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Showing 1-10 of 15 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 39 reviews
on December 17, 2007
This is an excellent book for anyone getting started with Ruby, or who has been using Rails for a little while and feels they need stronger Ruby skills (which, I suspect, describes a great number of Rails programmers, myself included).

Despite its title, this is not just a beginner's book. It does start at the beginning, and it is written without assuming a lot of background, but it is not a simplified, dumbed-down treatment. I found it to be very easy to read, and it follows a natural progression from language basics through a variety of advanced topics.

The author is a very experienced Ruby programmer, and his insights shine throughout the book. (Among many other things, he's the creator of Feed Digest, Ruby Inside, and code snippets, which he sold to DZone.

In addition to an exposition of the language that builds nicely over the course of the book, there's chapters on the Ruby ecosystem, how to design an application, and network programming. There's also a chapter that covers many of the useful libraries and gems.

There is one chapter that summarizes Rails, but this is definitely a Ruby book, not a Rails book.

Any Ruby book will inevitably be compared to Dave Thomas' Programming Ruby (commonly known as "the Pickaxe" for the image on its cover), which has been the standard reference for the language since its debut and won't lose its spot as a reference work. I found Beginning Ruby to be easier to absorb, however, and I thought the examples were especially clear and useful. If you're already deep into Ruby, you probably don't need this book. But if you're relatively early in the learning curve, I highly recommend it.
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on February 26, 2011
I'm one of the guys who bought the Kindle version, yet every single example in the book is cut off on the left side. The examples themselves are in image form, and each and every one is slightly castrated, making following these examples extremely difficult. I don't know who to blame, but surely there has to be a solution here.

Aside from that, this is a fantastic book.
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on November 15, 2010
This books foreword set the precedent. Never before have I enjoyed a books foreword so much.

The style of writing in this book is easy going, not patronising, doesn't assume I need a break or a cup of coffee, but answers the questions I start to ask myself mid-way through a paragraph. I'm up to page 175 and felt compelled to review this, as I've read some duds recently, and a dud book can put you off learning, which is a shame. Maybe it is because Ruby is an interesting and attractive language that this is such good reading, but I have to give credit to the author and editor.

It's an interesting concept to consider, but my choice on which language to develop a web application in could come down to which author articulates a particular software's strengths and weaknesses the clearest.

Top work.
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on July 11, 2012
Very well written and easy to grasp. But rushes through certain parts such as the "Code Blocks" section.. Very disappointing because it's then used as a building block for future explanations. Definitely something I would look into in the future release.
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on October 19, 2007
I found that the book is easy to follow and gets you started without any prior Ruby experience. It covers installation and has examples that really work to get you going. The book is a good foundation to know enough about Ruby and points you where to go next.
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on May 10, 2014
I wish I had this book when I first started my Ruby study—it would have saved me days of struggle and needless confusion. Well-written by an intelligent human. Cooper knows how to communicate in a refreshing manner.
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on October 12, 2015
I just started diving into the world of code and this was my first book, its a slow read but I think worth going through and doing everything form start to finish. I have yet to devote a lot of time to this book but it does seem to give a good grasp of Ruby. It is on my things to complete list. Easy to understand from a beginners point of view.
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on January 18, 2009
This is exactly what I was looking for in a book on Ruby. If you are new to Ruby, I recommend reading this book before getting into Rails.
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on July 9, 2011
I am an SQA engineer and just started to learn Ruby in order to participate in code reviews. My first attempt of self-education failed due to typos and misleading instructions in another Ruby book. I've read reviews more carefully and decided to give a shot to this one.

From the very beginning I was amazed by clarity of material, easiness of reading, proper speed of explanation. Every theoretical statement is illustrated by a code example. All examples had worked as expected. Exercises had encouraged me to try coding my own things and succeed. This is not just a great book, it's also fun! I'm very enthusiastic and confident.

I definitely recommend this book for a Ruby starter.
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on June 1, 2013
Peter's background is a writer and he's really smart. The way he explains and expresses Ruby is very simple to assimilate and understand. Don't rush through each chapter just to get to the next. Pace yourself... Re-read each chapter a couple of times and be ready to bridge the gap from novice\intermediate to professional.

Before reading this book I read Chris Pine's "Learning to Program" and did the TryRuby.org courses and wrote a few programs on my own. So I was already able to understand Ruby so reading this book fills in the gaps and gives you a deeper understanding of the language.
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