2011: Which Ruby books have you read? And which would you recommend?

I know there are a lot of threads about books, but some of them are as
old as 2006 - and I think it would be nice to get a more up to date list
of hot Ruby books, especially for anyone interested in learning the
latest version of Ruby, 1.9 (it’s still ok to recommend older books if
you feel they are still relevant).

I for one will be very eager to see which of the books you have read you
have ‘fallen in love with’ - they’re the ones I will most likely get
first :slight_smile:

Thanks in advance.


Which Ruby books have you read?
And which of those would you recommend?


I haven’t read many myself yet, but I have read The Well Grounded
Rubyist. It’s an utterly superb book. The author is a real-life
teacher and it really shows. He goes to great lengths to help make sure
the
book is as easily to digest as possible. Very VERY highly recommended,
especially for those of us new to Ruby (or coming to Ruby from Rails).

I started to read the Pickaxe book (Programming Ruby 1.9) but I didn’t
really get into it, then Ryan B. recommended the Well Grounded Rubyist
and I was engrossed in that (I read it cover to cover!). I have
restarted the Pickaxe book, though will be keeping an eye on this thread

  • any books that are very highly recommended might push in to my reading
    list before it!

I also started Metaprogramming Ruby (after reading The Well Grounded
Rubyist), got 30% through it then couldn’t do the quizz without cheating

  • so think it’s too much of a jump for me. Hence going back to more
    basics-covering texts like the Pickaxe book.

I’ll add more posts to this thread as and when I read more - you can’t
edit posts here, so please look out for further thoughts about the books
I’ve mentioned above for an more up-to-date viewpoint.

On Mon, Jan 31, 2011 at 12:18 PM, Aston J. [email protected] wrote:

I know there are a lot of threads about books, but some of them are as
old as 2006 - and I think it would be nice to get a more up to date list
of hot Ruby books, especially for anyone interested in learning the
latest version of Ruby, 1.9 (it’s still ok to recommend older books if
you feel they are still relevant).

I’d recommend “Using JRuby” from PragProg, which just recently went to
press :slight_smile:

  • Charlie

I know there are a lot of threads about books, but some of them are as
old as 2006 - and I think it would be nice to get a more up to date list
of hot Ruby books, especially for anyone interested in learning the
latest version of Ruby, 1.9 (it’s still ok to recommend older books if
you feel they are still relevant).

Makes sense :).

I for one will be very eager to see which of the books you have read you
have ‘fallen in love with’ - they’re the ones I will most likely get
first :slight_smile:

I have read, and absolutely love “The Ruby P.ming Language” by
Flannagan and Matz, and “Ruby Best Practices” by Gregory B… While
the former serves as a fantastic reference, the later deals with Ruby
programming practices in real projects and picking up a lot or Ruby
idioms.

Another interesting book that I had a chance to lay my hands on was
“Practical Ruby Projects” by Topher Cyll. I found it more fun than
practical; even the author sub-titles it “ideas for the eclectic
programmer”. It deals with things like: generating SVG animations,
implementing Lisp in Ruby (loved this chapter), creating music with
MIDI, Mac OS X GUI, Genetic Algorithms. Would suggest reading it in
leisure time, or at an intermediate level.

Hal F.'s “The Ruby Way” is another book that I have read. It was
the first Ruby book that I bought as The Pickaxe was way expensive in
India back then. I was able to learn a good deal from it as a
beginner. I would not recommend it though (not even to a beginner) as
you can learn the same thing (without paying for the book) from the
Ruby documentation, or Google. For the same reasons, I think it has
lost much of its significance now.

I have done some light reading on “Enterprise Integration with Ruby”,
and “Practical Ruby for System Administration”. They contain some
decent examples, but have a very beginner-ish and closed feeling to
it. I don’t think that they don’t teach you anything concrete, rather
gives you the answer to some closed form problems that you could have
come up with (think, google, think, implement) with any way.

Some books that have got good reviews, and I am looking forward to
read (waiting for cheaper Indian reprint to come out :)) are “Design
Patterns in Ruby”, and “Refactoring - Ruby Edition”. I think these
books are relevant as they teach you something concrete - patterns,
styles, and practices that you can apply, and reapply to different
problems later. Would refrain from commenting more as I have not
actually read them.

tl;dr - Learn Ruby by reading “The Ruby P.ming Language” while
get better at it by writing, and reading a lot of code (FOSS, fun
projects, rewriting class room assignments in Ruby). And yeah, "Ruby
Best Practices is excellent, and free (I love advertising it :)).

