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Ruby Best Practices Paperback – June 26, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0596523008 ISBN-10: 0596523009 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (June 26, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596523009
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596523008
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #658,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Increase Your Productivity - Write Better Code

About the Author

Gregory T. Brown is a New Haven, CT based Rubyist who spends most of his time on free software projects in Ruby. His main projects are Prawn and Ruport, and he is also the author of the upcoming book Ruby Best Practices. He also is in possession of a small bamboo plant that seems to be invincible, and he is quite proud of this accomplishment.

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Customer Reviews

Ruby Best Practices excels where these other books fail.
James Britt
Most books waste too much time on basics that anyone who's worth their chops should be able to pick up without much difficulty.
Devin J. Naquin
Ruby Best Practices (RBP) by Gregory Brown is unlike any previous book on Ruby written yet.
Dylan Clendenin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin Orenstein on July 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
One of my favorite simple pleasures is reading a technical or instructional book where the level of complexity perfectly matches my expertise. I've been enjoying this exact experience while reading Greg Brown's new book, Ruby Best Practices.

I have been programming professionally for over three years, with the last five months doing full time Ruby on Rails development. I would label myself an intermediate Ruby user: comfortable with the basics, but with limited exposure to its more advanced topics. Lately, I have been reading more and more open source Ruby projects, and have been looking for ways to contribute back to our teriffic community.

Given my experience and goals, Ruby Best Practices was a perfect read. The book is a collection of general strategies for solving problems in Ruby, with a focus on real-world code examples. Its author is an experienced Ruby developer who also happens to be an excellent writer.

Ruby Best Practices has a number of notable strengths. First, Brown is highly pragmatic. When discussing closures, he writes "I could show some abstract examples or academically exciting functionality such as Proc#curry, but instead, I decided that I wanted to show you something I use fairly frequently." This attitude has lead to a book that is full of ideas you can actually use. It feels like the experienced guy down the hall showing you all his best stuff.

Secondly, RBP's examples are almost uniformly excellent. As contributor or creator of several popular Ruby projects (Prawn and Ruport) Brown has no lack of real-word code examples to choose from, and he does so with skill. In addition, he's not shy about trimming down the examples to leave behind just the most relevant code elements.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Dylan Clendenin on June 25, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ruby Best Practices (RBP) by Gregory Brown is unlike any previous book on Ruby written yet. This is not a book of commandments, recipes, design patterns, or style guides. Rather this is a book that is designed to help intermediate Ruby programmers learn how to think about writing and analyzing software.

If RBP had a biggest strength it would be its case-study approach of looking at real-world Ruby software as the context for best practices. It is not a theoretical or hypothetical book but very practical. One of the premises of RBP is that best practices have a context--a time and place--and aren't just rules we slap across everything indiscriminately. It is meant to spur dialogue and provoke thought. It will help give you a new set of eyes as you read through Ruby source code (which brings up another premise of RBP--you should be learning by looking through the source code of real projects).

If RBP had a biggest weakness, it would be that it was written by one guy with help from a few others and it is limited to their observations and experience. Not everything is covered nor can it be. Somebody will complain that it is not complete but Gregory has sort of preserved himself from that sort of fault-finding by presenting this more as a "one side of the diamond" than a "here are the best practices, follow them" approach.

I think that RBP is important for the Ruby community not because it contains the solutions to everyone's problems but more because it can serve as a great launching point for important discussions that will help us to think through the Ruby software we write and how to glean from the outstanding solutions other Rubyists smarter than ourselves have come up with.

I like the way this book is organized for the most part.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jerod Santo on August 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
In Summary:

If you are an intermediate-to-expert Ruby programmer you should absolutely read this book. Beginners may want to start elsewhere and work their way up. Where To Get It

In Detail:

The purpose of RBP is stated plainly on the front cover: "Increase Your Productivity -- Write Better Code"

With that in mind, here is a breakdown of what it offers:

The first thing I noticed when reading RBP is that it uses real-world code samples. None of that "let's make a tic-tac-toe game" type of stuff. Gregory uses a couple of his own projects (Prawn & Ruport) as well as other popular libraries (Haml, flexmock, XML Builder, Gibberish, faker). This is beyond awesome.

He also steps through a lot of code using IRB, which means you can follow right along in your favorite shell. Gregory highly recommends you get your hands dirty with the code he presents and I agree with him. However, I also like to read physical books in places not my computer, since the opportunity so rarely presents itself.

The book starts, aptly, with a chapter on testing. The following two chapters are (for me) the highlights:

Designing Beautiful APIs and Mastering the Dynamic Toolkit.

The value found in these two sections alone cover the cost of the entire book. A few of the topics discussed include: flexible argument handling, code blocks, implementing per-object behavior, building classes and modules programatically and registering hooks and callbacks. Gregory released a free section of Mastering the Dynamic Toolkit so you don't have to take my word for it, have a taste for yourself.

I need to wrap this up or I'll be forced to remove the "Mini" from the post title.
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