How do you get up to speed on Rails and Grails quickly?

What's the best way to learn Rails and Grails and satisfy one of my New Year's Resolutions (read more) at the same time? Books:

Thanks to connections with publishers, I was able to get PDFs of most of these for free. The only ones I paid for were the beta books (Groovy Recipes and Programming Groovy) from the Pragmatic Programmers. I doubt I'll read them all, but I've had fun so far.

I polished off Getting Started with Grails in a few hours. I expect to finish Rails for Java Developers this week. I used to hate reading PDFs, but I've enjoyed reading these books. A 30" monitor might have something to do with it.

After honing my Grails and Rails knowledge, I hope to become a GWT and Flex Ninja. For those GWT and Flex experts out there, what are the best books for those technologies? By "best", I mean the most advanced and up-to-date.

Posted in Java at Jan 31 2008, 11:29:19 AM MST 10 Comments
Comments:

As far as Flex books go, you're better off waiting a little while longer. Flex 3 is about to be released and following that will be a whole slew of Flex books to follow. If you really want to get your feet wet start with the free eBooks from Adobe (http://download.macromedia.com/pub/labs/air/air_b3_docs_flex_121207.zip).

If you're looking for a way to do Flex with Rails, check out Peter Armstrong's book Flexible Rails (http://www.flexiblerails.com/). If you want to know how to integrate Flex with Java right now the only option is the Sys-Con book by Yakov Fain, but it's not all that good. The code samples in the pdf switch between the international quote marks, « » and double apostrophe's like ?. Making it almost impossible to copy the code samples from the book.

Posted by Jeremy Anderson on January 31, 2008 at 01:20 PM MST #

I got through this entire tutorial while sitting on the can. TMI I know, but the tutorial (Grails for that matter) is really easy.

http://grails.codehaus.org/Quick+Start

...that's not to say Rails isn't but I got going quicker with Grails for sure. Maybe it's the HSQLDB.

Posted by Demian L. Neidetcher on January 31, 2008 at 01:56 PM MST #

I recommend a couple of Apress books for the Ruby fundamentals:

1. Practical Ruby for System Administration, ISBN: 1590598210
2. Beginning Ruby, ISBN: 1590597664

Although these two aren't specifically on Rails, both have been valuable during the last year as I've been diving head first into Ruby, Rails and Rake from the Java world.

For Rails, I recommend Obie Fernandez's new book, the Rails Way, ISBN: 0321445619

Posted by Shane Witbeck on January 31, 2008 at 02:45 PM MST #

[Trackback] Matt Raible posted a nice list of resources for getting up to speed with Grails and Rails for the Java developer. He recommends: Getting Started with Grails Rails for Java Developers Practical JRuby on Rails Web 2.0 Projects: Bringing Ruby on Rails t...

Posted by mvn install - resources for the Java developer on January 31, 2008 at 04:35 PM MST #

I'm not a GWT expert but I recently got a copy of David Geary's Google Web Toolkit Solutions from Pearson Eds user group program and it looks very good and more advanced than your average "Definitive Guide" or "Nutshell" type book.

Where do you find the time to do all this stuff?

Posted by Dave Klein on January 31, 2008 at 09:06 PM MST #

I would like some connections to publishers for some free PDF lovin'.

Posted by Seth on January 31, 2008 at 11:25 PM MST #

I haven't read any books about GWT (although I skimmed over the draft version of GWT in action - a good read), so I can't really comment on those, other than by saying you don't really need them imho. The best way to get up to speed with GWT is to follow the tutorial, explore the examples and well-documented source that come with the build, and do some lurking on the mailing lists. Bookmark the class reference pages for a quick lookup and some code snippets. Use intelliJ for the very nice GWT support. Not very different from any other open source framework, I'd say. Make sure you're living on the trunk (1.5 support, compilation and runtime speedup patches, very stable). For increased eye-candy and excellent widgets, I seriously recommend GWT-Ext (version 2, public release coming any day now). I've noticed there are some really good blog posts (about internals such as deferred bindings and generators) and widgets available, mostly just a google search away. If you need any more info, just let me know.

Posted by Philip Luppens on February 01, 2008 at 12:32 AM MST #

What would one prefer between Grails and JRuby on Rails? Seems to me that JRuby has a few cons as it's Ruby, I guess one can find more tutorials/examples then for Grails?

Posted by Robin on February 01, 2008 at 08:59 AM MST #

Matt, Glad to see you've finally seen the light and hopped on the Rails train. We went 100% Rails a few years back and haven't looked back since. Hope you enjoy it! Seth

Posted by Seth Ladd on February 01, 2008 at 11:25 AM MST #

I'm learning Ruby in depth right now. I plan on focusing on groovy more this spring. I'm familiar with all the basic syntax for both languages. I'll let you know the experiences I have with both. I'm going to use groovy here and there in new product features for our existing J2ee Saas apps. I'm going to build a few internal tools we need using straight ruby (and ruby on rails.) Keep us updated with your experiences as well - we can compare notes.

Posted by John Mark on February 03, 2008 at 06:11 PM MST #

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