"Objects on Rails" Book Writeup

July 11, 2012

What’s the point?
This book takes the form of an “engineer’s notebook” and examines a handful of alternative OO-patterns to make your Rails applications more flexible and maintainable.

How was it?
Though at times I felt in over my head, I really enjoyed the book. It was at the perfect intermediate level that I have been seeking lately. While I didn’t fully grok everything, I can always return to the text when I do encounter some of the more subtle problems.

The patterns discussed - particularly the Exhibit pattern - were new to me and the author did a good job of showing the “before and after” versions to illustrate why you might want to use them.

The sections on isolated, fast unit testing were helpful, though I’m still a bit uncertain about when to use a stub vs OpenStruct vs Object.new. This is kind of a trap topic for me, as I find I am sending too much time trying to figure out the optimal way of doing TDD in Rails - instead of just getting my hands dirty first and optimizing later.

It was nice to see how topics I was familiar with from other contexts (dependency injection, aggregate root) fit into a Rails app.

Who should read it?
Anyone with interest in the on-going “how to do OO in Rails” debate; basic-to-intermediate Rails knowledge required to get the most out of this book

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