Book: Ruby for Rails available via Manning Early Access program

Long time resident mentor on ruby-talk and Ruby Central co-founder, David Black, is just finishing up a book that should be of special interest to those whose first Ruby experiences are coming by way of Rails: Ruby for Rails – Ruby techniques for Rails developers.

The book will be available in stores at the beginning of May. Meanwhile you can get chapters one at a time, as they’re completed, through the Manning Early Access Program.

Check it out.

RailsConf sold out!

We warned you it was going to happen, and lo, in less than a week, RailsConf has SOLD OUT.

All told, 400 people signed up. In October, RubyConf was capped at 200 and sold out as well. The year before that, we had about 70 people. Ruby and Rails are “so hot right now”.

Canada on Rails is here too

In the flurry of enthusiasm over the official RailsConf, Canada on Rails seems to have been a bit forgotten. It’s going down in Vancouver on April 13th and 14th. I’ll be speaking there, so will Thomas Fuchs (Mr. Scriptaculous), Dave Astels, David Black, and many other Rails celebrities. Do check it out too. We know that you can’t get enough of Rails anyway, so two conferences should be all the double fun.

Testing the view with Selenium

Selenium enables you to test the view by driving it through a real browser. This allows you to test that your application works correctly in multiple browsers and that the Javascript functions as intended. Very nifty stuff.

And Jonas Bengtsson just made the use of Selenium with Rails all the much easier through the new Selenium plugin. This removes the drudgery of setup and makes it silly simple to get started.

RailsConf: <strike>65%</strike> 80% of the seats sold!

RailsConf was announced less than a week ago and the seats are going faster than snappy quick. Of the 400 tickets for sale, 265 were gone as of this morning. That’s 65% sold or just 135 left.

I’d be very surprised if we still had any tickets left by the end of the week. This is shaping up to be the exclusive event of the year, so if you don’t want to regret participating in that, you’d better secure yourself a ticket before it’s too late.

The conference panel is currently judging the more than 80(!) talk proposals and the final schedule will hopefully be announced some times next week.

UPDATE: 80% of the tickets are now gone.

Rails Recipes premieres in beta book form

Chad Fowler has completed the first draft of the initial 21 chapters for Rails Recipes and is now making the work available as a beta book for purchase. The final book is still a ways off, but this is an awesome opportunity to get at the very timely material right now. You need to strap on your edge shoes and get the latest Rails version off the repository for some of the recipes that rely on 1.1 features, but most of them is just about clever ways to do common things.

The great thing about Chad’s approach to these tutorials is that they are more like case studies than laundry lists of commands to input. Take the recipe to use Active Record with multiple databases. First, it sets up a complete sample mini-application to demonstrate (using best practices like migrations), then walks you through how the quick one-off hack would look like (so you understand the mechanics), then wraps everything up in a sweet External class hierarchy for ease of reuse. And then of course tops up with a recommendation that you shouldn’t really be using multiple databases unless you have no other choice and offers alternatives to avoid it.

This makes Rails Recipes useful for more than just looking up when you encounter a problem it has the solution for. It serves just as well as a teaching tool in the best practices of the framework in general and you’re likely to become a better Rails programmer by reading through all of the recipes one by one. Even if you don’t need to use multiple databases today.

So this is the perfect stepping stone after or as a companion with the Agile Web Development with Rails book. Get the first 21 recipes today and receive updates with additional recipes as they become ready. I’ll be working with Chad myself to ensure that these recipes offer as much of The Rails Way as possible and that it’ll discuss how to use all the goodies from the forthcoming Rails 1.1.

Now what are you waiting for? Go pick it up, yo.

RailsConf 2006 selling fast

We opened up registration for RailsConf 2006 just over 12 hours ago and already have over 100 people signed up! Dave Thomas and Mike Clark’s Guidebook session is also already half full so if you were planning on coming to RailsConf I would act sooner rather than later.

So go sign up now.