- Series: Beginning From Novice to Professional
- Paperback: 664 pages
- Publisher: Apress; 1 edition (April 9, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1590597664
- ISBN-13: 978-1590597668
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 39 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,471,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Beginning Ruby: From Novice to Professional (Beginning From Novice to Professional) 1st Edition
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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.
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.
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.
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.
Aside from that, this is a fantastic book.