Two weeks ago I was asked to review book “Instant Sinatra Starter”, usually I get bored by technical books so I try to avoid them, this time I thought I can give it a try.
I need to point out on beginning that my review might be biased as I am maintainer of RVM, which got very low coverage in the book. It would cut few pages of unnecessary instructions that are system specific if RVM was used in the book.
Although I do not agree with few technical explanations and encouraged practices I found the book quite good and it guided me nice through Sinatra. The book goes into deep details about explaining every aspect of working with Sinatra, starting with very simple examples and extending progressively to the point where user can build full web app based on database. With more advanced topics the instructions get more tight missing some interesting details.
The book does not only focus on building the application but also on online hosting sources and application itself so it can be shared with others – the opensource model. Unfortunately the book in some categories goes into deep detail describing something like in case of templates, I think some diversity would help a bit, like beginning with basics of ERB templates and then going into detail of Slim templates, where now it starts and ends with Slim.
I would recommend this book for people wanting to start with ruby, it gives an easy start with great effects and multiple possibilities to play around and share results with friends. As good the book is for beginners I do not think more advanced users would consider it much useful, the book does end up to early not showing a bit more advanced topics like testing or modularization. Finally as tempting it is to use very small framework any app with few database tables, authentication and authorization will require reimplementing rails – so keep it small with Sinatra, for any bigger projects pick Rails.