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The Ruby Programming Language Paperback – 4 Feb 2008
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About the Author
Yukihiro Matsumoto ("Matz"), the creator of Ruby, is a professional programmer who worked for the Japanese open source company, netlab.jp. Matz is also known as one of the open source evangelists in Japan. He's released several open source products, including cmail, the emacs-based mail user agent, written entirely in emacs lisp. Ruby is his first piece of software that has become known outside of Japan.
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Top Customer Reviews
As of the start of 2008 this book is REALLY fresh and up to date. Its style is very direct and matter-of-fact; well suited for existing Ruby developers and proficient developers coming from other languages. The examples are clear and logical and the explanations concise; this is a well edited and authoritative book.
The structure of the book is a delight with ten well-defined chapters (with titles such as Reflection and Metaprogramming, Statements and Control Structures, and Expressions and Operators) that each contain a tree of sections. Consider Chapter 4, Expressions and Operators. A sample dive down to section 22.214.171.124 takes us through 4.5, Assignments; 4.5.5, Parallel Assignment; and finally to 126.96.36.199, One lvalue, multiple rvalues. This is a breath of fresh air in a Ruby reference work.
The only downside, in terms of the thousands who might be browsing Amazon looking for a single Ruby book to start off with, is that this book is so well focused on documenting the core elements of the Ruby language, it doesn't work either as a tutorial / beginner's introduction to Ruby, or as an exhaustive reference work (as, on both fronts, the Pickaxe attempts to be.Read more ›
It's seldom to come by a book where there is so much information packed into so few pages (relatively), and it should maybe be read more slowly than other programming books. Especially the last few chapters are incredibly dense. And as far as I can tell, it covers just about anything there is to know about ruby and there is code examples in abundance. The diff between ruby 1.8 and ruby 1.9 is pulled of quite nicely as well although the book would be even clearer if it had just covered one version. All in all a great book.
However whilst all this might look simple, somewhere there has to be complexity. Every page reveals the detailed rules and a lot of them are not intuitive. You get to see how it all fits together - a creation, rather than a machine. You also get the designer's view on what is good, and what should best be left alone.
So it's a pleasure to read and re-read but also invaluable for interpreting things in code you come across.
It's essential for people new to Ruby (what are the scope rules for code brought in via require or mixins?). It's equally essential for seasoned programmers (what are the features that are commonly used by other experts versus those that are rarely needed?)
You would have to be pretty clever to start writing Ruby applications just reading this book, but that's not what it's for. It's for answering all those little fundemental questions you're not quite sure about.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book itself is excellent, but page formatting of code on Kindle is a mess.
This does not happen on Kindle app on iPad.
It's so ridiculous, Amazon!
A waste of money really. Only really covers the basics. if you can already program this is a pretty pointless book and not a massively useful reference. Read morePublished on 8 Mar. 2013 by j0hn
I would agree with the reviewers above, but I found one significant omission. There is nothing in this book on CGI programming. Read morePublished on 31 July 2011 by Actinia
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