then..
Some reviewers have complained that this covers an older version and that some of the code is wrong or broken. As a rank beginner, I didn't find the version issue to be important - I know there are new features this book did not cover, but I'm not ready for that yet anyway. The code may have been a bit of a problem: I can't say that the code was wrong because I may have mistyped or missed a step, but I did have troubles with a few examples. I assume that if I actually bought the book and had access to the source code I might not have had that trouble.
Tony Lawrence 2007-11-27 Rating:
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You learn about life by the accidents you have, over and over again, and your father is always in your head when that stuff happens. (Kurt Vonnegut)