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  • Update of the best-selling Rails book, The Rails Way, a desktop fixture for Rails developers everywhere
  • Written by widely-known expert and programming entrepreneur, Obie Fernandez
  • Learn to implement the newly-released Rails 4


  • Copyright 2014
  • Dimensions: 7" x 9-1/8"
  • Pages: 880
  • Edition: 3rd
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-321-94427-5
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-321-94427-6

The “Bible” for Rails Development: Now Fully Updated for Rails 4.1

"When I read The Rails Way for the first time, I felt like I truly understood Rails for the first time.”

—From the Foreword by Steve Klabnik

Ruby on Rails 4 is leaner, tighter, and even more valuable to professional web developers. More than ever, it helps you focus on what matters most: delivering business value via clean and maintainable code.

The Rails 4 Way is the only comprehensive, authoritative guide to delivering production-quality code with Rails 4. Kevin Faustino joins pioneering Rails developer Obie Fernandez to illuminate the entire Rails 4 API, including its most powerful and modern idioms, design approaches, and libraries. They present extensive new and updated content on security, performance, caching, Haml, RSpec, Ajax, the Asset Pipeline, and more.

Through detailed code examples, you’ll dive deep into the Rails 4 code base, discover why Rails is designed as it is, and learn how to make it do exactly what you want. Proven in dozens of production systems, this book’s techniques will maximize your productivity and help you build more successful solutions. You’ll want to keep this guide by your computer—you’ll refer to it constantly.

This guide will help you

  • Build powerful, scalable REST-compliant APIs
  • Program complex program flows using Action Controller
  • Represent models, relationships, CRUD operations, searches, validation, callbacks, and more
  • Smoothly evolve application database schema via Migrations
  • Apply advanced Active Record techniques: single-table inheritance, polymorphic models, and more
  • Create visual elements with Action View and partials
  • Optimize performance and scalability with view caching
  • Master the highly productive Haml HTML templating engine
  • Make the most of Rails’ approach to session management
  • Secure your systems with Rails 4’s improved authentication and authorization
  • Resist SQL Injection, XSS, XSRF, and other attacks
  • Extend Rails with popular gems and plugins, and learn to write your own
  • Integrate email services with Action Mailer
  • Use Ajax via Rails 4 support for unobtrusive JavaScript
  • Improve responsiveness with background processing
  • Leverage Asset Pipeline to simplify development, improve perceived performance, and reduce server burdens
  • Accelerate implementation and promote maintainability with RSpec


Author's Site

Please visit the author's site here

Companion Site

Please visit the site associated with Rails 4 Way here

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Advanced Active Record in Rails 4


Foreword to The Rails 4 Way

Sample Pages

Download the sample pages (includes Chapter 9 and Index)

