"Big in Japan" was a pejorative term for failed pop musicians, but it accurately describes the Ruby language, designed by Yukihiro Matsumoto. The authors--who wrote The Pragmatic Programmer
--feel it deserves a wider exposure in the English-speaking world.
Ruby is fully object oriented with a simple and consistent syntax. It is Open Source and freely available from ftp:ftp.netlab.co.jp/pub/lang/ruby as well as many mirrors. In Programming Ruby the authors set out to show that Ruby can and should replace languages such as Perl, Python, SmallTalk and C++; from which it takes all the best features--even Perl's excellent regular expression support.
The book is in four parts: a tutorial; a section on installing and running it in various environments; a section on the inner workings and interrelationships of the language; and, finally, a huge library reference. The authors make their case for the language's simplicity, predictability and flexibility. Unlike languages which have grown by accretion, such as Perl, it is remarkably clean.
Clearly a labour of love, Programming Ruby is equally clean and the authors' enthusiasm for it drips from the pages. Certainly, if you are passionate about efficient, error-free coding Ruby is hard to beat. There are, though, an awful lot of languages available already.
Ruby is certainly worth a look just to see how simple and accessible an object-oriented language can be when its author can draw on the best and throw away the rest. Working programmers will decide whether Ruby gains widespread acceptance but in Programming Ruby it has a powerful and convincing advocate. --Steve Patient
From the Back Cover
Developers from around the world are using the Ruby language. Here’s what they’re saying about Programming Ruby...
“In their first landmark book, The Pragmatic Programmer, Dave and Andy urged us to learn at least one new programming language every year. It may follow the principle of least surprise that the authors would bring us this year’s candidate, accompanied with a pragmatic philosophy of how to learn your new OO scripting language of choice.”
, independent consultant
“Ruby is an exciting new language, worth knowing about and well worth considering for an upcoming project. It's rare to see such a useful book this early in the life of a new language. But of course I would expect no less from the authors of The Pragmatic Programmer. Andy and Dave: Thanks!”
, author of Extreme Programming Installed
“I have used Perl and Python for my work... but Ruby just turns my work into fun!”
“Ruby is a remarkably clean, simple, powerful, and practical dynamic OO programming language. Ruby fully deserves this correspondingly best-of-breed book. This book is a ‘must have’ wizard’s workshop for using Ruby to boost your programming power and productivity. This book will greatly amplify the worldwide use of Ruby, stimulate powerful Ruby extensions, and generate demand for second and third editions. I look forward to telling later legions of Ruby users that I was farsighted enough to master Ruby using the classic first edition of Programming Ruby.”
“A good book by a great pair of programmers about a language with a great future. This should be the first Ruby book anyone buys.”
“Dave and Andy are among the western pioneers who understand the value of this precious gem of a language. They cleaned and polished it well, dazzling us all with its depth and transparency. It's almost magical.”
—Aleksi Niemelä Use Ruby and you'll write better code, be more productive, and enjoy programming more.
"I love it. Conceptually it is really clean, and sweet."
--Kent Beck, author of Extreme Programming Explained
, on the Ruby language
Ruby is a true object-oriented programming language that makes the craft of programming easier. Ruby is a transparent language: It doesn't obscure your program behind unnecessary syntax or reams of extra support code. Guided by the Principle of Least Surprise, Ruby embodies the values of consistency and simplicity of expression. It's more than a programming language: It's a concise way of expressing ideas. Ruby supports natural intelligence--yours.
Programming Ruby: The Pragmatic Programmer's Guide is your complete Ruby resource. It provides a tutorial and overview of Ruby version 1.6; a detailed description of the language's structure, syntax, and operation; a guide to building applications with Ruby; and a comprehensive library reference.
Mining real rubies is hard work done with a pickaxe, but mining ruby the language is simple With this book, you'll find it remarkably easy to Learn Ruby basics. You'll find normal stuff like classes, objects, and exceptions, as well as more interesting features, such as infinite-precision integers, iterators, mixins, and threads.
- Write large, well-structured Ruby programs
- Write CGI scripts and create dynamic Ruby pages for the Web
- Create cross-platform GUI applications
- Access Microsoft Windows native API calls and automate Windows applications
- Extend Ruby using C code
Other gems you'll find in Programming Ruby include:
- An alphabetical reference to all of the built-in classes, modules, and the standard library, documenting over a thousand methods
- A reference to object-oriented design libraries, network and Web libraries, and Microsoft Windows support
- A guide to downloading the Ruby language itself, as well as other Ruby resources
- Numerous examples (that really work) appear throughout the book. You will come away from this book with an appreciation for Ruby's power, flexibility, and clarity. You'll be armed with the information you need to put Ruby to work for you and your projects.
The authors maintain the Ruby FAQ, which can be found on-line at both www.rubycentral.com and www.pragmaticprogrammer.com.