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A new Chapter 2 for Ruby on Rails Tutorial

Apr 17, 2010 • posted by Michael Hartl

Based on reader feedback, I have added a new chapter to Ruby on Rails Tutorial: Chapter 2: A demo app. This new chapter presents a high-level overview of Rails, including a discussion of MVC, REST, and the Rails class hierarchies. As part of this change, I've rewritten parts of Chapter 1, which now creates a "first app" instead of the sample app used in Chapter 3 and beyond. Chapter 2 then creates a second "demo app" for use in the overview. One nice consequence of this is that each of the first three chapters now includes the full arc of application creation (rails command, Git repo initialization, etc.), which should serve to reinforce that important process for new readers.

By the way, the insertion of a new Chapter 2 means that the numbers of all subsequent chapters have increased by one. Luckily, I anticipated this possibility, and my typesetting system uses permalinks almost exclusively, so that (for example) links to what used to be Chapter 7 now automatically link to Chapter 8 instead. (Only links for the occasional sub- or subsubsection will break, and I doubt many people have linked to those.)

In other news, I expect to release a new branch of the tutorial soon, a version designed to use Rails 3 throughout. Initially, it will not be fully compatible with Rails 3, but that's what the Rails 3 Tutorial Brigade is for; I'll be relying on the intrepid Brigade readers to help me ferret out the many changes necessary to make Ruby on Rails Tutorial the most up-to-date introduction to Rails available.

Michael Hartl

I’m Michael Hartl—author, educator, and entrepreneur. I’m probably best known as the creator of the Ruby on Rails Tutorial, a book and screencast series that together constitute one of the leading introductions to web development. Once called his “favorite book” by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, the Ruby on Rails Tutorial currently has over 150 5-star reviews at Amazon. I’m also (in)famous for creating Tau Day and The Tau Manifesto, which have inspired an international movement dedicated to the proposition that “pi is wrong.” (For example, as a result of The Tau Manifesto, MIT releases their admissions decisions each year at “Tau Time” (6:28 p.m.), and typing tau/2 at Google yields 3.14159…) Finally, I’m a founder of Softcover, a publishing system and sales platform for technical authors, which among other things powers both The Tau Manifesto and the Ruby on Rails Tutorial.

I’m a graduate of Harvard College and have a Ph.D. in Physics from Caltech, where I studied black hole dynamics and was an award-winning instructor in theoretical and computational physics. I’m also an alumnus of Y Combinator, the entrepreneur program that has produced companies such as Dropbox and Airbnb. (Alas, my own Y Combinator startup was neither Dropbox nor Airbnb.)