+1 http://rubybestpractices.com/ i’m really enjoying reading this book,
the
pdf is a permanent tab in chrome for me. I’m learning a lot from this
book!

i have both the 2nd & 3rd editions of the pickaxe (rb 1.8 & 1.9 resp.
technically i also have access to the first - online for free) i love
it
for the reference. i cant seem to get over needing a physical book to
turn pages on. and the fact that i can browse the std lib just by
flipping
pages. linkage: http://pragprog.com/titles/ruby3/programming-ruby-1-9

http://pragprog.com/titles/ruby3/programming-ruby-1-9i rather like the
ruby cookbook by o’reilly http://oreilly.com/catalog/9780596523695.
it’s
helped me learn a number of things that some people just assume you
know.
though i’m sure one can learn alot thats in this book by googling or
looking up source, having this much info at your fingertips is worth the
$50
IMO. unfortunately it dosnt cover ruby 1.9 & if your an experienced
developer it probably wont be much help, but for someone just starting i
do
recommend it.

recently i found a book called clever algorithms
http://www.cleveralgorithms.com/ and while it’s more aimed toward people
dealing with optimization problems & A.I. all of the example code is
written
in ruby (not in a very ruby-ish way, but it’s minimalist implementations
of
the algorithms). this book isn’t necessarily for everybody, but for
those
interested in A.I. & such it’s really cool. AND it’s free (print
version
~$20). (this especially rocks cause i found it on my B-day - which was
saturday, and A.I. is my main field of interest, so a ruby book dealing
with
A.I. thats free on my B-day… who could pass that up??)

lastly, the book that REALLY got me interested in ruby is why’s
(poignant) guide to ruby ( http://mislav.uniqpath.com/poignant-guide/ is
the
first archive i found, they’re all over) and really helped me learn ruby
when i was first starting out. i highly recommend it to anybody who
hasn’t
read it just because it’s a very interesting artistic work (if nothing
else)
and an interesting way to learn a programming language. i’d really like
more intro-to-this-language books like this.

that’s really it for me. next?

hex

I have Beginning Ruby and Beginning Rails. but no training as a
programmers the real world do not want to help us with the questions
about Ruby
James

— On Mon, 1/31/11, Anurag P. [email protected] wrote:

From: Anurag P. [email protected]
Subject: Re: 2011: Which Ruby books have you read? And which would you
recommend?
To: “ruby-talk ML” [email protected]
Date: Monday, January 31, 2011, 1:24 PM

I know there are a lot of threads about books, but some of them are as
old as 2006 - and I think it would be nice to get a more up to date list
of hot Ruby books, especially for anyone interested in learning the
latest version of Ruby, 1.9 (it’s still ok to recommend older books if
you feel they are still relevant).

Makes sense :).

I for one will be very eager to see which of the books you have read you
have ‘fallen in love with’ - they’re the ones I will most likely get
first :slight_smile:

I have read, and absolutely love “The Ruby P.ming Language” by
Flannagan and Matz, and “Ruby Best Practices” by Gregory B… While
the former serves as a fantastic reference, the later deals with Ruby
programming practices in real projects and picking up a lot or Ruby
idioms.

Another interesting book that I had a chance to lay my hands on was
“Practical Ruby Projects” by Topher Cyll. I found it more fun than
practical; even the author sub-titles it “ideas for the eclectic
programmer”. It deals with things like: generating SVG animations,
implementing Lisp in Ruby (loved this chapter), creating music with
MIDI, Mac OS X GUI, Genetic Algorithms. Would suggest reading it in
leisure time, or at an intermediate level.

Hal F.'s “The Ruby Way” is another book that I have read. It was
the first Ruby book that I bought as The Pickaxe was way expensive in
India back then. I was able to learn a good deal from it as a
beginner. I would not recommend it though (not even to a beginner) as
you can learn the same thing (without paying for the book) from the
Ruby documentation, or Google. For the same reasons, I think it has
lost much of its significance now.

I have done some light reading on “Enterprise Integration with Ruby”,
and “Practical Ruby for System Administration”. They contain some
decent examples, but have a very beginner-ish and closed feeling to
it. I don’t think that they don’t teach you anything concrete, rather
gives you the answer to some closed form problems that you could have
come up with (think, google, think, implement) with any way.

Some books that have got good reviews, and I am looking forward to
read (waiting for cheaper Indian reprint to come out :)) are “Design
Patterns in Ruby”, and “Refactoring - Ruby Edition”. I think these
books are relevant as they teach you something concrete - patterns,
styles, and practices that you can apply, and reapply to different
problems later. Would refrain from commenting more as I have not
actually read them.

tl;dr - Learn Ruby by reading “The Ruby P.ming Language” while
get better at it by writing, and reading a lot of code (FOSS, fun
projects, rewriting class room assignments in Ruby). And yeah, "Ruby
Best Practices is excellent, and free (I love advertising it :)).

I read and reviewed many Addison-Wesley books on Ruby lately, and my
favorites are:
– Refactoring, Ruby Edition –
http://www.informit.com/store/product.aspx?isbn=0321603508
– Design Patterns in Ruby –
http://www.informit.com/store/product.aspx?isbn=0321490452

They do not provide a lot of reference materials like The Pickaxe or The
Ruby Way, but they will teach you how to code in Ruby properly.

