Book review by Sam Ruby, Dave Thomas, David Hansson “Rails 4. Agile Web Application Development”

A certain author wrote a series of articles on CakePHP (originally a clone of Rails), which were translated and published in one magazine in the early 2010s, and in the extreme "talks about a myriad of useful resources." Also here: the review lists Internet resources here and there, although not in such a myriad of quantities (as well as another book on Rails).

In the review, the Rails 4 book announced in the title is central among them.

Back in 2008, a translated book was published dedicated to the first version of the Ruby on Rails web framework. This is a short (only 224 pages with illustrations and two applications) a tutorial that helps the reader to make an electronic photo album. This album was technical for its time, colorful. Cheerful, cheerful colors.

This is not the only paper Rails programming tutorial. There is another - newer, larger (twice as much) and more fun. It came out a few years later and was devoted to the fourth version of Ruby on Rails. Instead of a photo album, it is about creating an online store.

Instead of listing, like English Wikipedia, “innovative features” that “make rapid application development possible”, as well as reports on the obvious impact of Rails on other frameworks (Django, Laravel, Phoenix, Sails.js), which “borrowed its ideas”, in the introduction is written about agile development.

On the main page of the official Rails website, for example, there is nothing about it, but it is argued that Rails makes the frightening study of building modern web applications much easier and more fun, web applications built with it are fantastic, and the community is huge and friendly.

In general, the text for novice programmers. The Rails 4 tutorial is for more experienced application programmers who are “going to create and deploy modern web applications.”

Also there is a YouTube video tour of Rails 5. This is a 22-minute screencast, which is clearer, more modern (this is not the fourth, but the fifth version of the web framework), but it is impossible to read English subtitles and the generated code at the same time.

There are no such problems with the book, of course.

In Russian Wikipedia, the quality model of a software product includes functional suitability, performance level, compatibility, usability, reliability, security, maintainability, portability (according to GOST R ISO / IEC 25010-2015).

Wikipedia also emphasizes that “the concept of quality is subjective in nature” and cites such questions for the software development team as “Who are the people who will evaluate our software?” And “What will be valuable for them?”.

Of course, GOST is not mentioned in the book; the word “quality” is found only as a subject as a subject. It is written about programming methods that “the absence of clearly marked sections on the use of flexible methods of Rails programming” is explained by the fact that “the development flexibility is a qualitative component of Rails”.

Indeed, in the book, here and there, there are references to ideas and principles inherent in this “series of approaches to software development” (agile-methods), such as transparency, cooperation with the customer, quick project response to changes (and, as a result, mandatory testing) and others.

However, in my opinion, not enough attention is paid to the quality of the finished product itself.

Unlike the book on the first version of Rails, all the exercises from the book on agile development can be easily performed on a computer with the Linux distribution installed on it, which contains the fourth version of Rails in the repositories. Some modern distributions simply do not have a newer version of Rails 4.2.

So the Rails 4 tutorial is a great book.

Bruce A. Tate, Course Nibbs. Ruby on Rails: Fast Web Development, SPB: BHW-Petersburg, 2008
Sam Ruby, Dave Thomas, David Hansson. Rails 4. Agile Web Application Development, Peter, 2014

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