Ruby for Rails: Ruby techniques for Rails developers

David A. Black is a pillar in the Ruby community, a co-founder of RubyCentral, toastmaster at RubyConf, and an all-round awesome Ruby programmer and friend. I’m very pleased to see that Manning went ahead with his “Ruby for Rails” proposal and now advertises the book for release in April.

This is an important book for the growth of Ruby on Rails as a platform. Lots of people are learning Rails first and then diving into Ruby as they need to. This book will target exactly that kind of people. Someone who’s getting into Ruby because of Rails and then wants to know more about the language as they progress.

Manning puts the pitch like this:

A new level of programming power and versatility awaits Ruby on Rails developers who master not only the conventions of Rails but the workings of the Ruby language itself. Because Rails itself and all Rails applications are written in Ruby, the knowledge of Ruby this book gives you will dramatically improve your Rails programming. You’ll gain an intimate understanding of how familiar Rails idioms actually work. And you’ll find expanded possibilities for your applications using custom-written Ruby.

The other great thing about this book is that it’ll most likely be available as a PDF. Like the Pragmatic Bookshelf, Manning has long been pushing ebooks, which means its one of the only publishers I’ll actually pick up titles from on a regular basis. Hopefully “Ruby for Rails” marks just the beginning of a broader selection that goes beyond the almost Java-exclusive focus they’ve had in the past.

So if this sounds intriguing, please do sign up to be alerted of the books release. I’m sure Manning is using interest like that to determine how to proceed with further projects in the Ruby world.

RailsConf 2006: Now accepting talk proposals

Crack your knuckles — Chad Fowler has announced that talk proposals are now being accepted for RailsConf 2006. Talks are around 50 minutes each, and speakers will receive free admission to the conference.

Don’t miss your chance to speak at what’s shaping up to be one of the most important gatherings of the year. Submit your proposal now (and subscribe to the RailsConf RSS if you haven’t already).

Rails 1.0: Party like it's one oh oh!

15 months after the first public release, Rails has arrived at the big 1.0. What a journey! We’ve gone through thousands of revisions, tickets, and patches from hundreds of contributors to get here. I’m incredibly proud at the core committer team, the community, and the ecosystem we’ve raised around this framework.

Rails 1.0 is mostly about making all the work we’ve been doing solid. So it’s not packed with new features over 0.14.x, but has spit, polish, and long nights applied to iron out kinks and ensure that it works mostly right, most of the time, for most of the people. Yes, we still have pending tickets, but we will always have pending tickets. If I had accepted that fact back in February, we would probably have been at 2.0 now ;).

Alongside 1.0, we’ve also been working on a new web site, which premieres today as well. It’s a 37signals-powered redesign that streamlines and decrufts us into a much cleaner profile that hopefully will make it even easier for people to get excited and try out Ruby on Rails. It’s online at and includes two brand new screencasts.

So this is a major milestone for Rails, but we’ve not even begun to think about slowing down. Rails 1.1 is already pretty far along in development and will see some of the biggest upgrades of any Rails release. Hopefully some time in February. But in the mean time, enjoy one oh!

To install Rails 1.0:

gem install rails —include-dependencies

To learn about upgrading a Rails application not already running 0.14.x: Upgrade to 1.0

The only thing you need to do to upgrade from 0.14.x is update your Javascripts using “rake update_javascripts”. You’ll be rocking along with Scriptaculous 1.5 and Prototype 1.4.

Happy 1.0, everyone!

Rails Studio: Dave Thomas and Mike Clark hits Denver

The first Rails Studio was a sell-out, run-away success, so naturally Dave Thomas and Mike Clark are up for it again. This time they’re hitting Denver, Colorado from January 19th through 21st. So if you’d like to learn Rails from two of the best instructors in the business, sign up today. They might not have seats for you next week!

Amrita2: Another choice for templates in Rails

Amrita2 is a template engine that separates template logic and content. It’s a very different style than the standard ERb approach of Rails, but if squeaky clean HTML templates tickle your fancy, this is the place to go. The latest version is all wrapped up as a Rails plugin, which makes it silly easy to install and play with.

Rails RC5 (0.14.4): Next stop one-oh (really, this time!)

It’s been a month since we promised that RC4 would be the final countdown. And counting down we have. We’ve fixed a ton of major, minor, and aesthetic issues and now have a package that we would be very proud to call 1.0. No, it’s not completely spotless. A project of this size with thousands of programmers using it for every application type under the moon will never be. But it’s Pretty Damn Good.

So here it goes: Release candidate 5. This is the final, short pitstop before 1.0 materializes next week. Thus, you’re more than well advised to upgrade and make sure we didn’t leave anything heinous in there. This is the “speak now or forever hold your peace” part of the ceremony.

If you already upgraded to 0.14.x, going to RC5 is completely effortless. Simply call upon the gems to do your bidding with: gem install rails --include-dependencies. And you’ll be serving up your application with all the bugs squashed. On top of that, we’ve thrown in a new adapter for the Firebird database and added a beautiful new index.html that’ll greet you on new applications:

So upgrade, dammit! Now. And stand by as we finish setting up the fireworks planned for next week’s release of the long-awaited 1.0. It’s magical times, my friends, and the spellcasting is just getting started.

The interesting changes are in:

SwitchTower problems on OSX

This has been coming up often enough that it deserves to be posted somewhere visible. If you are trying to use SwitchTower with the stock version of Ruby that ships with OSX, you will fail. The stock OSX version of Ruby has a bad OpenSSL module, which wreaks all kinds of havoc with SwitchTower.

The solution is to install a non-stock version of Ruby, either via DarwinPorts, or Fink, or even just the good-old manual “configure/make/make install” process.