Pref for beginner book: Wrox (Holzner) or Ruby for Rails?

I’m a beginner. I’ve done the apple tutorial, Agile ROR (the depot
app, I stopped after that, a little to advanced with no base knowledge
of Ruby), Why’s guide and my copy of Chris P.'s book today. After
Pine, I’m going to buy either the Wrox book or Ruby for Rails book. I
did a search and there’s not too much on the Wrox book (Holzner) and
the Ruby for Rails book has been given good reviews. Anyone familiar
with both? Where I’m at: almost no programming knowledge except for
the above readings in the last two weeks.


How about something other than a book? I liked the rails
video. I tried a few books, but I found that I retained more from the
videos than the books. The books are great for reference though.

just my 2 cents. Good luck!

On Apr 2, 4:48 pm, “[email protected]

I’m not familiar with Pine’s book … so I don’t know where that will
put you in the stream of things once you’re done. Not going to do the
Pickaxe? You may want to consider that.

That said, I’d go with Black’s Ruby for Rails. Really takes a Ruby
focus as it applies to Rails and just has you dabble in Rails here and
there, then go back to your Depot app and start over again, this time
with a better grip on Ruby. The WROX book wasn’t quite my style for
Ruby learning, although I’m sure others will find it a useful

I started the same way … caught up in Rails before I had a
foundation in Ruby. Went back and hit the books (pickaxe, then Ruby
for Rails), then stirred up the Kentucky Ruby U. Group from a
little slump and just stuck to it.

Don’t give up. You’ll get it.


ps … you can also take a look at Geoff’s to see if that
style of learning fits you. He does a nice job.

On Apr 2, 4:48 pm, “[email protected]

Ok, a friend lent me a copy of the pickaxe book. I haven’t touched it
because I figured it would be too far advanced. Maybe I should jump
to that after Pine’s book?


I brought two books.

Ruby on Rails (Ruby Techniques for Rails Developers) David A.Black
Agile Web D. with Rails

Those are great books to have :smiley:

The first on go deep into Ruby (didn’t start reading it)
The second is for rails :smiley: (read half of it)

Buy them and no need for more,you will learn the rest from experience

On Apr 2, 3:48 pm, “[email protected]
[email protected] wrote:


I looked at Holzner’s book and Justin W. “Beginning Rails
Solutions” (something like that) for an hour or so. Both seemed to be
pretty well-written and complete, and accessible to beginning
programmers. The Ruby for Rails and “AWDR v. 2” I regard as must-have
books for when you get down to it.

I used the “Build your own Ruby on Rails Web Applications” book by
Patrick Lenz and published by Sitepoint. Published in Jan 07, it’s
pretty straightforward and does a good job of walking you thru
building a complete application with tagging, etc. I thought there was
enough Ruby information to plow thru it.

I also like the “Agile Web D. with Rails” book but it was a
little too dense for me for starters (I started programming in Ruby/
Rails about 6 weeks ago), so the Lenz book was very good.

Now I’ve moved on to the Ruby for Rails book which is very good, but I
would recommend the Lenz book first, from my experience.


On Apr 2, 1:48 pm, “[email protected]

David’s Ruby for rails is really good. Check it out…

And I just looked at Lynda. I have looked at all of the other
beginner threads, this is the first I have heard about it – and I
think I’m probably going to subscribe. It looks very good.

On Apr 2, 5:54 pm, “[email protected]

My approach has been almost identical to yours. (I began with no
programming experience at all.) I started with Pine’s online version
of How to Code (or whatever it’s called) and read through Why’s Guide,
more for its entertainment value than actual learning. Then I got the
Pickaxe and the Agile Rails books. I got a little intimidated after
starting with the Agile book, since I felt like it was speaking over
my head in many ways, using terms that would be familiar to
programmers, but not to me. I put the Agile book down for a while, and
then picked up Holzner at a Barnes and Noble. It was reassuring and
seemed to explain things in different ways, and I felt like it helped
me feel like I could code. But then … as soon as it gave me the
momentum to get going again, I moved back to the Agile book (2.0 this
time), and have been working with that since then.

