Call for article proposals

November 16th, 2006

We’re going to write articles on this site about topics that are related to Rails and e-commerce but that didn’t make the cut for the actual book. What would you like to read tutorials about? We’ve already been suggested writing about discount packages (real discounts, not the standard amazon packages where you pay as much as the two would cost separately) and hooking the JS auto-completion with AJAX. Anything else? The floor is yours.

Write your proposals in the comment form or – if you’re shy – directly to me (

12 Responses to “Call for article proposals”

  1. Bala Says:

    1. How to use ZenTest effectively 2. How to create DSL in Ruby for Rails programmers

  2. kettlewell enterprises Says:

    How about how to effectively use Subversion (or other versioning system) to collaborate on Rails projects, and how to upgrade a production server with a new release (from repository) and how to quickly and stabley roll back a version when the upgrade doesn’t go smoothly.

    I haven’t read your book yet, so maybe you cover this information, but it didn’t look like it from the TOC.

  3. Jarkko Laine Says:

    Thanks for the comments!

    Bala: Great ideas. We cover some stuff in the book, mainly related to integration tests, but it is definitely an interesting and very valuable topic to go into in more depth.

    Kettlewell: We do cover deployment with capistrano, but there’s definitely more to talk about in it than that.

  4. carl Says:

    The book is pretty good. One thing though, unlike the popular “Agile Web Development with Rails,” I cannot find an Errata listing online. This would be helpful, considering that I have found a few typo’s in the text—and in the code.

  5. Taylor Strait Says:

    Yes, where can we go to discuss the examples in the book and other errata? The Rails Forum is too chaotic for this.

  6. Fernando Aleman Says:

    I agree with all above. I too would be interested in a place where we can discuss errors in the book. It is very frustrating to go through this book because I seem to encounter errors through many of the tests, even after copying the source code, the tests still fail.

  7. Jarkko Laine Says:

    Hi Guys,

    I’m working on getting a real errata system online to replace the current email-driven system.

    Meanwhile, I created a mailing list in Google groups for the book, where people can discuss about topics specific to our book.

  8. Gereg Says:

    Thank you for your work very, very interesting on top of that for me.

  9. Johan Says:


    I haven’t read the book yet but will soon. Based on the table of contents and my 3 years experience developing osCommerce I’d suggest the following as follow-up articles:

    - Shipment tracking interface - Statistics/Reports beyond logs, like most viewed products, most sold, sort by gross, by profit, by net etc. Monthly turnover with graphs etc. Able to download to CSV/XML/Sage/Quickbook - Tax/VAT reporting. - Integrating Google Checkout - Voucher, discount and referral scheme (earn ‘points’ for reviews, referrals, on sales) - Web 2.0 principles such as ‘blog this’, ‘submit to X’ - Export to Froogle/Shopzilla/Kelkoo etc. - RSS / Affiliate feeds - Affiliate system - Returns system / RMA - Bulk edit / bulk import products - Dropship functionality where you can manage suppliers and one-click process orders sending email/fax to suppliers - Article or Knowledge Base system to create additional content to help sell - File manager for uploading PDFs, product videos etc. - Integrated split/multivariate testing ala Google Optimizer - Stock keeping module – one click stock-count – ability to discount those that don’t sell - In-house conversion tracking recording source/referral, keywords, ROI per source, ROI per keyword etc. - Newsletter tools - Built-in competition tracker queries Google Base etc. and alerts you when big price differences are found - “Who’s online” deal so you can monitor activity in real-time ala Digg Spy. Even cooler would be to be able to offer ad-hoc vouchers to those you watch browsing (“Buy this in the next 20 minutes for 20% off” pops up as a smooth lightbox for that user only).

    ...and more :)

    Only when I hacked up osCommerce with all that did it start to satisfy my needs!

  10. Fred Says:

    Thank you for your work very, very interesting on top of that for me.

  11. Jimmy Says:

    Well, I cant agree more.

  12. Melvin Ram Says:

    I just picked up the book and what I’d love to see is an example website. A site where everything is live and running so I could have a sense of what I’m about to build.

    ~ mel

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