Nicolas Alpi, Web developer

A blog about productivity, startups and me.

Rails 2.1 Where to Begin ...




This is a fact, Ruby on Rails 2.1 rocks …


But there has been a lot of evolutions since the 1.x versions, and the problem is that a lot of Rails tutorials available on the Internet are for the 1.×.


So here is a quick collection on how-to begin with Rails 2.x, and what documents you should have a look at:




  1. A free pdf book, the first version was the Brazilian one (original version) and here is the English version (English version of the What’s new in Rails 2.1). This book is highly recommended to anyone who wants to see more Ruby on Rails before starting to code.
  2. After this e-book, you can buy the PeepCode Rails 2.1 Pdf (link to the page) for only 9$!. I really like Peepcode screencast and Peepcode pdf, they are a really good source of information. This e-book will teach you, in a very good presentation all the new things in Rails 2.1. In fact, the content is the same than as in above pdf, but I really much prefer the Peepcode presentation.
  3. Once you’ve read this e-book, you’ll clearly see the benefits of Rails and Rails 2.×. So, if you want to begin writing some code, just take the Pragmatic programmers e-book,Agile Web Development with Rails, Third Edition. This book IS WRITEN by 2 Ruby on Rails master. This book is not available, for the moment in Paper version, but the PDF version is really amazing and covers the 2.x branch. (I had the first of this book, and this is a bible for every rails developer).
  4. In the same time, if you’re new in Ruby on Rails, coming from PHP (like me) you should take some time to read some Ruby documentation. For that, go here Ruby-doc.org and here, Ruby-lang.
    Yes, you really need to read some Ruby documentation before starting Rails. Would you start in Django or in Symfony Php without any knowledge in Python or Php ?
  5. Well, if you’ve read all this, you should now be really comfortable with Rails. But you can (trust me, you really can) have a PDF copy of the Advanced Rails Recipes ebook. Again it’s available at the Pragmatic Programmers shop. This book is simply an awesome help on every day Rails problems.

You can now see what my Rails bibliography looks like. I also have other pdf titles and pdf tutorials that I’ll share with you later.


Rails 2.1 is really good, but if you want to be aware of its power, you need to spend some time on reading books … don’t be blind by the scaffold :D.

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