Customer Reviews


14 Reviews
5 star:
 (9)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ruby Language Immersion by Examples
"Ruby by Example, Concepts and Code" teaches the Ruby language through immersion in examples.

The book begins with a brief introduction to Ruby and the interactive Ruby shell (which allows typing in Ruby code and immediately seeing the results).

The 45 examples that follow are carefully crafted to introduce new language features. A typical example...
Published on August 26, 2007 by Scott Schram

versus
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tries something a bit different, is mostly successful
Ruby By Example seeks to teach Ruby by introducing a series of small scripts, explaining how they work, often by showing some examples in irb, Ruby's interactive shell, and reinforcing the explanations with some suggested modifications to the script to highlight the principles just expounded. The closest examples in other languages I'm aware of are Dive Into Python and...
Published on January 26, 2008 by Thing with a hook


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tries something a bit different, is mostly successful, January 26, 2008
This review is from: Ruby by Example: Concepts and Code (Paperback)
Ruby By Example seeks to teach Ruby by introducing a series of small scripts, explaining how they work, often by showing some examples in irb, Ruby's interactive shell, and reinforcing the explanations with some suggested modifications to the script to highlight the principles just expounded. The closest examples in other languages I'm aware of are Dive Into Python and (to a lesser extent) Wicked Cool Perl Scripts.

This is a very nice idea, and there are some examples that are a cut above the usual fare: chapter 9 includes a Bible Code generator, and an implementation of the 'methinks it is like a weasel' sentence natural selection program from Richard Dawkins' The Blind Watchmaker. There's also mention of memoization, profiling and benchmarking, the Schwartzian transform for sorting, and even Symbol#to_proc. There's also quite a gentle introduction to Rails, which is probably sufficient for someone new to Ruby and Rails to move onto Ruby for Rails.

However, the execution isn't always perfect. Probably the biggest downside to this pedagogical approach is that there's not really one obvious place to describe how a particular feature works in depth, or the focus moves away from its practical use in a script. As a result, many of the explanations are compressed. Chapter 1 provides a 'crash' description of object orientation in 9 lines. Chapter 3 first mentions hashes, but compares them to functions, and not to arrays. Tail recursion is defined in a 4 line footnote in chapter 7. If you already understand these concepts, you'll be fine, but they won't teach you anything. If you don't, they aren't very helpful. At a couple of points the book also insists that everything in Ruby is an object, but code blocks (among other things) aren't until they're wrapped in Procs. For the more functional-esque techniques advocated in the book, this is a subtle point which could trip up a beginner.

Also, some of the examples are weak. Chapter 4 rushes through regular expressions, using them to compress whitespace, but why not also mention String#squeeze? Chapter 5 uses regexes to deal with XML and it gets the job done, but advice on using a real XML parser might have been more useful in the long term. Chapter 6 contains a truly contrived Buffy the Vampire Slayer-related example.

This isn't a bad introduction to Ruby, and it's a very admirable attempt to do something different, but I wanted to like it more than I did. If you already know some object oriented programming, this could make a good companion to a more tutorial-style book, like The Pickaxe.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ruby Language Immersion by Examples, August 26, 2007
By 
Scott Schram (Birmingham, AL USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ruby by Example: Concepts and Code (Paperback)
"Ruby by Example, Concepts and Code" teaches the Ruby language through immersion in examples.

The book begins with a brief introduction to Ruby and the interactive Ruby shell (which allows typing in Ruby code and immediately seeing the results).

The 45 examples that follow are carefully crafted to introduce new language features. A typical example includes these sections:

* The Code
* How It Works
* Running the Script
* The Results
* Hacking the Script

The reader is tempted to open up the examples in an editor, run them and tinker with them.

There is a focus on programming paradigms (or styles). The three main types covered are: imperative, object-oriented and functional. The imperative style "tells computers: Do this, then do that, then do this next thing." "Object-oriented languages define objects (types of things) that know how to perform methods." "Functional languages treat programming problems like mathematical relationships" and allow handling of functions and blocks of codes as if they were objects themselves. Ruby has strengths in all three of these areas, but this book offers more coverage of the functional paradigm than you might see elsewhere.

The examples advance in scope and complexity and cover practical topics like HTML and XML handling, CGI programming (which is a simple technique to make programmable web pages) and finally a sample Ruby on Rails web application.

An appendix compares and contrasts Ruby to several other languages (C, Haskell, Java, Lisp, Perl, PHP, Python and Smalltalk). For each language, the author gives some history, the particular focus or strengths of that language, and how Ruby was inspired by or shares some of the best features of each.

Baird sees Ruby's greatest strengths as "readability, a high level of abstraction (and great ease in extending that abstraction even higher), internal consistency and conceptual elegance."

The book is designed to be accessible to a beginning programmer, but would be challenging (in a good way).

Programmers with experience in another language or with some Ruby experience would strongly benefit from reading "Ruby by Example", even if they have read another tutorial book or started working with Rails applications.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Way to Learn Ruby..., July 19, 2007
By 
Michael Ivancic (Buffalo, NY - USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ruby by Example: Concepts and Code (Paperback)
This book has really helped me dive-in, start using, and more importantly start understanding Ruby. About a year before this book came out I read the Ruby Pick Axe but didn't feel like I had a great understanding and command of the language (I was also new to object oriented languages). I needed real life examples and actual code that illustrated Ruby concepts and showed them in action. That's exactly what I got with this book.

