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Ruby Cookbook (Cookbooks (O'Reilly)) 1st Edition

36 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0596523695
ISBN-10: 0596523696
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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Recipes for Object Oriented Scripting

About the Author

Lucas Carlson is a professional Ruby programmer who specializes in Rails web development. He has authored a half dozen libraries and contributed to many others, including Rails and RedCloth. He lives in Portland, Oregon and maintains a website at

Leonard Richardson has been programming since he was eight years old. Recently, the quality of his code has improved somewhat. He is responsible for libraries in many languages, including Rubyful Soup. A California native, he now works in New York and maintains a website at


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Product Details

  • Series: Cookbooks (O'Reilly)
  • Paperback: 910 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (July 26, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596523696
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596523695
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.7 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #573,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 61 people found the following review helpful By A Williams on August 28, 2006
Format: Paperback
I have a confession to make. Over more than twenty years as a programmer I'd never really had my head around object-oriented programming. I started out using C and then tried PHP and Perl and treated both as purely procedural languages (indeed, one Perl guru looked at my code and said "you were a C programmer weren't you"; humbling). Java, JavaScript, C++ and even Objective C had their turn at getting me to convert but none took (though I do code JavaScript under sufferance) until Ruby. A few month ago I started using Rails and became hooked on it and the underlying language. My Rails and Ruby skills have progressed in leaps and bounds. I've already had a good read of "Programming Ruby" and "Agile Web Development with Rails" and enjoyed and learnt from both.

I also have to admit to loving the O'Reilly "Cookbook" series. Several, particularly the "Perl Cookbook", have pride of place on the bookshelf closest to my computer. So the "Ruby Cookbook" by Lucas Carlson and Leonard Richardson was eagerly awaited. The "Cookbook" series are designed to provide you with a plethora of code examples to guide you in writing your own code. I'm definitely a hands-on style of learner and the Cookbook series suits my style - I can start getting my hands dirty with complex problems knowing I have help to code my way of out of the tight spots. This one covers a wide range of tasks from simple, such as walking a directory tree or manipulating text and numbers, through to more complex such as working with AJAX in Ruby on Rails. If you have't previously come across a book in this style then each chapter is broken up into a number of 'recipes' with a problem, a solution and then discussion of the solution.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Giovanni Corriga on August 11, 2006
Format: Paperback
Ok. Let's pretend you're a Java programmer, and you want to know what's the story about this Ruby language you've heard so much about. Or maybe, like me, you're a Smug Smalltalk Weenie and you want to check how the young cousin from the East is doing. Either way, you got your hands on a manual or on a tutorial, and now you're reasonably sure you have a good grasp of the language. But you still have to learn the slang, and _that_ is the difficult part.

But don't worry, here comes the Ruby Cookbook to the rescue. The book is a full, 850-pages behemoth full of Ruby tips and tricks, from string manipulation to database management, from reflection to multitasking.

Presenting their tips in the usual O'Reilly cookbook format (problem/solution/discussion), the two authors cover almost all the topics of interest for both the beginner and the expert Ruby programmer.

All in all, the Ruby Cookbook is like a dictionary that you should keep by your side when you're programming in Ruby. The only small con is the high number of typos, especially in the first part: nothing which stops you from understanding what the authors are saying, but finding a typo in almost every page of a chapter gets tiresome after a while.

Anyway, you can't go wrong by buying this book.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By HugeStakkaBoFan VINE VOICE on September 1, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Some O'Reilly books are horrible, and some are great--this happens to be one of the better ones. It's full of concise examples of how to use Ruby's standard libraries and most popular extensions that more than make up for their frequently terrible and always unnavigable RubyDoc generated documentation. An excellent next step for those who've read through "Programming Ruby" and are wondering how to put the language's better features to good use without becoming completely dependent on any of the currently popular application frameworks I'd guess about 90% of people are learning Ruby for. It even covers RubyCocoa basics.

I have found a couple typos here and there, but mostly just misplaced spaces and omitted words; nothing dangerous so far.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By calvinnme HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 2, 2007
Format: Paperback
This cookbook is aimed at people who know at least a little bit of Ruby, or who know a fair amount about programming in general. This book isn't a Ruby tutorial, but if you're already familiar with a few other programming languages, you should be able to pick up Ruby by going through the first 10 chapters of this book. This book contains recipes suitable for all skill levels. It focuses mainly on generic programming techniques, but it also covers specific application frameworks such as Ruby on Rails and GUI libraries, as well as best practices such as unit testing. I discuss the book further in the context of the table of contents:

The book starts with six chapters covering Ruby's built-in data structures.

Chapter 1, Strings, contains recipes for building, processing, and manipulating strings of text. There are a few recipes specifically applicable to regular expressions (Recipes 1.17, 1.18, and 1.19).

Chapter 2, Numbers, covers the representation of different types of numbers: real numbers, complex numbers, arbitrary-precision decimals, and so on. It also includes Ruby implementations of common mathematical and statistical algorithms, and explains some Ruby quirks you'll run into if you create your own numeric types (Recipes 2.13 and 2.14).

Chapter 3, Date and Time, covers Ruby's two interfaces for dealing with time: the one based on the C time library, which may be familiar to you from other programming languages, and the one implemented in pure Ruby, which is more idiomatic.

Chapter 4, Arrays, introduces the array, Ruby's simplest compound data type.

Chapter 5, Hashes, covers the hash, Ruby's other basic compound data type.

Chapter 6, Files and Directories, covers techniques for reading, writing, and manipulating files.
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