Saturday, April 21, 2007

Reviewing Beginning Ruby

I’ve been reading Beginning Ruby by Peter Cooper. I’m really impressed.

The forward (a comic by why the lucky stiff) grabs you immediately, and sets a great Ruby tone for the rest of the book. While Peter doesn’t hit the level of controlled insanity that Why carries off, as a member of the Ruby community he’s able stick to the same high level of “Rubyness”.

There are several things I really liked about the book. Peter hits several topics that you don’t normally see in a book for beginners, including: Benchmarking and Profiling, RubyInline, and Network Programming (including the use of GServer). I also enjoyed his examples. The shorter “building a text adventure” section was great. Chapter 12, “Tying It Together: Developing a Larger Ruby Application”, brings together several ideas and does a really good job of showing how to develop a tool with Ruby. Chapter 16, “Useful Ruby Libraries and Gems”, provides solid coverage of a number of gems and libraries.

Beginning Ruby is a great book for a new programmer, or a programmer new to Ruby. It’s a great alternative to the other beginner’s books on Ruby out there.

4 comments:

Peter Cooper said...

Thanks Pat! I have no idea how I missed this post till now as I usually see your posts straight away :)

Daniel Fischer said...

Awesome, this is perfect - I think I could use this.

Brian said...

"Building a text adventure?"

Hrumph. I was just in the midst of wrapping up an article on writing a simple interactive fiction game in Python, thinking about how Ruby might be a better choice and how maybe I would write a new, more extensive version of the series in Ruby. So Peter Cooper already covered it?

I must learn to both think and write more quickly.

J.J. said...

Indeed great book. Errata is few and far between! It truly stands up to the quality of the other Ruby books out there in terms of writing, content, and accuracy, and yet it still fills a niche that puts it squarely between Mr. Pine's "Learn to Program" and The Pickaxe Book. Though having the Pickaxe handy (for the reference section) is useful.