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Ruby by Example: Concepts and Code 1st Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 068-9145714845
ISBN-10: 1593271484
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kevin C. Baird received his Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He originally wrote his dissertation in Python but rewrote the project after discovering Ruby, and he hasn't looked back since. He has presented at RubyConf and written articles for Linux Journal, Music & Computers magazine, and the New Interfaces for Musical Expression conference proceedings.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 326 pages
  • Publisher: No Starch Press; 1 edition (June 8, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593271484
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593271480
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,284,318 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Ruby By Example seeks to teach Ruby by introducing a series of small scripts, explaining how they work, often by showing some examples in irb, Ruby's interactive shell, and reinforcing the explanations with some suggested modifications to the script to highlight the principles just expounded. The closest examples in other languages I'm aware of are Dive Into Python and (to a lesser extent) Wicked Cool Perl Scripts.

This is a very nice idea, and there are some examples that are a cut above the usual fare: chapter 9 includes a Bible Code generator, and an implementation of the 'methinks it is like a weasel' sentence natural selection program from Richard Dawkins' The Blind Watchmaker. There's also mention of memoization, profiling and benchmarking, the Schwartzian transform for sorting, and even Symbol#to_proc. There's also quite a gentle introduction to Rails, which is probably sufficient for someone new to Ruby and Rails to move onto Ruby for Rails.

However, the execution isn't always perfect. Probably the biggest downside to this pedagogical approach is that there's not really one obvious place to describe how a particular feature works in depth, or the focus moves away from its practical use in a script. As a result, many of the explanations are compressed. Chapter 1 provides a 'crash' description of object orientation in 9 lines.
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Format: Paperback
This book has really helped me dive-in, start using, and more importantly start understanding Ruby. About a year before this book came out I read the Ruby Pick Axe but didn't feel like I had a great understanding and command of the language (I was also new to object oriented languages). I needed real life examples and actual code that illustrated Ruby concepts and showed them in action. That's exactly what I got with this book.

I think this book would be an excellent choice for someone wanting to learn Ruby, regardless of your level of programming experience. I'm self-taught with entry level programming skills and I had no problem understanding the concepts and examples in this book. The book even explains the basics like variables, objects, and methods and doesn't assume you know anything about object oriented languages, programming, or Ruby. The example scripts are pretty neat and very useful too. I've already started customizing my own version of the sample Rails photo album for my wedding pictures too. (Thanks Kevin!)

Whether you're looking to learn how to program or looking to learn a new language, I would highly recommend this book! I plan on keeping it in my programming book collection!
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Format: Paperback
If you want to learn Ruby quickly and you can only afford to buy one book to do it with, this is the one I would buy! It has interesting little projects with well documented code which introduces you gradually to more advanced topics in the language. It is not a cookbook, but rather, a very well picked selection of programmes where new concepts are thoroughly explained and older concepts are reinforced. There are "hacks" to just about every script and I was able to learn more from this than I did from grinding through the Pick Axe. Amazingly, now when I pick up the Pick Axe it seems accessible!

Well worth the investment!
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Format: Paperback
Any programmer who would better understand the basics of Ruby would do well to consider RUBY BY EXAMPLE, a learn-by-doing guide which analyzes a series of Ruby scripts, examining how the code works, explaining its concepts, and demonstrating modifications. Readers will learn how to use the interactive Ruby shell to maximum advantage to learn the language, and will learn to use utilities that help analyze HTML, XML and more. An important guide for any using or learning Ruby or Rails, and for reference libraries catering to this audience.

Diane C. Donovan
California Bookwatch
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Format: Paperback
I found this book to be a very refreshing approach to learning a programming language. The author did a great job of breaking down real world samples. He keeps it concise and to the point and that makes it much easier to learn. Not only does he use real world examples, he also explains many 'typical' programming utilities such as arrays, text manipulation, filtering, and even covers CSS and XML.

I think what I like best about the book is the layout of the information. Each lesson is laid out with the problem - the code - the explanation of how it works. The code is very clear, and the conventions used to distinguish different kinds of information are very clear. The code has several numbered items that are used in the explanation so you can follow the explanation line by line. And the author also tweaks the code in 'hack' sections of the book so you can learn to customize utilities quickly.

I would recommend this book for anyone who has an interest in learning Ruby quickly and thoroughly. You get hands on experience and real world examples that you can apply right away. If you want to learn Ruby and some basic concepts of OOP, get this book.Ruby by Example: Concepts and Code
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