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Build Awesome Command-Line Applications in Ruby 2: Control Your Computer, Simplify Your Life [Paperback]

David B. Copeland

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Book Description

25 Nov 2013 1937785750 978-1937785758 1

Speak directly to your system. With its simple commands, flags, and parameters, a well-formed command-line application is the quickest way to automate a backup, a build, or a deployment and simplify your life. With this book, you'll learn specific ways to write command-line applications that are easy to use, deploy, and maintain, using a set of clear best practices and the Ruby programming language. This book is designed to make any programmer or system administrator more productive in their job. Now updated for Ruby 2.

Writing a command-line application that's self-documenting, robust, adaptable and forever useful is easier than you might think. Ruby is particularly suited to this task, because it combines high-level abstractions with "close to the metal" system interaction wrapped up in a concise, readable syntax. Plus, Ruby has the support of a rich ecosystem of open source tools and libraries.

Ten insightful chapters each explain and demonstrate a command-line best practice. You'll see how to use these tools to elevate the lowliest automation script to a maintainable, polished application. You'll learn how to use free, open source parsers to create user-friendly command-line interfaces as well as command suites. You'll see how to use defaults to keep options simple for everyday users, while giving advanced users options for more complex tasks. There's no reason why a command-line application should lack documentation, whether it's part of a help command or a man page; you'll find out when and how to use both. Your journey from command-line novice to pro ends with a look at valuable approaches to testing your apps, and includes some fun techniques for outside-the-box, colorful interfaces that will delight your users.

With Ruby, the command line is not dead. Long live the command line.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf; 1 edition (25 Nov 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1937785750
  • ISBN-13: 978-1937785758
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 19.1 x 1.2 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 874,787 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


""Some command-line applications save time and are a joy to use. Others just make you want to tear your hair out. David Copeland has written a guide to writing the kind of command-line apps that will make your users want to hug you. From providing a humane command-line interface, to being self-documenting, to integrating seamlessly with the rest of the command-line universe--this book will show you how to take your scripts from adequate to awesome.""--Avdi Grimm, Ruby developer, author, Exceptional Ruby, and blogger, Virtuous Code""This book proves that text mode is not the just the domain of batch scripts and glue code. Beyond the extensive survey of current Ruby CLI tools, David brings an unmatched focus on user experience and testing. Every full-stack developer should learn how to build the kinds of apps covered in this book.""--Wynn Netherland, CTO, Pure Charity""I know of no other Ruby book that covers the content in this useful work, especially with its eye toward making Ruby command-line applications better citizens.""--Noel Rappin, Senior engineer at Groupon and author, Rails Test Prescriptions

About the Author

David Bryant Copeland is a veteran professional software developer who spends most of his time on the command line. He speaks frequently at national and regional Ruby conferences and has built many command-line and web applications, using the command-line to productive effect.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice work 4 May 2014
By Siddhardha - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Over the years, I have written 'one-off' command line based tools that I found harder over time to maintain and use them consistently for the task at hand. I always felt that I hadn't given them the thought and effort they deserved. Then I stumbled upon on this book and I purchased a copy of it and I'm glad I did. This book offers very good guidance on building command line applications specifically with Ruby 2 (but many of the ideas translate to other languages as well). The author uses some of the well known command line utilities to explain why they are designed that way and how to use that knowledge into building our own awesome application. From design to testing to maintenance to distribution, it's all covered. I need to build a command line tool shortly at my work place and I feel like I'm finally equipped with what I need to deliver a well designed command line application. There are only couple of typos in the book and they are easy to spot. I typed all the code myself (as opposed to using the downloaded version) and tested it and for the most part it worked as expected. There were one or two places in the later chapters where you will need to download the sample code and make adjustments to certain files (gemspec, Rakefile etc.) to verify expected behaviour. Highly recommended.
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