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Eloquent Ruby (Addison-Wesley Professional Ruby) 1st Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0321584106
ISBN-10: 0321584104
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"R>Eloquent Ruby is like programming in Ruby itself: fun, surprisingly deep, and you'll find yourself wishing it was always done this way. Wherever you are in your Ruby experience from novice to Rails developer, this book is a must read."

--Ethan Roberts

Owner, Monkey Mind LLC

 

"Eloquent Ruby lives up to its name. It's a smooth introduction to Ruby that's both well organized and enjoyable to read, as it covers all the essential topics in the right order. This is the book I wish I'd learned Ruby from."

--James Kebinger

Senior Software Engineer, PatientsLikeMe

www.monkeyatlarge.com

 

"Ruby's syntactic and logical aesthetics represent the pinnacle for elegance and beauty in the ALGOL family of programming languages. Eloquent Ruby is the perfect book to highlight this masterful language and Russ's blend of wit and wisdom is certain to entertain and inform."

--Michael Fogus

Contributor to the Clojure programming language and author of The Joy of Clojure

About the Author

Russ Olsen’s career spans three decades, during which he has written everything from graphics device drivers to document management applications. These days, he diligently codes GIS, web service security, and process automation solutions. He spends much of his otherwise free time writing and speaking about programming, especially Ruby and Clojure. His first book was the highly regarded Design Patterns In Ruby (Addison-Wesley, 2007). He is also the lurking presence behind the Technology As If People Mattered blog at www.russolsen.com.

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Product Details

  • Series: Addison-Wesley Professional Ruby
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (February 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321584104
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321584106
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,529 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is so easy to read yet so useful and informative that I read it in its entirety within 24 hours (across 2 distinct days admittedly ;-)).

Eloquent Ruby is a book published by Addison Wesley and written by Russ Olsen (who also wrote Design Patterns in Ruby a few years ago). It clocks in at around 400 pages and has 31 chapters clocking in at around a punchy 10 pages each. Each chapter is titled as a guideline you should follow to write "eloquent" Ruby - things like Create Classes That Understand Equality and Write Code That Looks Like Ruby - and typically the claim is explained, some code examples shown and discussed, some real world examples pointed to, and that's it. As with Design Patterns in Ruby, Russ adopts a chatty, familiar tone. Reading this book is like reading a book specifically written for you by a friend. He doesn't shoot off on many unnecessary tangents and he keeps the stories short and sweet but this book certainly couldn't be called dry.

The book is also notably short of egregious errors or omissions. Even when I don't read something with a fine-toothed comb on standby, I can usually pick out a laundry list of factual and grammatical errors or omissions (as both Obie Fernandez and my wife will attest) but Eloquent Ruby gave me little to chew on. I can only bring to mind a few spacing and formatting issues and only one true "error": a > instead of a < in a class definition on a single example.

Russ tries to remain neutral with his choice of Ruby implementations but the book seems to focus primarily on Ruby 1.9 (Ruby 1.9.1 specifically but that's just due to when he wrote it) while providing useful footnotes in the cases where there are differences to Ruby 1.8.
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Format: Paperback
For better or worse the vast majority of my work life journey has been travelled with Java as my vehicle of expression. However, by nature I have a burning desire to learn new languages and at one point or another I discovered Russ Olsen's (also the author of Eloquent Ruby) "Design Patterns in Ruby". Having at one time counted myself as a true-believer in everything pattern-esque, I was excited for the opportunity to learn Ruby under the aegis of The Gang of Four. However, what I found was something else entirely. I absolutely loved "Design Patterns in Ruby" for reasons that I was not expecting. That is, what I found was an extremely interesting book that was playful and as a nice side-effect *actually taught me how Ruby's powerful features make many design patterns unnecessary*.

Olsen, with his latest effort has mastered the art of writing a book that is extremely interesting, fun, and informative. As an author myself, I greatly admire the ability in other authors to take what many would consider dry and bland, a programming language book, and create something that is truly special. Let me not give the impression that "Eloquent Ruby" is filled with fluff however; on the contrary, of any Ruby book that I've read I have learn the most from Mr. Olsen's masterpiece.

"Eloquent Ruby" is written for the programmer like me: someone with previous programming experience, but with only a passing understanding of Ruby itself. The structure of the book will help guide the Ruby neophyte toward a stronger understanding of not only the language constructs and idioms, but also the Ruby culture.
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Format: Paperback
I can't even begin to imagine how difficult it would be to write a book covering such an in-depth topic as the Ruby Programming language. Add to that a target audience with a widely diverse range of skills and the tasks seems to be out right impossible. Fortunately for us mere mortals Russ Olsen has taken on this challenge and surpassed my high expectations in his second book, Eloquent Ruby.

The first part of the book is for the Ruby newbies, but takes an interesting deviation from most programming books. Instead of focusing simply on the syntax and language libraries, Eloquent Ruby focuses on the community aspect of the Ruby programming language. Each programming community has its own style and norms and without a lot of direction and practice, these style and norms can be difficult to learn. The Ruby community is heavily opinionated and Russ's book does a great job of explaining these opinions and their manifestation in many Ruby codebases.

In Part Two of Eloquent Ruby, Olsen dives into the core concepts and building blocks of the Ruby programming language. This section of the book covers the everyday usage patterns and common best practices when working with Ruby's classes, iterators, blocks, and modules.

The power and flexibility of Ruby is put on full display in Part Three of Russ's book. Newcomers to Ruby are often mystified by Ruby code that appears to be doing magical things like dynamically adding methods to a class. In this section, Russ pulls back the curtain and explains the magic that is metaprogramming. Those unfamiliar with the concept may find the topic confusing at first, but Olsen breaks it down in a way that is easy to understand.
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