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Do not buy the print version of the Ruby on Rails Tutorial (yet)

Aug 9, 2012 • posted by Michael Hartl

UPDATE: The corrected second printing of the print edition is now available.

The print version of the Ruby on Rails Tutorial, 2nd edition, has recently been released, and this is a warning not to buy it, at least not yet.

You might be tempted to think this is some kind of clever reverse-psychology marketing strategy, but alas it is not: the print book's source code listings have been hopelessly mangled, with all angle brackets, curly braces, and quotes inexplicably omitted. This makes the source listings worse than useless. (The online HTML book and ebooks are unaffected and remain correct as before.)

I have alerted the publisher to the problem; how they'll respond remains to be seen, but my hope is that it will involve a recall, correction, and re-issue. As a result, I hope and expect this to be fixed eventually. I plan to send out an announcement when it is. UPDATE: The plan is to freeze the current inventory and make a corrected second printing. I'd like to thank the publisher for their quick response.

In the meantime, do not buy the print version of the Ruby on Rails Tutorial until the second printing is available. Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience.

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.)