Table of Contents

Foreword by Steve Klabnik xxxix

Foreword to the Previous Edition by David Heinemeier Hansson xli

Foreword to the Previous Edition by Yehuda Katz xliii

Introduction xlv

Acknowledgments li

About the Authors liii


Chapter 1: Rails Environments and Configuration 1

1.1 Bundler 2

1.2 Startup and Application Settings 9

1.3 Development Mode 18

1.4 Test Mode 22

1.5 Production Mode 23

1.6 Configuring a Database 26

1.7 Configuring Application Secrets 27

1.8 Logging 29

1.9 Conclusion 35

Chapter 2: Routing 37

2.1 The Two Purposes of Routing 38

2.2 The routes.rb File 39

2.3 Route Globbing 51

2.4 Named Routes 53

2.5 Scoping Routing Rules 57

2.6 Listing Routes 60

2.7 Conclusion 61

Chapter 3: REST, Resources, and Rails 63

3.1 REST in a Rather Small Nutshell 63

3.2 Resources and Representations 64

3.3 REST in Rails 65

3.4 Routing and CRUD 66

3.5 The Standard RESTful Controller Actions 69

3.6 Singular Resource Routes 73

3.7 Nested Resources 74

3.8 Routing Concerns 78

3.9 RESTful Route Customizations 79

3.10 Controller-Only Resources 83

3.11 Different Representations of Resources 86

3.12 The RESTful Rails Action Set 88

3.13 Conclusion 92

Chapter 4: Working with Controllers 95

4.1 Rack 96

4.2 Action Dispatch: Where It All Begins 99

4.3 Render unto View… 102

4.4 Additional Layout Options 111

4.5 Redirecting 111

4.6 Controller/View Communication 115

4.7 Action Callbacks 116

4.8 Streaming 121

4.9 Variants 126

4.10 Conclusion 127

Chapter 5: Working with Active Record 129

5.1 The Basics 130

5.2 Macro-Style Methods 131

5.3 Defining Attributes 133

5.4 CRUD: Create, Read, Update, and Delete 138

5.5 Database Locking 151

5.6 Where Clauses 155

5.7 Connections to Multiple Databases in Different Models 165

5.8 Using the Database Connection Directly 167

5.9 Other Configuration Options 171

5.10 Conclusion 171

Chapter 6: Active Record Migrations 173

6.1 Creating Migrations 173

6.2 Data Migration 187

6.3 schema.rb 189

6.4 Database Seeding 190

6.5 Database-Related Rake Tasks 191

6.6 Conclusion 194

Chapter 7: Active Record Associations 195

7.1 The Association Hierarchy 195

7.2 One-to-Many Relationships 196

7.3 The belongs_to Association 205

7.4 The has_many Association 214

7.5 Many-to-Many Relationships 222

7.6 One-to-One Relationships 233

7.7 Working with Unsaved Objects and Associations 236

7.8 Association Extensions 238

7.9 The CollectionProxy Class 239

7.10 Conclusion 240

Chapter 8: Validations 241

8.1 Finding Errors 241

8.2 The Simple Declarative Validations 242

8.3 Common Validation Options 253

8.4 Conditional Validation 255

8.5 Short-Form Validation 256

8.6 Custom Validation Techniques 258

8.7 Skipping Validations 260

8.8 Working with the Errors Hash 261

8.9 Testing Validations with Shoulda 262

8.10 Conclusion 262

Chapter 9: Advanced Active Record 263

9.1 Scopes 263

9.2 Callbacks 268

9.3 Calculation Methods 278

9.4 Single-Table Inheritance (STI) 280

9.5 Abstract Base Model Classes 286

9.6 Polymorphic has_many Relationships 287

9.7 Enums 290

9.8 Foreign-Key Constraints 292

9.9 Modules for Reusing Common Behavior 292

9.10 Modifying Active Record Classes at Runtime 297

9.11 Using Value Objects 299

9.12 Nonpersisted Models 302

9.13 PostgreSQL Enhancements 304

9.14 Conclusion 311

Chapter 10: Action View 313

10.1 Layouts and Templates 314

10.2 Partials 322

10.3 Conclusion 329

Chapter 11: All about Helpers 331

11.1 ActiveModelHelper 331

11.2 AssetTagHelper 338

11.3 AtomFeedHelper 346

11.4 CacheHelper 348

11.5 CaptureHelper 348

11.6 CsrfHelper 349

11.7 DateHelper 349

11.8 DebugHelper 356

11.9 FormHelper 357

11.10 FormOptionsHelper 371

11.11 FormTagHelper 379

11.12 JavaScriptHelper 385

11.13 NumberHelper 385

11.14 OutputSafetyHelper 390

11.15 RecordTagHelper 390

11.16 RenderingHelper 391

11.17 SanitizeHelper 391

11.18 TagHelper 393

11.19 TextHelper 395

11.20 TranslationHelper and the I18n API 399

11.21 UrlHelper 418

11.22 Writing Your Own View Helpers 422

11.23 Wrapping and Generalizing Partials 425

11.24 Conclusion 431

Chapter 12: Haml 433

12.1 Getting Started 434

12.2 The Basics 434

12.3 Doctype 440

12.4 Comments 440

12.5 Evaluating Ruby Code 441

12.6 Helpers 443

12.7 Filters 444

12.8 Haml and Content 445

12.9 Configuration Options 446

12.10 Conclusion 448

Chapter 13: Session Management 449

13.1 What to Store in the Session 450

13.2 Session Options 451

13.3 Storage Mechanisms 451

