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Beginning Ruby: From Novice to Professional (Expert's Voice in Open Source) [Paperback]

Peter Cooper
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 20, 2009 1430223634 978-1430223634 2

Based on the bestselling first edition, Beginning Ruby: From Novice to Professional, Second Edition is the leading guide for every type of reader who wants to learn Ruby from the ground up.

The new edition of this book provides the same excellent introduction to Ruby as the first edition plus updates for the newest version of Ruby, including the addition of the Sinatra and Ramaze web application frameworks and a chapter on GUI development so developers can take advantage of these new trends.

Beginning Ruby starts by explaining the principles behind object-oriented programming and within a few chapters builds toward creating a full Ruby application. By the end of the book, in addition to in-depth knowledge of Ruby, you'll also have basic understanding of many ancillary technologies such as SQL, XML, web frameworks, and networking.

  • Introduces readers to the Ruby programming language
  • Takes readers from basic programming skills to web development with topics like Ruby-based frameworks and GUI programming
  • Covers many ancillary technologies in order to provide a broader picture (e.g., databases, XML, network daemons)

What you’ll learn

  • Understand the basics of Ruby and object-oriented building blocks.
  • Work with Ruby libraries, gems, and documentation.
  • Work with files and databases.
  • Write and deploy Ruby applications.
  • Explore Ruby web frameworks and aspects of network programming with Ruby.
  • Develop desktop and GUI applications with Ruby.

Who this book is for

Beginning programmers, programmers new to Ruby, and web developers interested in knowing the foundations of the language.

Table of Contents

  1. Let’s Get It Started: Installing Ruby
  2. Programming == Joy: A Whistle-Stop Tour of Ruby and Object Orientation
  3. Ruby’s Building Blocks: Data, Expressions, and Flow Control
  4. Developing Your First Ruby Application
  5. The Ruby Ecosystem
  6. Classes, Objects, and Modules
  7. Projects and Libraries
  8. Documentation, Error Handling, Debugging, and Testing
  9. Files and Databases
  10. Deploying Ruby Applications and Libraries
  11. Advanced Ruby Features
  12. Tying It Together: Developing a Larger Ruby Application
  13. Web Application Frameworks: Rails, Sinatra, and Ramaze
  14. Ruby and the Internet
  15. Networking, Sockets, and Daemons
  16. GUI-Based Desktop Application Development
  17. Useful Ruby Libraries and Gems

Frequently Bought Together

Beginning Ruby: From Novice to Professional (Expert's Voice in Open Source) + Learn to Program, Second Edition (The Facets of Ruby Series) + The Well-Grounded Rubyist
Price for all three: $70.89

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Peter Cooper is an experienced Ruby developer, trainer, and publisher who runs Ruby Inside, the most popular blog in the Ruby and Rails worlds, with 18,000 subscribers. He also curates Ruby Flow, a popular Ruby community link blog. Over the past few years he has developed, launched, and sold two startups (Feed Digest and Code Snippets), both powered by Ruby and Rails.

Product Details

  • Series: Expert's Voice in Open Source
  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 2 edition (July 20, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430223634
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430223634
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.5 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm a blogger and nice publisher (and author!) primarily in the Ruby space. I'm author of Beginning Ruby, the best book to get you from nowhere to somewhere when it comes to Ruby.

Prior to focusing on writing and blogging, I built a RSS (Web feed) processing business called Feed Digest which I sold in 2007, as well as a popular code snippets site which I sold also in 2007.

I'm a very active Twitter user at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was good, if a little out-dated. It provides a solid base of information regarding Ruby, but as of September, 2010, the information it provides on Ruby 1.9 is limited and sometimes incorrect.

This is not to say that it is a bad book, however. Considering that Ruby 1.9 was only recently begun when this version of the book, version two, was published, one cannot set the blame on the author, Peter Cooper, for the incorrect information, especially as Mr. Cooper is one of the leading sources of knowledge regarding Ruby (via his blog at

Despite the occasional bits of incorrect or lacking information concerning Ruby 1.9, the book itself provides a wealth of information regarding Ruby in general. It focuses primarily on Ruby 1.8, and the overwhelming majority of the code which powers Ruby 1.8 is transferable to Ruby 1.9.

My biggest complaint concerning the book was the lack of examples it has. While Mr. Cooper provides a true wealth of information, the examples were often small and rarely built upon previous material until one reaches chapter 12, at which point one builds an entire application. Even once one reaches this chapter, the code is not always the easiest to work with, as the code typed out in the book may have a minor change in it which will be difficult to locate to update in your own code if you do not already have a solid grasp on the material presented earlier in the book.

Additionally, in chapter 13, Mr. Cooper gives a basic look at Ruby on Rails, the currently-leading Ruby Framework.

