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Is there a canonical book on Ruby on Rails?

I just finished working through Peter Cooper's "Beginning Ruby". So now I've got a reasonable grounding in the Ruby language and would like to move onto learning Rails.

This question's answers give some good pointers, but I'd like to hear some specific reviews of books and online materials.

I generally learn best by working through books with good practical/technical examples AND some passive reading content that breaks up the study between practical and reading sessions (this is what made "Beginning Ruby" great for me), but I'm worried that RoR is evolving fast and that any printed book I order might be obsolete by the time I get it and work through it. Is this a fair worry? Or can anyone recommend a good Rails 3 book that should be up to date at least for the next year or so?

Also, I had a brief look at some of the online resources from the other questions, and Rails for Zombies seems to get a lot of praise. Has anyone here actually used it as their introductory guide to Rails?

Basically I'd like to hear first-hand accounts of people who went through this "Ruby-to-Rails" learning phase recently and which materials were useful to you.

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marked as duplicate by Mark Trapp Dec 17 '11 at 6:14

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Check out Agile Web Development with Rails (I think it's in 4th edition now) as a good overall book, although it gets obsolete fairly quick. Also, I forget the URL but there's a nice Rails Tutorial online (Google for "Rails Tutorial" or similar, the author's name is Michael Hartl I believe).

If you have some spare cash you might also want to look at Peepcode's Rails videos; very good screencasts although they are not books they are informative and helps to "reinforce" concepts since you are watching how a pro Rails developer does things.

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+1 Agile Web Development with Rails is an amazing book and building the app alongside the book helps really much if you are grasping rails concepts. –  bruno077 Apr 14 '11 at 19:39
    
+1 thanks. In the meantime (since I didn't get any responses initially) I went ahead and did the introductory free Rails for Zombies courses, finished just now. The final unlocked video actually suggested Michael Hartl's tutorial as a good next step. I'll have a look at that next. –  Bobby Tables Apr 14 '11 at 23:56
    
+1 for both Agile Web Development and Rails Tutorial. Ryan Bates' railscasts (railscasts.com) are also invaluable and I leared a great deal by watching the screencasts consequently and following up with references on show notes. Also, DHH suggested in one of his interviews, select a particular project and learn what you need to get this project done. –  Alexei Danchenkov Apr 5 '12 at 11:24

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