Friday, December 29, 2006

Review: Rails Recipes

Title: Rails Recipes
Publisher: Pragmatic Programmers
Author: Chad Fowler

Nothing terribly exciting visually about the design, but it is a programming book. The layout employs a "recipe card" looking tab design for sections & headings. Type face and size is standard and readable. The biggest design issue is that sometimes a series of pages go unnumbered, which can be annoying.

Generally not a cover to cover type book. The book consists of 70 sections, some larger "recipes" and some shorter "snack recipes". The majority of the recipes include: Problem, Ingredients (gems, etc..) and Solution. These short standalone sections provide for easy reading.

If you find a few topics that sound applicable to your current project, or that sound useful for a future project - I'm sure you will find this book to be very practical. If it saves you half an hour of searching the Internet, I imagine it probably was worth the investment.

For example, I found the topic of "Versioning Your Models" to be of real practical use. The information was presented clearly and I could immediately put it into use on a current project.

If you already know how to solve all these problems, or just are not interested in them, well then this book won't be very practical for you.

According to the book the target audience are developers already familiar with the basics of Rails, looking to see how an experienced Rails developer would solve a specific problem. The book successfully meets that intended target.

It is a useful tool for a working Rails developer. Most topics are not terribly complex, but may help to make you aware of solutions that you had not previously considered. Personally, it won't be a "keep on the desk" or "use every day" type book - but I am glad to have it on my bookshelf.

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