It’s been a short (but seemingly long) and intense ride, and
I’m looking forward to a little rest and relaxation. I owe a huge
thanks to everyone who contributed ideas, content, and bug reports.
For those of you who have been trying to decide whether to grab a copy,
here’s the first part of the book’s introduction, which will
hopefully give you a better sense of what I was trying to accomplish in the
What Makes a Good Recipe Book?
If I were to buy a real recipe book---you know, a book about cooking food---I wouldn't be looking for a book that tells me how to dice vegetables or how to use a skillet. I can find that kind of information in an overview about cooking. A recipe book is about how to make food you might not be able to easily figure out how to make on your own. It's about skipping the trial and error and jumping straight to a solution that works. Sometimes it's even about making food you never imagined you could make. If you want to learn how to make great Indian food, you buy a recipe book by a great Indian chef and follow his or her directions. You're not just buying any old solution. You're buying a solution you can trust to be good. That's why famous chefs sell lots and lots of books. People want to make food that tastes good, and these chefs know how to make (and teach you how to make) food that tastes good. Good recipe books do teach you techniques. Sometimes they even teach you about new tools. But they teach these skills within the context and with the end goal of making something---not just to teach them. My goal for Rails Recipes is to teach you how to make great stuff with Rails and to do it right on your first try. These recipes and the tech- niques herein are extractions from my own work and from the "great chefs" of Rails: the Rails core developer team, the leading trainers and authors, and the earliest of early adopters. I also hope to show you not only how to do things but to explain why they work the way they do. After reading through the recipes, you should walk away with a new level of Rails understanding to go with a huge list of successfully implemented hot new application features. Not all of these recipes are long and involved. To spice things up, I've included a number of smaller offerings, which I've called snacks. Typically one or two pages long, these snacks will help satisfy those cravings we all get between meals.