Finally, I'd like to announce that, after the Rails 3 ecosystem and book text have fully stabilized, the HTML source of the online version will be available under a Creative Commons license to allow for translation into other languages. Hacker News readers interested in translating the Ruby on Rails Tutorial book should email me at my personal address (available in my HN profile).
EDIT: No, wait, the discount happens and e-junkie reports that the code is invalid. ;) So I guess it's just a scary false alarm. Might want to fix it though; it nearly scared me away, so count me as an "A" in the informal A/B test of "scary popup/no scary popup".
By the way, this is why I always monitor the Hacker News comments obsessively whenever I launch something. You guys rock!
the more rails3 the better. maybe my next class should be based on this book instead, let me know what you think.
By the way, you might want to be careful about using Agile Web Development with Rails when teaching a course. Its code license is quite restrictive, as you can see at http://books.pragprog.com/titles/rails4/source_code:
Copyrights apply to this source code. You may use the source code in
your own projects, however the source code may not be used to create
training material, courses, books, articles, and the like. We make
no guarantees that this source code is fit for any purpose.
I've been very careful to not use any of the book's code in any of my presentations. I only use the book as exercises for the students, and to server as a content template for what order to teach materials.
They donated free pdf books to all .edu students in the class, so i don't think they would sue me...hopefully...
I like all kinds of beer, but let's go with dark for now. ;-)
Now, if only Rails 3 were finished.
One suggestion I have though, is I feel like you are giving away too much on the site.
One point of interest is that I can just simply press 'view all as single page' and then do a Print to PDF and have everything in one nice PDF.
Granted, I am sure the official version looks MUCH nicer, but there isn't THAT much difference between the crude version and your version - in terms of content.
So one suggestion might be disabling that function. Allow users to be able to see all the chapters and everything, and even if they want to print it all out, they could still do it chapter by chapter, but that is a huge hassle.
Also, if you did that, I would love to know what impact it had on sales (if any) :)
Hope that helps.
One question/suggestion I have is if you are planning to have some kind of forum on your site so people who are working with the book could help each other. Might be especially interesting for people who only have "general computer knowledge" (like me).
I know there are millions of other pages to look for help but have something dedicated especially to this book might still be useful. If you or other experienced programmers would answer some of the questions you could also charge for that (I would pay).
I like your suggestion of having experienced programmers charge to answer questions, but I don't know of any successful pay-for-answers forum model. That doesn't rule it out, though, and maybe it's worth running an experiment at some point.
It's worth noting that there is a feedback form, available here: http://railstutorial.org/feedback. It's not as interactive as a forum, but it serves some of the same purposes.
Another way might be to state very explicit that it is a forum for reader to help each other and that no one should expect you to answer (actually not sure if that would work).
The comments in the Django book also look nice.