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Practical Ruby Projects: Ideas for the Eclectic Programmer (Books for Professionals by Professionals) Paperback – December 17, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-1590599112 ISBN-10: 159059911X Edition: 1st

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Practical Ruby Projects: Ideas for the Eclectic Programmer (Books for Professionals by Professionals) + Wicked Cool Ruby Scripts: Useful Scripts that Solve Difficult Problems + Practical Ruby for System Administration (Expert's Voice in Open Source)
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Product Details

  • Series: Books for Professionals by Professionals
  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1 edition (December 17, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159059911X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590599112
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,480,826 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Topher Cyll is a software engineer and writer living in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He received his bachelor's degree in computer science from Williams College and works for a small Boston-area startup. In reverse alphabetical order, he finds programming languages, music, free software, education, bioengineering, and beer terribly exciting. Topher loves Ruby not only for the language itself, but also the light-hearted and intellectually curious community that surrounds it.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most of the book makes some use of existing libraries.
James Stewart
Throughout, care is taken with the writing -- the text isn't a boring technical manual, but is compelling and interesting, while packing in a lot of technical detail!
Josh Ain
This is a book for experienced Ruby programmers who want to be awesome Ruby programmers.
Giles D. Bowkett

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By James Stewart on January 31, 2008
Format: Paperback
The past few years have seen the English-language Ruby book market explode. Before the phenomenal success of Rails it was perfectly possible to own every available title (and not use much storage space), but now that would be quite a challenge and lead to considerable redundancy. Having worked my way through quite a few Rails books of late, reading Practical Ruby Projects--a Ruby book that doesn't even mention web frameworks--was both a pleasant diversion and a highly illuminating experience.

Like the last volume I reviewed (Pro JavaScript Design Patterns), this book is unabashedly aimed at experienced programmers. There's a brief paragraph on "getting set up", but no detailed guide to obtaining the tools. Instead we dive right in to a sequence of projects that includes: making music (dipping into calling C code from ruby), animation, simulation, building a strategy game (and adding a RubyCocoa frontend), genetic algorithms, and even implementing lisp and parsers. Once again the "apress roadmap," a diagram intended to show how the skillsets in their different volumes build on one another, is misleading pitching this between "Beginning Ruby" and other volumes I've reviewed like Practical Ruby for System Administration and Pro Active Record. Don't believe it. Though there's little overlap in the material, this is a more advanced volume than either of those and readers should be prepared.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Giles D. Bowkett on January 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
Most Ruby books milk newbies jumping on the bandwagon for cash. This is a book for experienced Ruby programmers who want to be awesome Ruby programmers. The book of the book is all about parsing and shows you how to implement Lisp in Ruby; the first project is a compact, simple, powerful system for creating music in real time in Ruby. I'm using it to drive Propellerhead Reason from the command line and I'm on page 25. This is an absolutely excellent book. The best Ruby book I've seen in years. The only Ruby book I'd recommend to experts. This is the bomb book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ian Dees on December 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
The hands-on style of this book is contagious; you'll find yourself really wanting to jump in and try out the code samples. The source is available on Topher's site, but the simplicity and sense of immediacy are such that you may want to just start typing it in yourself. In a few minutes, you're making music or creating a game.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Josh Ain on April 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a great ruby book for those new to the language, or for those who already know a good deal of ruby but wouldn't mind learning how to do some cool quirky things with ruby, like programmatically compose and play midi. This book will not walk you through how to use ruby if you are new to the language -- but their are plenty of other books (and online references) that can do the real introductory teaching. Working through some of the projects in this book *will* help you really get comfortable with ruby, by putting it to practice in non-boilerplate ways.

If you have more experience with Ruby, this book is still compelling. It walks through some nonstandard projects -- interesting projects on their own, and certainly the sort of projects that will get your mind working, and have you looking at the problem and the language in a new light.

Throughout, care is taken with the writing -- the text isn't a boring technical manual, but is compelling and interesting, while packing in a lot of technical detail!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Harold Campbell on February 20, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of the rare technical books, that's actually quite fun to read. Additionally, all except the last two chapters can be read out of turn. I think this is an excellent book. Take the time and get excited by taking a fresh look at ruby.
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