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Our look is the result of reader comments, our own experimentation, and feedback from distribution channels. Distinctive covers complement our distinctive approach to technical topics, breathing personality and life into potentially dry subjects.
The animal on the cover of Ajax on Rails is a Peruvian spider monkey (Ateles chamek), also known as a black-faced spider monkey. Native to the tropical forests of Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil, this spider monkey weighs about 15 pounds (6.8 kg) and lives 30 to 40 years. The black-faced spider monkey's body, arms, and legs each measure about 20 inches, but its prehensile tail can be as long as 30 inches. The prehensile tail acts as an extra hand and can support the weight of the monkey when it needs to pick fruit with two hands or swing from tree to tree. The tail has a section of fleshy pads that it uses for grasping and feeling, which is crucial since spider monkeys are one of the only primates that do not have opposable thumbs; biologists believe the thumb impeded the spider monkey's ability to swing from branch to branch and was evolutionarily eliminated. The spider monkey's diet is 80 percent fruit, but depending on the season it also eats insects, leaves, and seeds. Even though the black-faced spider monkey is fairly common, deforestation has shrunk its livable habitat, and it is often a target for hunters as well as pet traders.
The cover image is from Wood's Animate Creation. The cover font is Adobe ITC Garamond. The text font is Linotype Birka; the heading font is Adobe Myriad Condensed; and the code font is LucasFont's TheSans Mono Condensed.
About the Author
Scott Raymond is a Ruby on Rails developer living in Kansas City. His work has been highlighted on the Rails web site and the Wall Street Journal Online. Besides participating in the framework's development, he has led international Rails training sessions and was a presenter at RailsConf 2006.