I haven’t seen Black’s Ruby for Rails, but based on the comments here,
I’d go with that one.

+1 for Ruby for Rails. I really enjoyed this book and felt it really
filled in the gaps in Ruby syntax that I didn’t get from the Agile

Thanks, guys. This has become a good thread. I think I’m going to go
with the Lynda site. After that I’ll see where I’m at: if I feel
comfortable, I’m going to go straight to the PickAxe and then finish
AROR. If I still feel a little weak, then Holzner or SitePoint’s book
(probably Holzner, as it’s $6 on Amazon for a pdf).

I’d be curious if anyone else had tried Lynda (I’ll probably buy the
subscription next week, when I’m done with Pine)? It’s $25 a month
($99 to buy a specific video set), but there are a few other videos
I’d like to tackle – CSS, XHTML, Javascript are all covered. They
don’t have any linux or Unix courses (I came from a PC background when
I was a HS comp. geek, then bought a Mac and forgot about computers in
college, and now I’m just delving into OSX’s core). So I don’t have
money to waste, but it seems like a good deal.

Watching the videos isn’t really going to teach you what you said you
to know… which was Ruby. The best way to learn Ruby is to read the
Pickaxe book. The Ruby for Rails book is awesome, but it’s more geared
towards understanding why Rails does things the way it does. Pickaxe is
great reference too.

I do training for rails developers quite frequently… hit me up if you
some specific questions and I can point you in the right direction.

On 4/3/07, [email protected] [email protected]

Well, I was about to purchase and found out to get the
exercises and videos it costs $375. That is money that I don’t have
right now, so that’s out of the question. I’m probably just going to
go with the pickaxe book and hope for the best. Worst case scenario
is I’ll get stuck, go to B&N and buy either the Holzner or SitePoint

On Apr 3, 4:35 pm, “[email protected]

haha. Well, now where the hell do I go? :slight_smile:

When I started down the ruby on rails track, I did the agile book.
found it useful and a little over my head. I’ve programmed before so I
was familiar with the concept of OOP. But I was not familiar with
frameworks or ruby. The “Ruby for Rails” book was a big help for me. I
learned a little more about Ruby and that was very helpful.

my 2 cents.


Start with David Black’s Ruby for Rails Manning Book. If you want to
get a real good hands-on knowledge of Ruby on Rails, also buy and go
through Patrick Lenz’s Building Your Own Ruby on Rails Application Book.
If you go through these two books, you should be well positioned to
really learn from Agile Web D. with Rails and Ruby P.ming
books. That has been my experience.


If you decide to use my tutorial, everyting in the exercise
files is also in the videos. If you follow straight through the
videos, you won’t need the exercise files–you’ll create them yourself
as you go. The files are helpful if you want to skip around the
chapters because you can pull up the files for that chapter and be
ready to work.

Best of luck to you whichever way you decide to go.

Kevin S.

=> Online Video Training for Ruby on Rails!
=> Ruby on Rails Essential Training

I went to B&N. The Lenz SitePoint book seems to be the best beginner
book available. It’s very comprehensive, covering a decent amount of
DB/Unix basics, basic Ruby, basic OOP, and Ruby On Rails. I may not
buy it, though. (Just for beginner archive ref, the Holzner book is
ok, but seems to be somewhere in between Lenz and AgileROR, thus not
of much use to many.)

I’m going to start Programming Ruby (I’m recreating an app similar to
the Depot app too) although I skimmed it and it doesn’t seem to have
any exercises. So I’m not exactly sure how to approach it – maybe
give myself memory tests after each section. If I find it too
tedious, I’ll buy the Lenz book.


I checked out the Lenz book as well while I was at B&N, and I think I
may end up getting it. I bought the Agile book and have been reading
it for the last week solid. I am just learning RoR, and so far the
Agile book has been great for that. The Agile book, along with the
Lenz book, and the Ruby on Rails book by David Black seems to be a
good combination. Oh, and the Pickaxe book I also think is must-have.
It will get you up to speed on Ruby, where as the other get you more
acquainted with Rails.

On Apr 9, 8:17 pm, “[email protected]