You want to write professional-grade applications: Rails is a full-stack, open-source web framework, with integrated support for unit, functional, and integration testing. It enforces good design principles, consistency of code across your team (and across your organization), and proper release management.
But Rails is more than a set of best practices. Rails makes it both fun and easy to turn out very cool web applications. Need Ajax support, so your web applications are highly interactive? Rails has it built in. Want an application that sends and receives e-mail? Built in. Supports internationalization and localization? Built in. Do you need applications with a REST-based interface (so they can interact with other RESTful applications with almost no effort on your part)? All built-in.
As with the previous editions of the book, we start with an extended tutorial that builds parts of an online store. And, of course, the application has been rewritten to show the best of Rails V2.
Review By: Ronald Goodwin, PMP ITIL/ITSM 03/15/2010I love a good how-to book, and this book is definitely one of them. This book is written for Web developers using an agile methodology and Rails, an alternative Web development environment to Java and .Net. The authors have carefully defined agile Web development using Rails starting with the MVC architecture and show developers how to build an online store using Rails.
Rails is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux environments. Abundant "information boxes" throughout the book keep the reader informed of differences between Rails and other development environments, e.g., Java, PHP, .NET, etc. The majority of the book's focus is directed strictly to the developer using Rails. Yet if you are frustrated with Java, PHP, or .Net, by all means try this development environment.
If you are a Windows user and want to test out Rails, go to http://instantrails.rubyforge.org/wiki/wiki.pl and click on the download link. If you are a Max user, you will need a couple of extra downloads (SQLite3 and such) before downloading Rails. As I don't speak Penguin, I am not sure about the instructions for downloading Rails to Linux.