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Wicked Cool Ruby Scripts: Useful Scripts that Solve Difficult Problems 1st Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 068-9145718249
ISBN-10: 1593271824
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"In Wicked Cool Ruby Scripts Mr. Pugh uses simple but functional example scripts, and then dissects them in detail so that the reader understands exactly what each part of the script does...I give Wicked Cool Ruby Scripts a big thumbs-up."

"I like Steve's style. The foreword and introduction are succinct and to the point. His style and tone are very accessible and the book is informative throughout." --LinuxPlanet

Review

"I like Steve's style. The foreword and introduction are succinct and to the point. His style and tone are very accessible and the book is informative throughout."
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: No Starch Press; 1 edition (December 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593271824
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593271824
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,241,353 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I agree with the others who say the book isn't aimed at a particular audience. It is all over the place from useful, but basic scripts to manipulate the filesystem, to a basic Suduko solver(which I actually liked except for the errors)**, to absolutely pointless games.

I liked the image manipulation scripts because it doesn't use the 60% solution known as Paperclip and shows some good use of the Rmagick gem which is one of the best gems around, even its docs are pretty good, which translates to amazing relative to your average Ruby Gem.

The sorting algorithms seem completely out of place in a not-at-all academic book. I wouldn't normally dump on algorithm coverage, but without the basic background it is worthless and none of these are worth using over sort().

Some of the networking scripts are laughable, like the subnet calculator which is a ridiculous tiny wrapper around ipaddr library. Writing one from scratch would have been a far better learning experience for the reader.

With so many stupidly simple scripts, with the occasional moderate difficulty scripts, it seems that the target audience are fairly new programmers, or experienced programmers looking to learn a little Ruby. Problem is, there is the last chapter: Metasploit. There is no way that someone who is going to get something out of most of this book will be able to make heads or tails of opcodes and payloads. Talk about being all over the map.

The biggest problem that made me consider giving it one-star is the scripts are not written to be shell friendly. ie using stdin and stdout. A lot of these could be chained together to be quite useful, but I don't recall any real discussion about this. Ruby is most definitely a language that shines in *nix-land.
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Format: Paperback
Thanks to No Starch Press for my review copy!

From the Description

Wicked Cool Ruby Scripts provides 58 scripts that offer quick solutions to problems like system administration, manipulating images, and managing a website. After getting your feet wet creating simple scripts to automate tasks like file compression and decompression, you'll learn how to create powerful web crawlers, security scripts, and full-fledged libraries and applications, as well as how to:

* Rename files, disable processes, change permissions, and modify users
* Manipulate strings, encrypt files, and sort efficiently
* Validate web links, check for orphan files, and generate forms
* Mass edit photos, extract image information, and create thumbnails
* Parse CSV files and scrape links, images, and pages from the Web

Ruby is a highly extendable and sometimes confusing language especially when you throw in all the various rubygems out there. Wicked Cool Ruby Scripts provides many examples on how to use the various gems to script together quick hacks (wicked scripts) to various problems one may encounter.

Steve walks us through the problem we are trying to solve, the the code to solve the problem, how to run the code, what the results look like, a lengthy discussion on how it works and "hacking the script" with ideas on how to extend what we wrote. All the code is well commented (see the sample chapter on No Starch Press) and well explained.

Pros:
Easy and fun to read, font is readable, doesn't contain pages and pages of uncommented code, source code is available, companion website exists, and the book left me with memorable ways to remember and use the material.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You know, this guy has really hit the nail on the head with this book. It's practical. IMHO the best way to learn a language is to use it, so here ya go. And he explains everything from syntax to methods along the way. Not to mention the programs in the book are surprisingly useful too.

Good job, well worth the $$
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If you are just getting into Ruby or even have been using code for sometime, this is a great book for all! It is full of a ton of useful and functional examples of code, perfect for expediting that learning curve and trying to solve that problem you've been working on for weeks.

As another user commented, it serves as a great reference book and also a fun and interesting read.
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I bought this book a few weeks ago. My boss asked me to learn Ruby so I could give a hand to some colleagues in a project that was running late. The book is a simple collection of scripts written in Ruby. However, I do not regret my purchase at all. If you already "speak" some programming language, the book is a great tool to learn Ruby. No boring introduction to syntax, variables, classes and the like. Just nice and useful scripts to learn by example. Need to learn socket I/O? Check the Servers section. Need to code some algorithm? Check chapter 9. Encrypt/Decrypt files? Manipulate images? Scrap a website? Parse XML? You'll find examples for everything. It even has a chapter on writing extensions to metasploit, which was unexpected but very convenient for me since I do pentesting from time to time.

For every script in the book you'll find how to run the code, the output it produces, an explanation of how it works and some hints on how to hack the script for your own needs.

Summing up. If you are looking for an in-depth guide to the Ruby language, then this book is not the best option. But if you already know some programming language and need to learn Ruby quick and by example, the book is a great choice.
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