13.4 Cookies 455

13.5 Conclusion 457

Chapter 14: Authentication and Authorization 459

14.1 Devise 459

14.2 has_secure_password 466

14.3 Pundit 470

14.4 Conclusion 476

Chapter 15: Security 477

15.1 Password Management 477

15.2 Log Masking 479

15.3 SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) 480

15.4 Model Mass-Assignment Attributes Protection 481

15.5 SQL Injection 483

15.6 Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) 484

15.7 XSRF (Cross-Site Request Forgery) 487

15.8 Session Fixation Attacks 490

15.9 Keeping Secrets 491

15.10 Conclusion 492

Chapter 16: Action Mailer 493

16.1 Setup 493

16.2 Mailer Models 494

16.3 Receiving Emails 500

16.4 Server Configuration 502

16.5 Testing Email Content 502

16.6 Previews 503

16.7 Conclusion 504

Chapter 17: Caching and Performance 505

17.1 View Caching 505

17.2 Data Caching 521

17.3 Control of Web Caching 523

17.4 ETags 524

17.5 Conclusion 526

Chapter 18: Background Processing 527

18.1 Delayed Job 528

18.2 Sidekiq 531

18.3 Resque 537

18.4 Rails Runner 541

18.5 Conclusion 543

Chapter 19: Ajax on Rails 545

19.1 Unobtrusive JavaScript 547

19.2 Turbolinks 551

19.3 Ajax and JSON 553

19.4 Ajax and HTML 555

19.5 Ajax and JavaScript 557

19.6 Conclusion 558

Chapter 20: Asset Pipeline 559

20.1 Asset Pipeline 560

20.2 Wish List 560

20.3 The Big Picture 561

20.4 Organization: Where Does Everything Go? 561

20.5 Manifest Files 561

20.6 Custom Format Handlers 567

20.7 Postprocessing 568

20.8 Helpers 569

20.9 Fingerprinting 571

20.10 Serving the Files 572

20.11 Rake Tasks 573

20.12 Conclusion 574

Chapter 21: RSpec 575

21.1 Introduction 575

21.2 Basic Syntax and API 578

21.3 Matchers 587

21.4 Custom Expectation Matchers 588

21.5 Shared Behaviors 591

21.6 Shared Context 592

21.7 RSpec’s Mocks and Stubs 592

21.8 Running Specs 595

21.9 RSpec Rails Gem 596

21.10 RSpec Tools 609

21.11 Conclusion 610

Chapter 22: XML 611

22.1 The to_xml Method 611

22.2 The XML Builder 620

22.3 Parsing XML 622

22.4 Conclusion 624

Appendix A: Active Model API Reference 625

A.1 AttributeMethods 625

A.2 Callbacks 627

A.3 Conversion 629

A.4 Dirty 629

A.5 Errors 631

A.6 ForbiddenAttributesError 635

A.7 Lint::Tests 635

A.8 Model 635

A.9 Name 636

A.10 Naming 638

A.11 SecurePassword 638

A.12 Serialization 638

A.13 Serializers::JSON 639

A.14 Serializers::Xml 639

A.15 Translation 640

A.16 Validations 641

A.17 Validator 648

Appendix B: Active Support API Reference 651

B.1 Array 651

B.2 ActiveSupport::BacktraceCleaner 657

B.3 Benchmark 658

B.4 ActiveSupport::Benchmarkable 658

B.5 BigDecimal 659

B.6 ActiveSupport::Cache::Store 660

B.7 ActiveSupport::CachingKeyGenerator 665

B.8 ActiveSupport::Callbacks 665

B.9 Class 668

B.10 ActiveSupport::Concern 671

B.11 ActiveSupport::Concurrency 672

B.12 ActiveSupport::Configurable 673

B.13 Date 673

B.14 DateTime 682

B.15 ActiveSupport::Dependencies 687

B.16 ActiveSupport::Deprecation 693

B.17 ActiveSupport::DescendantsTracker 694

B.18 ActiveSupport::Duration 695

B.19 Enumerable 696

B.20 ERB::Util 697

B.21 FalseClass 698

B.22 File 698

B.23 Hash 699

B.24 ActiveSupport::Gzip 704

B.25 ActiveSupport::HashWithIndifferentAccess 705

B.26 ActiveSupport::Inflector::Inflections 705

B.27 Integer 711

B.28 ActiveSupport::JSON 712

B.29 Kernel 712

B.30 ActiveSupport::KeyGenerator 714

B.31 ActiveSupport::Logger 714

B.32 ActiveSupport::MessageEncryptor 715

B.33 ActiveSupport::MessageVerifier 715

B.34 Module 716

B.35 ActiveSupport::Multibyte::Chars 724

B.36 NilClass 729

B.37 ActiveSupport::Notifications 729

B.38 Object 738

B.39 ActiveSupport::OrderedHash 743

B.40 ActiveSupport::OrderedOptions 743

B.41 ActiveSupport::PerThreadRegistry 744

B.42 ActiveSupport::ProxyObject 744

B.43 ActiveSupport::Railtie 745

B.44 Range 746

B.45 Regexp 747

B.46 ActiveSupport::Rescuable 748

B.47 String 748

B.48 ActiveSupport::StringInquirer 758

B.49 Struct 758

B.50 ActiveSupport::Subscriber 758

B.51 Symbol 759

B.52 ActiveSupport::TaggedLogging 759

B.53 ActiveSupport::TestCase 759

B.54 ActiveSupport::Testing::Assertions 761

B.55 Thread 762

B.56 Time 763

B.57 ActiveSupport::TimeWithZone 773

B.58 ActiveSupport::TimeZone 774

B.59 TrueClass 778

B.60 ActiveSupport::XmlMini 778

Appendix C: Rails Essentials 781

C.1 Environmental Concerns 781

C.2 Essential Gems 782

C.3 Ruby Toolbox 789

C.4 Screencasts 789

Index 791


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