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Learn Enough Action Cable to Be Dangerous

Sep 8, 2016 • posted by Michael Hartl

One of the most exciting additions to the newly released Rails 5 is Action Cable, which enables the creation of responsive, real-time web applications with Rails. For example, with Action Cable it’s possible to make a live chat app that updates every user’s chat window instantly, rather than waiting for a slow polling process in the background.

The secret to this amazing new capability is the WebSockets Protocol, which supports real-time, persistent connections between client and server (unlike standard HTTP). With Action Cable, using WebSockets is a breeze, and we get all the power and flexibility of Rails for free.

Today I’m releasing a draft of Learn Enough Action Cable to Be Dangerous, a new tutorial covering real-time web apps with Rails. It’s available for free online, and is available for purchase in the standard ebook formats here.

Learn Enough Action Cable to Be Dangerous is an especially good follow-on to the Ruby on Rails Tutorial, because it puts your Rails knowledge to work on one of the most cutting-edge web technologies out there.​

I’m calling this release a draft because Action Cable is so new, and it’s entirely possible I may want to update it based on reader feedback. (Typo and bug reports are especially appreciated.) Any such updates will be available for free (including to ebook purchasers).

Progress tracking and community exercise answers will be available to all members of the Learn Enough Society. Exercise answers (currently in preparation)​ will also be available to all ebook purchasers.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to give a quick update on some of the products in the Learn Enough introductory sequence. I’m hoping to release the next title, Learn Enough HTML to Be Dangerous, within a couple of weeks, with the other titles to follow as quickly as we can make them.

I’m especially excited for Learn Enough CSS & Layout to Be Dangerous, which is being prepared in collaboration with Learn Enough designer Lee Donahoe. It’s going to be great!

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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.)