I'm a total newbie to Ruby on Rails, but it seems like it's for me. I'm a fan of learning the basics from a book rather than through tutorials, so I was wondering if you could suggest any.
I am familiar with two, one from sitepoint and the other from pragprom.com. Are they any good?
For a book with a somewhat tutorial approach, your current best bet is to get the beta of the 3rd edition of AGILE WEB DEVELOPMENT WITH RAILS from Pragmatic Programmers. Don't go for the dead-trees 2nd edition, even if you can find a copy; the framework has moved on.
Also worth a look is Obie Fernandez's THE RAILS WAY (Addison Wesley). It's more of a reference manual, so it can be tough going if you haven't worked out some of the basics from other sources first.
I'm about 2 months into the scene and here's my take on the books I've used.
Avoid the sitepoint book at all costs. Eventually buy the print version of Ruby for Rails and just read through it -- it's probably my favorite of all the books.
AWDWR is the best 25 bucks you'll ever spend.
RailsSpace is also extremely good. It's more newbie friendly than AWDWR -- unfortunately it only covers Rails 1.2, but it's still worth a look if you can find the pdf :). And yeah, just use Rails Way for a reference once you get going.
Thanks for the advice, but why should I avoid the sitepoint books? that's how I learned xhtml/css.
Oh, one more thing - check out the Peepcode screencasts for material between tutorial and book length. They have some excellent ones that cover Rails 2 topics.
Max I would highly recommend starting with as many peepcode and railscasts screencasts you can afford and sit through. The railscasts are free and very informative and the peepcode screencasts are cheap and pretty thorough but take you through the steps at a good pace. http://peepcode.com/ http://railscasts.com/
Pragmatic Programmers also have 2 very nice related screencasts Everyday Active Record by Ryan Bates (who also does the free railscasts) http://www.pragprog.com/screencasts/v-rbar/everyday-active-record and Ruby Metaprogramming (episodes 2 through 5 are the best IMO) http://www.pragprog.com/screencasts/v-dtrubyom/the-ruby-object-model-and-metaprogramming
I would also recommend the Agile Web Development with Rails book, I started out on the second edition and loved it, I think the 3rd edition is very similar http://www.pragprog.com/titles/rails3/agile-web-development-with-rails-third-edition
Not sure these are best for a beginner but with the screencasts as prep, they are great RoR books: Railsway by Obie Fernandez Everyday Scripting with Ruby by Brian Marick Advanced Rails Recipes by Mike Clark I keep all of those books around me at all times.
I think everything in Railsway and Advanced Recipes books still apply to and work in rails 2.1
Max -- me too. That's why I bought SP's book. The author just seemed to hurry through a lot of aspects, and it was really confusing. At a cheaper price you get more and much higher quality content with AWDWR.
Thanks for all of the suggestions, guys! I'm getting really excited about what I will be able to do with rails.
I have this idea: a youtube like site for programmers, that would allow them to upload screen-cast tutorials and other videos, then share and embed them. Could I do this with rails?