Friday, December 29, 2006

Review: Rails Recipes

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

Visuals:
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.

Readability:
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.

Practicality:
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.

Audience:
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.

Overall:
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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