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Preface

Preface

This book has been through quite the development process! It began in 2008 with Michael Ivey, Yehuda Katz, and Ezra Zygmuntowicz and was called Merb in Action. Since then it has changed name and hands a couple of times, winding up with people such as James Cox and the great Mike Gunderloy, the latter of whom is probably most famous for his work on Factsheet Five and many .NET books, not to mention being one of the founding members of the RailsBridge (http://railsbridge.org) organization.

Then, somehow, I became involved with this book.

I received an email on a cold April morning in 2010 from Christina Rudloff at Manning asking if I would have any interest in joining the project. I was exceptionally excited! I had been writing short blog posts about Rails for years, and the idea of focusing that effort into writing a book made me extremely happy. Long story short: Yehuda Katz liked what he saw on my blog and wanted me to join the project. Working with Yehuda has been brilliant. He’s got to be one of the smartest and most patient people I have ever met.

Shortly after receiving that initial email from Christina, I talked with another person from Manning, Michael Stephens, first via email and then very late at night over the phone (we are on different continents) about the project. I worked out the initial chapter layout, and I distinctly remember one thing that Michael asked me: “You know what you’re getting yourself into, right?” I thought “Sure, I’ve written blog posts before, how hard could it be?” and replied in much the same manner. How little did I know!

Since then, I have learned a lot about the book-writing process. For starters, it involves a lot more than just the two people and the publishing company on the front cover. It also takes a very long time to write a book. This book has been my life for the past year and a bit. I’ve spent many weekends, mornings before work, and evenings after work (and way too often, time even in my dreams) writing chapters for this book. I’ve talked about it (perhaps too much) as well. It’s become such a running joke among people I know that when I’m introduced, they ask, “Do you know he’s writing a book?”

Writing is sometimes easy, but other times it can be a struggle to come up with anything at all. There have been bad days, sure, but the good days outnumber those massively. The feeling of achievement you get when you finish a chapter, or even a section, is awesome. Receiving positive feedback from people has been a huge boon to completing this book.

Now, in 2011, the book is finally done, and what an amazing feeling that is! I’d like to think that it offers a unique perspective on developing a full Ruby on Rails application from scratch in the same (or at least, similar) manner that people are developing Rails applications at this time. It’s also the first book to cover the latest features of Rails found in version 3.1.

RYAN BIGG

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