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Agile Web Development with Rails, 4th Edition in beta

April 14, 2010

How time flies. The first edition of Agile Web Development with Rails came out in 2005. The same year as the Live 8 concerts. Hurricane Katrina. George Bush’s second term as president. The first human face transplant.

Hard to believe, it’s five years later, and the world is a different place. Hurricanes and face transplants still aren’t common, but Ruby on Rails is.

Rails 3 and Ruby 1.9 are standard-bearers now, and so once more it’s time for another new book. Welcome to the Fourth Edition.

Rails 3 is a major release—the changes aren’t just incremental, but structural. So we decided to follow suit. This book isn’t just a mild reworking of the previous edition to make it run with the new Rails. Instead, it’s a complete refactoring.

You’ll still find the Depot example at the front, but you’ll also find testing knitted right in. Gone are the long reference chapters—that’s what the web does best. Instead you’ll find more targeted information on all the aspects of Rails that you’ll need to be a successful Web developer.

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Agile Web Development with Rails, 4th Ed. in Beta

Ruby on Rails helps you produce high-quality, beautiful-looking web applications quickly. You concentrate on creating the application, and Rails takes care of the details.

Tens of thousands of developers have used this award-winning book to learn Rails. It’s a broad, far-reaching tutorial and reference that’s recommended by the Rails core team. If you’re new to Rails, you’ll get step-by-step guidance. If you’re an experienced developer, this book will give you the comprehensive, insider information you need.

Rails has evolved over the years, and this book has evolved along with it. We still start with a step-by-step walkthrough of building a real application, and in-depth chapters look at the built-in Rails features.

This edition now gives new Ruby and Rails users more information on the Ruby language and more background information alongside the book’s sample application. Best practices on how to apply Rails continue to change, and this edition keeps up. Examples use cookie backed sessions, HTTP authentication, and Active Record-based forms, and the book focuses throughout on the right way to use Rails.

Additionally, this edition now reflects Ruby 1.9, a new release of Ruby with substantial functional and performance improvements.

Available now in beta from

Update Policy

Given the sometimes maddening pace of software updates, we’ve settled on the following policy. Where possible, we will continue to provide free updates to ebooks (PDF, epub, mobi) for minor point releases of software. That is, if a language/framework/platform revs from 2.1 to 2.2, we’ll try and cover that in a free update to the corresponding ebook, which will be reflected in the next paper printing as needed.

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For major point releases, such as from 2.x to 3.x, we’ll release a new edition, which is considered a whole new book. While the minor point revisions are provided for free, the major point revisions are not, and no additional discount applies.

We try to be fair to our authors. In most cases, the author has to spend so much time revising a manuscript for a major revision, that it’s essentially a whole new book. Think of it like model years for cars.

As always, thanks for your continuing support.

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Thanks for your continued support,

Dave & Andy