Rails has changed a lot since we announced the first edition of the book a year ago. DHH says that the 1.1 release "boasts more than 500 fixes, tweaks, and features from more than 100 contributors." Who are we to disagree?
To celebrate the release of Rails 1.1, we're delighted to announce the second edition of Agile Web Development with Rails. This is a major update to the original, and we're releasing it as a beta book.
So far, we've rewritten the Depot application chapters. They now
illustrate new Rails features such as RJS templates for Ajax support
has_many :through. We've lost the SQL in favor of
migrations, and even include an rxml example so we can show off
RESTful interfaces and
respond_to. It uses the new
rake tasks, keeps its sessions in the database, and generally tries
to follow all the latest Rails programming recommendations
(including dropping things that are likely to become deprecated over
time). The testing chapter supports transactional fixtures, shows
new features, and illustrates the new integration testing framework.
Over the coming months, we'll be updating the rest of the book. The Rails core chapters will be revamped to show all the changes to ActiveRecord, ActionController, and ActionView. The Web2.0 chapter will be rewritten to illustrate RJS; and the deployment chapter rewritten to use Capistrano and to show how to set Rails up in production. All in all, the book will be significantly updated to illustrate all we've learned about writing Rails applications in the last year.
All this represents a bunch of totally new content—entirely new chapters and largely rewritten old ones.
Today, we're releasing this new edition as a beta book. As with all our beta books, you'll be able to download updates as we add new content, and then, after we complete the book, continue to download changes to this second edition. We anticipate that the book will be finished in the fall, at which point the paper copies will ship.
However, we're doing this beta book slightly differently to our other ones. Rather than releasing just the new content as it becomes available, we're instead releasing a hybrid that mixes the new content with that of the original, first edition. That way you'll be able to use the beta book as a complete reference that gets updated over time. Each chapter is color coded: ones with a gray header are from the first edition, while those from the second have a red header.
From May 2nd onwards, if you buy the AWDwR PDF, you'll be getting the beta book version. If you want the paper book, you'll have the choice of buying the first edition now or buying the second edition that will ship when it's ready.
If you bought a first edition PDF from us on or after April 1st, 2006 (order numbers 27140 and above), you qualify for a free upgrade to the beta book. We'll be sending you instructions by email over the next few days. (If you have a spam blocker, we suggest whitelisting pragprog.com and pragmaticprogrammer.com—you'd be amazed how often our PDF download e-mails get bounced.)
We're really excited to be able to offer the most up-to-date information on the amazing Rails framework. If you're a Rails developer, we think you'll find this book an invaluable companion.