Unfortunately, from the very first line of code typed in regarding Ruby on Rails, the code is incorrect. Cooper's Beginning Ruby was written prior to the release of Rails 3.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
I think Cooper darts from concept to concept too quickly, in an effort to keep the reader interested in building something. Sometimes a reader will encounter a certain Ruby concept several times, over several chapters, before that concept has received sufficient treatment to sink in. I especially thought that the ramifications of the "everything is an object" concept in Ruby were underdocumented, and only really intelligible several chapters after Cooper thought he had covered it.

Also, I have to discourage the purchase of the Kindle version. Though body text will scale up, code snippets in the examples will NOT. The code is simply not legible on my Kindle Touch.

Cooper is not without talent as a technical writer, but I think in his efforts to make things accessible, he lost sight of the importance of conducting a structured analysis of the language. That, combined with serious legibility issues, forced me to send this one back.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well written, easy to follow... January 19, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have found this book o be very well written, organized and easy to follow, regardless of of the reader's programming experience and/or Ruby knowledge. I have been programming for over 30 years, in several other languages, but this is my first attempt at learning an OO language. I recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn Ruby.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beginning Ruby from novice tp professional December 4, 2009
This's my first book on ruby and it's very good and i recommend it to
anyone who want to learn ruby and make a solid foundation of it, the
most interesting thing about this book is that it cover alot of different
topics , from the language itself to the developement cycle and
documentation generation and testing to working with files and
databases web frameworks and web developement to GUI desktop to
applications deployement and packaging and drawing a big picture for
the beginner ruby programmers all with easy and meaningfull examples
to explain the theory. it's not a reference that covers every method and
class in ruby in solid manner and it's not the beginners book that leave
you nowhere, it's the best book for beginners that will take their hands
to the first step to be proficient ruby programmer . absolutely
recommended for beginners .
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beginning Book of Ruby May 4, 2013
By Don K
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Well written with pleanty of examples. It assumes that you know nothing about Ruby . Takes you from the classics "Hello World" through to programs. A bit rpetative in spots, but that can be good too. As a neophyte to programming I felt it well worth the time to study becsue the study had a positive outcome.
Definately written for someone dipping into programming . I woluld recommend it for beginners or just for a glimpse of how to program.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars def ruby / puts "FUN!" January 15, 2012
Programming for dummies in plain English! Just what I've been looking for.

I first tried Objective-C Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (Big Nerd Ranch Guides) by Aaron Hillegass. Couple of chapters down the road I quit. Then I picked Programming in Objective-C (4th Edition) (Developer's Library) by Stephen G. Kochan. The same story. Both books claim to be for beginners without any previous programming experience. Well, that's true for the first couple of chapters. Then it gets SOOOO technical instantaneously that the only thing you keep thinking about is "Where the hell did that come from?..." or "Are you guys nuts to expect me to comprehend this?". Maybe you eventually come to understand it by the end of the book, but it kills the fun so ruthlessly - life's to short to torture yourself like that.

This book explains complex concepts in a simple way, using everyday stuff to illustrate the author's point so vividly! That's very nice. The style of writing is hilarious. That's pretty cool too. Thanks a lot, Peter!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book, use the correct Ruby version
While outdated, this is still a great beginner book. Be sure you're using the correct Ruby version when going through this book. I created an RVM gemfile with Ruby 1.9. Read more
Published 21 days ago by Kudzai Nyandoro
5.0 out of 5 stars Learn Ruby
Great book! Teaches the fundamentals to the complicated. Learn this and add Rails will make you a powerful programmer. Read more
Published 1 month ago by William E. Gleason
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely helpful
I am new to Ruby and have been learning from various online services. This has really expanded my knowledge. The book is split into 3 major sections/parts. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Nicholas Cantelmi
4.0 out of 5 stars Seems quite thorough, and develops at a good pace
Haven't finished it yet, working through a ruby course, but what I have read it seems to walk a good balance between the required technical/syntax detail, and explanatory text in... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Steven Stanley
3.0 out of 5 stars A little advanced for me
A little too advanced for someone with my skill set..........but will keep as a reference when I advance my abilities in Ruby.
Published 3 months ago by Robert J. Finnican
5.0 out of 5 stars Met my expectation and more
Great book for absolute beginners yet expansive enough for even experts to learn something new. I will be referring to this book quite often and it will be of great service to me.
Published 4 months ago by parth patel
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read. Needs to be updated.
Nice read. I used this book to pick up ruby. The web development part is outdated, so ignore that part of it. The ruby parts are good though. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Nick R.
5.0 out of 5 stars great starter for Ruby
this book is really good if you want to start learning ruby programming. i bought the kindle version and got it on my ipad to read through the kindle app.
Published 11 months ago by James Almeida
1.0 out of 5 stars good
I haven't even read the book and the app is forcing metro review it. This is really dumb and sick
Published 12 months ago by m Jordan
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Ruby book for people who already know programming
I already know two programming languages so for me this was a relatively easy read. If you're completely new to programming there's a book called "Learn to Program" by Chris Pine... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Mohammad
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