Everyday Scripting with Ruby: For Teams, Testers, and You 1st Edition
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The book consists of 4 parts, each gradually increasing in difficulty. The first part is called "Basics" and, as it says, covers the very basics of Ruby starting with objects and message sending and also introducing the irb. The Basics part also covers string manipulation, arrays and conditional logic. The second part is called "Growing a Script" and expands on introducing the ruby language by introducing booleans, regular expressions and booleans. Also, to me the most interesting part of the book, Brian explains how he gradually builds up scripts.
The Third part is called "Working in a World Full of People" and covers how to grow a script to take error handling and different input into account. It introduces Hashes and Modules. After this part, most basic ruby knowledge is covered and, if the reader can put that in practice he ought to be a pretty ok scripter. There is a final part called "The Accomplished Scripter" in which the author explains the watchdog framework he wrote using that to explain how to build frameworks.
The book did more than I expected. When I curiously started reading it, I expected it to just explain Ruby (and didn't expected to finish the book). However, I found that following the author writing his scripts made the book, for me, worth reading. That is, following the thoughts of the author and how he gradually build up his scripts. It is a book that I will definitively recommend for people new to Ruby and who want to use it as a scripting language. I wouldn't recommend it for people already familiar to Ruby, unless you want to read about how Brian designs his scripts. Because of that, 4 stars. Good book!
Were I in the target audience, I would probably find it useful, hence the 4 star rating. But if you passed Computer Literacy in 7th grade, some of this will be a refresher.