It's not a release candidate if you literally state that it is not a candidate for release.
If I install the final version I'd expect that means it's the exact same version as the most recent release candidate and no critical bugs were found during that period. Not the most recent release candidate, plus a bunch of tweaks that were made while everyone was testing. And if you're already assuming there will be another release candidate before a final, then this isn't a release candidate.
This release happened because we have a candidate that's close enough to release that we wanted to get it out.
Help me be a better HN commentator, please.
It has nothing to do with agreement or disagreement with their philosophy.
The OP is seemingly negative on Ruby (which is cleared up through subsequent comments) and he gets trampled. When I say "this isn't reddit" I mean, there isn't the same RoR hatred here that one notices there. That's all.
[EDIT] The three books I saw available that specifically mention Rails 3 in the title are available for pre-order, so hopefully they will be pretty up-to-date.
If you have an older book using an older version of rails, DON'T use Rails 3, use the version used in your book (DHH mentioned this on an episode of coderpath http://coderpath.com/posts/1)
Shhh... Don't tell anyone! :-)
(The official release of the Ruby on Rails 3 Tutorial book should happen some time in the next couple weeks, probably slightly ahead of the official Rails 3.0 release. Of course, the tutorial will also be updated after Rails 3.0 final drops.)
As far as 1.9.2, if you plan to do deployment (Even for testing) any time soon on Heroku (the coolest, if not the best hosting solution for Rails) then you may want to kick back to 1.8.7, because Heroku won't support 1.9.2 until a final is released.
Your comment is a given, right?, but other than to state the obvious, I'm curious as to your personal reasonings regarding this release.
Now, I haven't done any specific benchmarking with my apps yet, but the upgrade from ree to 1.9.2 seems to be fairly large from every benchmark I've seen, as well as Rails 3 itself becoming faster, due to the Merb influence.
Full HTML5 support is also nice, though I guess haml was already doing that for me.
As far as whether 2.3 or 3.0 makes the most sense at this point, it depends. Personally, I have been working on a brand new project that I started with 3.0 beta 1 and haven't ran into any major headaches. That said, since you're new there is a lot more information out there regarding 2.3 (be careful, some is much older).
To give you some better advice, why are you getting into Rails? Are you trying to get a project started/out the door/etc, or simply looking to learn it because it looks interesting/fun?
Rails 3 is the way to go for new projects.
Your biggest problem will be that a number of third-party gems have been heavily updated for ActiveSupport 3.0, including RSpec, Devise and Mongoid, and these may cause more headaches than Rails itself. Figure a few days of updating stuff and staring at unit test failures if you rely heavily on these gems.
Of course, all bets are off if you use a lot of dodgy, unmaintained gems that heavily monkey-patch Rails. We have a pretty strict policy against using dubious minor gems that stick their fingers deep inside Rails, after some bad experiences over the past couple of years.
Rails 3 runs on 1.8.7 and 1.9.2.
My machine before was running on 1.8.6 and 1.9.1 (okay, I'm lazy!), but luckily RVM simplified the upgrade for me.
If you are still running on 1.8.6, it's something to bear in mind :).
I found it really easy to upgrade from either rails 2.3.x or merb.