Rails 3.0 is finally out, with a ton of updates
In a nutshell: Rails 3 is now officially out!
This is a pretty big deal for the Rails community, and it's a release that will reverberate all across the web in many subtle forms. Lots of high-profile sites are Rails-based (think Twitter and Github), and version 3.0 is a massive update.
Searching through O'Reilly's Safari Books Online I was unable to find a Rails 3 book – I guess these things take time. But now that the new version is finalized and stable, I'm sure there are books in the works. In fact, the post says Agile Web Development with Rails 4th Ed is almost ready.
The official blog post also says this release has seen "thousands of commits", and highlights just a smattering of technical-sounding features. I won't bore you with the details, since it's all coder-speak (read: I don't know enough Rails to make sense of the changes), but one notable change is that cross-site scripting protection is on by default, so that should improve security for all sites using Rails. Another neat change is that Ruby now handles character encoding intelligently, and you should never see a � character (resulting from bad encoding) ever again.
My own tinkering is limited to Ruby itself at this point – I am learning to use the core language before I step up to Rails. It's a very neat scripting language in itself, and I highly recommend it if you're looking for a simple way to develop custom scripts for yourself.