Excerpts from book:

There have been many extravagant claims made about Rails. For example, an article in OnLAMP.com claimed that “you could develop a web application at least ten times faster with Rails than you could with a typical Java framework...” The article then went on to show how to install Rails and Ruby on a PC and build a working ‘scaffold’ application with virtually no coding.

While this is impressive, ‘real’ web developers know that this is smoke and mirrors. ‘Real’ applications aren’t as simple as that. What’s actually going on beneath the surface? How hard is it to go on and build ‘real’ applications?

This is where life gets a little tricky. Rails is well documented on-line – in fact, possibly too well documented for beginners, with over 30,000 words of on-line documentation in the format of a reference manual. What’s missing is a roadmap (railmap?) pointing to the key pages that you need to know to get up and running in Rails development.

This document sets out to fill that gap. It assumes you’ve got Ruby and Rails up on a PC (if you haven’t got this far, go back and follow Curt’s article). This takes you to the end of ‘Day 1 on Rails’. ‘Day 2 on Rails’ starts getting behind the smoke and mirrors. It takes you through the ‘scaffold’ code. New features are highlighted in bold, explained in the text, and followed by a reference to either Rails or Ruby documentation where you can learn more.

‘Day 3 on Rails’ takes the scaffold and starts to build something recognisable as a ‘real’ application. All the time, you are building up your tool box of Rails goodies. Most important of all, you should also be feeling comfortable with the on-line documentation so you can continue your explorations by yourself. ‘Day 4 on Rails’ adds in another table and deals with some of the complexities of maintaining relational integrity.

At the end, you’ll have a working application, enough tools to get you started, and the knowledge of where to look for more help.

Ten times faster? after four days on Rails, judge for yourself!