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Learn to build real-time apps with Action Cable & Rails

Learn Enough Action Cable Application Development 03
Learn Enough Action Cable to Be Dangerous is an introduction to Action Cable, a Ruby library that combines ultra-responsive real-time applications with the power and convenience of Rails. Learn to build and deploy a highly responsive chat app that takes advantage of Action Cable’s elegant interface to the WebSockets protocol. Read full post
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90 pages
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2 hours
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7 chapters
 
25 videos
 
22 exercises

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Add real-time interaction

With Action Cable

Tutorial 03 in the
Application Development Series

With the foundations laid by the previous Learn Enough tutorials, you're now ready to learn how to develop dynamic web applications. You’ll start by learning the elegant Ruby programming language, using it both for general-purpose programming and to make a simple web application. Then you’ll learn how to make professional-grade web applications with Ruby on Rails using the Rails Tutorial, the leading introduction to web development with Rails. In a final optional tutorial, you’ll learn how to use Action Cable to make real-time web apps that respond instantly to user input. By the time you finish these courses, you'll be ready to start work as a freelancer, get a job as a developer, or start a web-based company of your own.

Want to buy the downloadable version of all the tutorials in the bundle, check out our bundled download options!

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Real-time apps done right

Bring the web to life

Learn Enough Action Cable to Be Dangerous teaches you how to use the WebSocket Protocol, a complement to the standard HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) that creates a persistent connection between servers and clients, allowing two-way communication between them. The result is that WebSockets allow developers to create real-time applications such as chat apps and game servers that are far more interactive than ordinary web pages.

When using WebSockets, it’s nice to be able to have users log in, store their attributes in a database, render templates back to the browser, etc. In other words, it’s nice to have the power of a full-strength web framework like Ruby on Rails behind us. This is where Action Cable comes in. Action Cable gives us the best of both worlds: real-time communications with WebSockets combined with all the convenience and flexibility of Rails.

To be productive with Action Cable, you don’t have to know everything about it—you just have to learn enough to be dangerous.

Websocket protocol

Overview of Action Cable

Basics of two-way interaction

You’ll start with a brief overview of Action Cable, including a discussion of what WebSockets are and what they can do. The WebSocket Protocol is a complement to the standard HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) that creates a persistent connection between servers and clients, allowing two-way communication between them. The result is that WebSockets allow you to create real-time applications such as chat apps and game servers that are far more interactive than ordinary web pages.

Message appears

Make your app real-time

Put what you've learned into action

Then you’ll develop the base sample app, which is a pre-existing Rails chat app made using the standard REST architecture. You’ll then learn some aspects of JavaScript and related technologies needed to build real-time apps. Then the real fun begins as you upgrade the app to use Action Cable, allowing so called full-duplex communications that lets new messages appear instantly.

The tutorial ends by deploying the working chat app to production, where you can show it off and get bragging rights with all of your friends.

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Happy people

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Jimmywales
Jimmy Wales Founder, Wikipedia

Q: What is Jimmy Wales' favorite book?

A: It changes often. At the moment, it’s Ruby on Rails Tutorial by Michael Hartl. :)


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About the Learn Enough Courses

I must say, this Learn Enough series is a masterpiece of education. Thank you for this incredible work!

— Michael K.

I must say, this Learn Enough series is a masterpiece of education. Thank you for this incredible work!

— Michael K.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">I have nothing but fantastic things to say about <a href="https://twitter.com/LearnEnough?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@LearnEnough</a> courses. I am just about finished with the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/javascript?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#javascript</a> course. I must say, the videos are mandatory because <a href="https://twitter.com/mhartl?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@mhartl</a> will play the novice, and share in the joy of having something you wrote actually work! 🤓</p>&mdash; claudia marie (@StarvingHearts) <a href="https://twitter.com/StarvingHearts/status/1134234858157355008?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 30, 2019</a></blockquote>

I want to thank you for the amazing job you have done with the tutorials. They are likely the best tutorials I have ever read.

— Pedro I.

I have been trying to learn web development and programming on and off for the past 3 years and your website is the first one that I feel does the job right.

— Janelle S.

Just bought the new ebook and want to say keep up the great work!! The Learn Enough to Be Dangerous series re-ignited my desire to code after 10+ years of “meh”.

— Diane Y.

The Learn Enough Society and the courses are incredible. It’s the best value in the market of online courses in my opinion. Like you say, it’s learning to tech, which is very useful in our world.

— Sébastien D.

I just meant to tell you: your tutorial books from the Learn Enough series are awesome! The books are well-written, clear, concise, super-useful, and even fun to read. Thank you so, so much for this! I have bought the first three and will buy whatever you publish next. Keep up doing this very good work and thanks again.

— Pierre W.

Have been following the whole “Learn Enough to Be Dangerous” series and am VERY impressed with it. I am a project manager who works with software developers daily. These sessions have provided me with a huge amount very useful information, to the extent that I now not only understand what the dev guys are talking about, but am starting to use the tools (command line, Git, etc.) that they use.

— Brian
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Michael Hartl is one of the best educators around when it comes to web development. I have been following him for a long time, and everything he produces is top quality. If you are looking for a quick way to become a thorough and productive professional web developer, Hartl’s books are a great place to start.

— Abram Bailey
Amazon link
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Also - if you are working through <a href="https://twitter.com/RailsTutorial?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@RailsTutorial</a> you will probably check out <a href="https://twitter.com/LearnEnough?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@LearnEnough</a> quite soon, which is an incredible resource for people starting out. Same high quality as the rails tutorial, while still digestible for people starting out.</p>&mdash; Michael Wallbaum (@mwallba) <a href="https://twitter.com/mwallba/status/988590924203679744?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 24, 2018</a></blockquote>

Hi, my name is Philip, and I’m a beginning learner of web development. I’ve dabbled in small ways in Ruby/Rails for about a year and a half. Occasionally, I write ruby scripts to solve problems at my job. I also dabble in learning: JavaScript, Ember, more Ruby/Rails, brief intro readings into Scala.

I’ve tried Codeschool, Codecademy, and I’ll stop there, so you don’t spend the next 3 hours reading all the different learning resources I’ve tried.

Ruby on Rails Tutorial (Rails 5) is undoubtedly, the most effective and educational resource I’ve ever come across when it comes to learning anything about web development or writing any code on any level.

Here’s what you seem to understand that everyone else just gets wrong: There’s a big spectrum between the very beginner basics: declaring variables, to voodoo, magical, incantational trickery of witchcraft, like building your own web server.

Almost all tutorials make this mistake. The first couple “lessons” are good for people who don’t even have a clue what computer programming is and then suddenly, there’s a big jump to what seem to be concepts that only seasoned developers have mastered.

Thanks for such a great, educational guide in Ruby on Rails.

— Philip

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About the Author
Michael-hartl

Michael Hartl

Michael Hartl is the creator of the Ruby on Rails Tutorial, one of the leading introductions to web development, and is cofounder and principal author at Learn Enough. Previously, he was a physics instructor at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), where he received a Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Teaching. He is a graduate of Harvard College, has a Ph.D. in Physics from Caltech, and is an alumnus of the Y Combinator entrepreneur program.

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