Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Troubleshooting Ruby Processes

Philippe Hanrigou has written an excellent ‘shortcut’ for Addison-Wesley’s Professional Ruby Series. This is a really different kind of Ruby book, and one that’s long overdue.

Troubleshooting Ruby Processes takes a quick look at some of the Rubyland tools that developers can use to find problems, then dives into three (unix) system tools that aren’t as well known (or used) as they should be—lsof, strace, and gdb. This coverage makes up the bulk of the book.

I’ve spent some significant time with lsof and strace (less with gdb), but there were still things I learned from Philippe’s coverage—like using +r on lsof to cause it to stop refreshing when it no longer found a specific file. wow! Who knew? Philippe does a good job of introducing each of these tools, and keeping his discussion in a context useful to Ruby and Rails developers.

One easy to overlook feature of this shortcut is the supporting web page Philippe is maintaining. It is only mentioned as an aside in the conclusion of the book. Hopefully, readers don’t overlook it, because this may prove to be the most useful part of the book as it matures and collects additional tidbits from Philippe and from readers.

You can buy the book direct from Addision-Wesley. I think you’ll find it’s a great addition to your virtual bookshelf.

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