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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ruby's "Camel"
A one-stop shop for your Ruby needs. Which is just as well, as the nation's bookshelves are not exactly heaving with up-to-date Ruby books. If you already know how to program in an Object Oriented language, then this will efficiently introduce you to the Perl It's Ok To Like. If you don't know OOP (or how to program at all), you will find this hard...
Published on 20 Mar 2006

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not enough for a beginner
I bought this book on the basis of the other positive reviews. It's not a bad book, but neither is it great - more specifically, I'd say it's not enough for a beginner. I have it on my desk as I try to write Ruby code for the first time, and its reference section is very handy (for example, for figuring out what I can do with Strings and regular expressions). But that's...
Published on 29 April 2008 by B. Coppin


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ruby's "Camel", 20 Mar 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Programming Ruby: The Pragmatic Programmer's Guide, Second Edition (Paperback)
A one-stop shop for your Ruby needs. Which is just as well, as the nation's bookshelves are not exactly heaving with up-to-date Ruby books. If you already know how to program in an Object Oriented language, then this will efficiently introduce you to the Perl It's Ok To Like. If you don't know OOP (or how to program at all), you will find this hard going.
Apart from an introduction to the syntax and classes, a major plus point is that it also provides information on core utilities: documentation with RDoc, and package management and deployment with RubyGems. Also, there are chapters on using Ruby for CGI scripting and SOAP web services, and an introduction to building GUIs with Tk. The last half of the book is a reference to the built-in classes and modules, and the standard library, which you will find yourself referring to regularly as you make your first steps.
My one problem is that the examples are too fragmentary. There's a jukebox application that is sketched out, but only to cover the basics. Many of the examples are admittedly contrived, and serve only to illustrate potential gotchas and corner cases rather than standard usage. As I began deploying Ruby for my own scripts, I found myself having to scamper back and forth across the entire book to get everything I needed to make a script run.
That said, this is a nice, comprehensive book. It's not been the life-changing event for me that it appears to have been for some, but it's well-written and it'll get you going quickly.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear and concise - as beautiful and the language it teaches, 27 Dec 2005
This review is from: Programming Ruby: The Pragmatic Programmer's Guide, Second Edition (Paperback)
I recently came across the Rails web framework that utilises the ruby language. It's an exciting framework that makes web application development very simple - but what is this ruby language it is built on?
Once you need to go somewhere that the rails doesn't take you, you'll need to know ruby. That's where this book comes in to play.
This book teaches you in a concise and clear way. Soon you'll understand ruby - which differs quite significantly from most other programming languages. When you've broken down the barriers of understanding you'll wonder why other languages are not made like this.
The book comprises of an initial step-by-step approach that introduces you to the language and its concepts with practical examples and good explanations, and a second part that gives a comprehensive reference for the latest version of Ruby.
In the end you'll know everything you'll need to know to make great apps using ruby.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely superb book, 1 Feb 2006
By 
Mr. K. Akram "Alkemist" (Wembley, London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Programming Ruby: The Pragmatic Programmer's Guide, Second Edition (Paperback)
I came across Ruby on Rails about 2 months ago, and originally discovered Ruby about a year ago, but did not delve much into it.
I started the tutorial on the rails web site and it really did blow me away. I ordered both the Ruby and Rails books from Amazon immediately and have been devouring chapters daily from both.
Ruby is an excellent language. Fully OO, and a lovely syntax. I thought Java was nice (and it is), but Ruby is a real gem ... :-)
This book will enter the halls of great books like "The C Programming Language", "The Java Programming Language" and "The C++ Programming Language".
It is very well thought out, very concise, and avoids the pleonasms and verbiage that afflict some languages. It has some features that I've not found in other languages: the code blocks and 'yield' constructs are really nice. Don't think of it as an OO version of Perl: it is so much more than that.
If you want to learn Ruby - this really is a superb place to start. If Ruby is going to prove to be a challenger to Java in years to come, then this book is a perfect place to start your Ruby journey. It is indeed a mine of information.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ruby book to own, 4 Jun 2007
By 
Craig Taverner (Sweden) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Programming Ruby: The Pragmatic Programmer's Guide, Second Edition (Paperback)
I originally bought this book to learn Ruby, but since then it has been the reference manual beside my keyboard for all Ruby and Rails applications. It is well written and complete, more so than expected. Three books in one, a beginners introduction, a detailed tutorial, and a reference manual.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful as a primer and a reference, 17 Dec 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Programming Ruby: The Pragmatic Programmer's Guide, Second Edition (Paperback)
I learnt the basics of Ruby within about half a day using this book and managed to produce a piece of coursework quickly thereafter using this book as a reference for the methods I needed. The clear style makes the book very easy to read which reflects that clean and intuitive workings of the Ruby language. Read this and Ruby will fast become a pleasure!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not enough for a beginner, 29 April 2008
By 
B. Coppin "ben31415" (Cambridgeshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Programming Ruby: The Pragmatic Programmer's Guide, Second Edition (Paperback)
I bought this book on the basis of the other positive reviews. It's not a bad book, but neither is it great - more specifically, I'd say it's not enough for a beginner. I have it on my desk as I try to write Ruby code for the first time, and its reference section is very handy (for example, for figuring out what I can do with Strings and regular expressions). But that's slightly under half of the book. The rest of it I found to be superficial and almost perversely unclear.

For example, I wanted to know what the command was to write some text out to a file. Surely I should be able to find that! But the section of the book entitled "Writing to files" is nothing to do with that, and as far as I can tell there is nowhere in the book that tells you how to do it. I figured it out, of course, and it's vey simple, but as a beginner I needed a book that would tell me things like that.

Similarly, the section on loops is amazingly shallow. I wanted to know how to implement a loop equivalent to a do...while loop in C. The "Loops" section of the book describes the until loop, but does not mention when the condition is evaluated. By trial and error I figured out that it does not do what I needed, and I had to resort to the internet for the solution.

Anyway, enough ranting. It's not a bad book and has a good reference section at the back, but if you're trying to learn Ruby from scratch, you'll need another book as well.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 6 April 2008
This review is from: Programming Ruby: The Pragmatic Programmer's Guide, Second Edition (Paperback)
If you want to learn or make use of the impressive Ruby language you _need_ this book
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