Ruby on Rails for Microsoft Developers
Ruby on Rails for Microsoft Developers
Written by Ian Elliot   
Author: Antonio Cangiano
Publisher: Wrox, 2009
Pages: 480
ISBN: 978-0470374955
Aimed at: C# and .NET programmers
Rating: 4.5
Pros: Good introduction to Rails
Cons: Perhaps not enough on Ruby
Reviewed by: Ian Elliot

Ruby on Rails for Microsoft Developers - an interesting idea which raises a question. Should  Microsoft Developers be interested in Ruby or in Rails?


The quick answer is that they probably should be because Ruby this is one of the dynamic languages that is pushing .NET and C# in particular in the direction of dynamic typing.




Rails, which is an MVC framework for Ruby was more interesting and attractive before ASP .NET acquired its own MVC framework - however don't write Rails off just yet. What this book does is to demonstrate that it isn't enough to just adopt a model like MVC to make a framework attractive - you have to work at it.

For a .NET developer Ruby and Rails should be revelations in just how easy things can be - as long as you want to do more or less what the framework wants you to.

The first chapter is a re-orientation for .NET developers so that they can understand the Ruby community - who are portrayed as a bunch of Mac-using, IDE-rejecting coders who really don't like Microsoft at all. By the end of the first chapter you will have an idea of how to get Ruby  and Rails up and running and you will have created your first web site - in about five instructions and no code.

The second chapter goes deeper into the same questions and compares Rails with alternative .NET technologies and attempts to put various Ruby/Rails myths to rest.Chapters 3 and 4 constitute a lightening introduction to Ruby. As long as you already know how to program in C# or similar then this should serve to point out what makes Ruby special and get you off the starting blocks with the language. The only aspect that the introduction under emphasises is metaprogramming which is used repeatedly within active record and Rails. The average .NET programmer isn't going to realise that it is so important - it is covered but perhaps not enough.

From this point on the book focuses on Rails. Chapter 5 builds a larger working sample including a look at REST and the controller. Chapter 6 is about incremental development and debugging. Chapter 7 covers some more "background" in the form of ActiveRecord. Chapter 8 deals with ActionController and familiar issues such as state. Chapter 9 covers the User Interface - mostly a discussion of how to render HTML but some side issues, such as RSS and Ajax, are covered. Finally we have a look at web services and deployment.

Overall this is a good introduction to Rails and it does a good job of selling the system, particularly to programmers with a .NET background. If you are such a programmer and want to find out what Rails, and to a lesser extent Ruby, have going for them then this is a good place to start.



Professional Node.js

Author: Pedro Teixeira
Publisher: Wrox
Pages: 408
ISBN: 978-1118185469
Audience: Intermediate JavaScript programmers
Rating: 3.5
Reviewer: Ian Elliot

Node.js seems to be growing in importance and we need some good book to tell us what it is all about. Is Professional Node.js the one you need?

The Fourth Industrial Revolution

Author: Klaus Schwab
Publisher: The Fourth Industrial Revolution
Pages: 198
ISBN: 978-1944835002
Print: 1944835008
Kindle: B01AIT6SZ8
Audience: Everyone
Rating: 4.5
Reviewer: Ian Stirk

This book aims to be a primer on the fourth industrial revolution, explaining what it is, what it wil [ ... ]

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