136 of 142 people found the following review helpful
This is the new authoritative Ruby book and the one to buy.,
This review is from: The Ruby Programming Language (Paperback)
Originally planned as a second edition to Ruby classic, Ruby In A Nutshell, The Ruby Programming Language is a new book by David Flanagan and Yukihiro Matsumoto (a.k.a. Matz - creator of Ruby) and published by O'Reilly. The book covers both Ruby 1.8 and 1.9 and with its esteemed authors and technical approach, is sure to become a new "Bible" for Ruby developers.
As of the start of 2008 this book is REALLY fresh and up to date. Its style is very direct and matter-of-fact; well suited for existing Ruby developers and proficient developers coming from other languages. The examples are clear and logical and the explanations concise; this is a well edited and authoritative book.
The structure of the book is a delight with ten well-defined chapters (with titles such as Reflection and Metaprogramming, Statements and Control Structures, and Expressions and Operators) that each contain a tree of sections. Consider Chapter 4, Expressions and Operators. A sample dive down to section 126.96.36.199 takes us through 4.5, Assignments; 4.5.5, Parallel Assignment; and finally to 188.8.131.52, One lvalue, multiple rvalues. This is a breath of fresh air in a Ruby reference work.
The only downside, in terms of the thousands who might be browsing Amazon looking for a single Ruby book to start off with, is that this book is so well focused on documenting the core elements of the Ruby language, it doesn't work either as a tutorial / beginner's introduction to Ruby, or as an exhaustive reference work (as, on both fronts, the Pickaxe attempts to be.) This lack of dilution may be an ultimate strength, however, since anyone above the station of "beginner" will be able to learn Ruby thoroughly from this book, use it as a general reference, and then be able to use the exhaustive documentation that comes with Ruby itself to cover the standard library and built-in classes.
In conclusion, whether you're an existing developer or a newcomer to Ruby, you need just three things to be up and running with Ruby in the book / documentation department. Buy this, the Ruby Way (by Hal Fulton), and learn how to use the documentation that comes with Ruby.
This book will act as the "Bible" for Ruby, the Ruby Way will make you an expert, and learning how to use the documentation that comes with Ruby will mean you're not using information that's out of date within a couple of years. The perfect combo! It'll last you for years.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 3, 2008 11:21:23 AM PDT
Dennis L. Hughes says:
This is an outstandingly useful review! You've told me exactly for whom and for what it is useful, where it fits into one's library, and the general quality. I wish at least one person would include are review like this for each book. Well done.
Posted on Jul 15, 2008 12:28:15 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Sep 17, 2009 10:14:33 PM PDT]
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 29, 2008 2:56:11 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 30, 2008 4:07:51 AM PDT
Peter Cooper says:
Note that James Whiteman, the author of the above comment laden with personal attacks and falsehoods, has no other activity noted on his Amazon profile and I have never heard of him before (he appears to me not to be active within the Ruby community).
Posted on Jan 3, 2009 1:20:18 PM PST
Thank you for your review, Peter Cooper. I bought this book partially due to your recommendation.
James Whiteman, you should be ashamed of your behavior. In addition to attacking Peter Cooper, you also attacked Philippe Weltz, who posted a negative review of Programming Ruby on April 4, 2008. I don't understand your behavior. Are you an employee of The Pragmatic Programmers?
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2009 2:46:42 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Sep 17, 2009 10:14:49 PM PDT]
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 24, 2009 9:14:55 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 24, 2009 9:18:53 AM PST
Peter Cooper says:
> Look, I don't like Peter Cooper. But even he is man enough to let the world know what his silly opinions are without a pseudonym.
I'm sorry if I've done anything to upset you in the past - it wasn't intentional in any case. I'm sure we've never had any contact in the past, but sorry for any offense caused anyway. I don't like pissing people off (unintentionally!) so if I can make it up anyway, just hit me up :)
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