I think this book would be an excellent choice for someone wanting to learn Ruby, regardless of your level of programming experience. I'm self-taught with entry level programming skills and I had no problem understanding the concepts and examples in this book. The book even explains the basics like variables, objects, and methods and doesn't assume you know anything about object oriented languages, programming, or Ruby. The example scripts are pretty neat and very useful too. I've already started customizing my own version of the sample Rails photo album for my wedding pictures too. (Thanks Kevin!)

Whether you're looking to learn how to program or looking to learn a new language, I would highly recommend this book! I plan on keeping it in my programming book collection!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An important guide for any using or learning Ruby or Rails, August 8, 2007
This review is from: Ruby by Example: Concepts and Code (Paperback)
Any programmer who would better understand the basics of Ruby would do well to consider RUBY BY EXAMPLE, a learn-by-doing guide which analyzes a series of Ruby scripts, examining how the code works, explaining its concepts, and demonstrating modifications. Readers will learn how to use the interactive Ruby shell to maximum advantage to learn the language, and will learn to use utilities that help analyze HTML, XML and more. An important guide for any using or learning Ruby or Rails, and for reference libraries catering to this audience.

Diane C. Donovan
California Bookwatch
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Introduction to Ruby, July 26, 2007
This review is from: Ruby by Example: Concepts and Code (Paperback)
I found this book to be a very refreshing approach to learning a programming language. The author did a great job of breaking down real world samples. He keeps it concise and to the point and that makes it much easier to learn. Not only does he use real world examples, he also explains many 'typical' programming utilities such as arrays, text manipulation, filtering, and even covers CSS and XML.

I think what I like best about the book is the layout of the information. Each lesson is laid out with the problem - the code - the explanation of how it works. The code is very clear, and the conventions used to distinguish different kinds of information are very clear. The code has several numbered items that are used in the explanation so you can follow the explanation line by line. And the author also tweaks the code in 'hack' sections of the book so you can learn to customize utilities quickly.

I would recommend this book for anyone who has an interest in learning Ruby quickly and thoroughly. You get hands on experience and real world examples that you can apply right away. If you want to learn Ruby and some basic concepts of OOP, get this book.Ruby by Example: Concepts and Code
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Excellent..., February 11, 2008
This review is from: Ruby by Example: Concepts and Code (Paperback)
If you want to learn Ruby quickly and you can only afford to buy one book to do it with, this is the one I would buy! It has interesting little projects with well documented code which introduces you gradually to more advanced topics in the language. It is not a cookbook, but rather, a very well picked selection of programmes where new concepts are thoroughly explained and older concepts are reinforced. There are "hacks" to just about every script and I was able to learn more from this than I did from grinding through the Pick Axe. Amazingly, now when I pick up the Pick Axe it seems accessible!

Well worth the investment!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Ruby Learning Book!!, January 10, 2008
By 
Dan McKinnon (Tewksbury, MA USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Ruby by Example: Concepts and Code (Paperback)
'Ruby by Example: Concepts and Code' is the perfect reference for anyone that wants to learn how to use Ruby, one of the hottest programming languages to come around in some time. With over around 300 pages of content spread across 45 examples, this book will give you all the basis you need to go from a non-Ruby user to someone writing good code immediately!! I think that the No Starch line has some of the most unique layouts you will find from any publishing line. Chapters are usually broken up into small manageable chunks that make it easier for the reader to actually learn and dissect the information they are taking in, fonts are clear and concise, and it's just an enjoyable easy read all around. While this may seem low in importance I don't think that's the case at all. Especially for a book where the user base is someone new to a language, environment or tool, I want a book that is easy to learn from, fun to read and makes me actually want to LEARN and look forward to the next chapter(s). If you want to learn Ruby and build on your development skillset, pick up this book and move to the fast lane!!

***** HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Brilliant, November 6, 2007
By 
Eric Armstrong (Mountain View, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Ruby by Example: Concepts and Code (Paperback)
Superb introduction to Ruby and important programming idioms that every Rubyist should know. Shows you a small chunk of code, with significant lines numbered, and follows the code with descriptive paragraphs that show you what the code is doing. In effect, you learn how to read the code as you go through the book, starting with basic material and getting more advanced as you go along. VERY nicely done.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1.0 out of 5 stars Very unclear, August 12, 2013
This review is from: Ruby by Example: Concepts and Code (Paperback)
I can program in several languages and have read books on 7 other languages, but this was impossible. I stopped in the middle of chapter 4. The code is given to you, with small numbers next to the code, but the explanations skip some points and fail to fully explain the others. I stopped reading when I realized I was getting a vague idea of what the code did but I'd never be able to write it myself or explain exactly why it worked.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Can learn some things from it, November 25, 2012
By 
This review is from: Ruby by Example: Concepts and Code (Paperback)
My take after going through most of this book, is that I like the concept but not the delivery. But the delivery is good enough that you can learn a significant amount of Ruby from it.

I would suggest that the concept is that you are someone with significant programming experience already, and can be taken through the language by showing you example code.

I think if you do not have significant programming experience in an object-oriented language, that this book would be of almost no use to you. You had better be able to read other people's code already and understand OOP concepts. You will learn the syntax for instance variables, class variables -- but you better already understand what such a variable means.

Having said that, it strikes me that you have to wade through a lot of verbiage to get some nuggets that you want to get. If your target audience is experienced programmers, then write the book that way. Get to the point quickly.

It left me, feeling like I had a lot better understanding of Ruby. But it still left me wanting to look at other resources to learn the language better.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Ruby by Example: Concepts and Code
Ruby by Example: Concepts and Code by Kevin C. Baird (Paperback - June 8, 2007)
Used & New from: $0.50
Add to wishlist See buying options
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.