About this Book

Many technical books I’ve bought are like Disneyland: They seem promising, but they’re expensive, the examples are Mickey Mouse, they take forever, and I end up disappointed.

This is not one of those books.

In Flexible Rails, we’ll build a real application—well, as close to a real application as you can get in a book. As we go, I’ll explain the concepts introduced by the code, as well as explain the code itself. The code is all MIT-licensed, so you can take whatever you want from it and use it as the basis of whatever Web 2.0 startup you’re dreaming of, without owing me (or Manning) a penny. (If you do make millions, I won’t say no to unsolicited gifts, of course!)


Like many applications developed iteratively, this book contains four parts:

  1. Getting started
  2. Building the application
  3. Refactoring
  4. Finishing up

In part 1, “Getting started,” we’ll do the necessary setup work that will let us get to the fun stuff in the rest of the book. We’ll install everything, do a Flex and Rails version of “Hello World,” and then get user creation and login working in Rails and hook up the Flex UI to it. This part contains three iterations:

What the book doesn’t compete with

A note about the iterations

Which Flex?

Which Rails?

Understanding the code examples

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About the author