I'm pretty new to web development (I have experience in C++), and I decided to start right around when RoR became popular. So I thought, "new language, must be a great place to start," and I jump in with some web-based tutorials. I love the langauge and I love object-oriented, so things are going pretty well.
However, since I'm only using it like I did C++ (offline), I was looking around for books on Ruby/Rails. I came up with these at the top:
Pragmatic Programmer's Guide to Ruby, 2nd ed.
SAMS Teach Yourself Ruby in 21 Days
Agile Web Development with Rails
If at all possible, I'd like to start with one book first and maybe move on to another later (I like to focus all my attention to one thing).
Would you suggest that I just learn Ruby from web tutorials and get the Agile Rails book for rails, or do I need to get a Ruby reference and learn it before I even touch Rails?
Remember, my only programming experience is C++, no PHP. I'm just beginning to use myAdmin, SQL, Apache2, etc.
Well if your main focus is you want to learn web programming and you only want one book, get the Agile Rails book first and learn Ruby on the web.
If there is anyway you can afford the few extra bucks, I would say get both the Agile Rails and the Pragmatic Ruby books. They kind of go hand in hand.
The Pragmatic Ruby book doesn't really get into web dev, so on it's own it wouldn't help you reach your goal - but it does do a very nice job of explaining the language, which is going to be a touch different then your C background.
The Agile Rails book does address the web dev side of things, but I think learning RUBY on Rails without the Ruby part isn't the ideal approach either.
Yeah if you want to do web dev you should buy the Agile Rails book. Then there are some very good resources to learn ruby online for free. This way you can learn web programming and pick up ruby as you go along. But eventually you will want Programming Ruby(the pickaxe book). There is an older version of Programming Ruby online for free that can get you off to a very good start as most of the info there is still pertinent. Here's a few ruby resources:
Thanks a lot guys. Looks like both of you pointed to the Rails book. The Pickaxe is on my list as well, but I like to concentrate on one thing at a time (just my thing). Thanks for the help guys. I think I'll get the Ruby basics off the web (I've used both of those ezmobius1, thanks!) and get my web dev from Agile Rails.