Concerning free (and recent) books, check out:
– The Little Book of Ruby –
http://www.sapphiresteel.com/The-Little-Book-Of-Ruby
– The Book of Ruby –
http://www.sapphiresteel.com/Blog/The-Book-Of-Ruby-free-in-depth

Fabio C.
**» email: [email protected]
[email protected]» web site: www.H3RALD.com http://www.h3rald.com

/Thanks for the replies everyone - keep them coming!/

I forgot to mention I have also read ‘Learn to Program’ by Chris P…
It really inspired me to learn the language - and made me feel like ‘I
can do it!’. If you’re new to programming it is a must read! You can
read the older version for free here: http://pine.fm/LearnToProgram or
buy an updated version.

I have also started to read Design Patterns in Ruby - only started it
last night but loving it already! Will post updated thoughts when I
finish it.

James (blackdeath) - there are some great tips in this thread already,
don’t lose hope. Read Learn to Program in the link above - it will raise
your spirits and show you that there are actually lots of people willing
to teach you this amazing language :slight_smile:

On 2011-01-31 13:18:38 -0500, Aston J. said:

Thanks in advance.


Which Ruby books have you read?
And which of those would you recommend?


There are five Ruby books that I enjoy dipping into and also refer to
when I want to read a perspective that I trust:

The Well-grounded Rubyist to be a facinating read, and in a similar
style I liked
Enterprise Rails by Dan Chak
Ruby P.ming Language by Flannagan and Matz
Ruby Best Practices by Gregory B…
Rails™ AntiPatterns: Best Practice Ruby on Rails™ Refactoring by Chad
Pytel & Tammer Saleh

I should also note that I have found that having PDFs of books
installed on my Nook Color gives me a way to occupy myself on the
subway. Note that the Topfunky screencasts also play on this device in
high resolution. Nice when you have some captive time to use.

I finished Design Patterns in Ruby by Russ Olsen - what a great book,
highly recommended! It doesn’t teach you Ruby, but rather how to use it.
Really is a great book and one I will probably read again.

I have now started Eloquent Ruby, which is by the same author. Only got
to chapter 6 but loving this book already. It’s a great book for those
who have already learnt the basics of Ruby, as it teaches you the Ruby
way, the way Rubyists are likely to use Ruby. I’ll post an update when
I’ve finished it.

I’m currently on chapter 5 of that book. So far I really like it.

I recently read Using JRuby, but that’s only interesting if you’re
interested in blending Java and Ruby. It’s still a great, book, though.

1)For Beginners:

a)The Pickaxe (i.e. Programming Ruby by Dave T., et al, the latest
edition). You need the docs in the back of the book for a reference–I
think this book is required for that reason alone.

b)Beginning Ruby: From Novice to Professional(latest edition) – a good,
basic book with some nice, lengthier examples and a good section on ruby
and the web(which is really the defacto docs on the subject, as far as I
can tell).

2)Intermediate:

a) The Well Grounded Rubyist (by David Black who also posts great advice
here). I thought it was a very good book, and I need to reread it.

b) MetaProgramming Ruby – pretty easy to understand, so don’t let the
word ‘metaprogramming’ throw you off. The setting is your new ruby
programming job at a company where you and your co-worker Bill rewrite
legacy code. Bill stops and gives you a complete tutorial about the
tricks he plans to employ to rewrite portions of the code. Then Bill
presents examples of the same tricks employed in various ruby libraries.
I thought the back and forth dialogue between Bill and the newbie(you)
was amusing.

The word “metaprogramming” as used here really means “dynamic”
programming, which I would define as programming in situations when you
have a variable name, method name, or class name as a string and you
want to do something to the actual variable, method, or class. The book
contains a good explanation of the class structure in ruby, and how to
keep track of what ‘self’ refers to.

  1. Advanced:

a) Design Patterns in Ruby – I’ve only read the beginning of this book,
and I really liked it. I have a design patterns book for Java, and
though patterns were originally developed for statically typed languages
like Java, the patterns are so complex that they are hard to understand.
And the complexity has largely to do with creating classes or interfaces
that allow you to produce a certain type.

One of the easier patterns, the Decorator pattern, can easily be
comprehended in a dynamically typed language like python and ruby–when
you eliminate all the type-ing.

I plan on buying this book next(on amazon because the $55 list price is
a ripoff), and I look forward to finally
understanding some of the GOF patterns with out all the type complexity
mucking things up.

On Tue, Mar 15, 2011 at 9:46 PM, 7stud – [email protected]
wrote:

The word “metaprogramming” as used here really means “dynamic”
programming, which I would define as programming in situations when you
have a variable name, method name, or class name as a string and you
want to do something to the actual variable, method, or class. The book
contains a good explanation of the class structure in ruby, and how to
keep track of what ‘self’ refers to.

“Dynamic programming” is already defined, though, it’s an approach to
writing algorithms. I think it’s not a very fitting name for that, and
think
your definition is hinting at a much more useful concept, but
nonetheless it
is claimed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_programming

Finished Eloquent Ruby the other day - another great book from Russ
Olsen, well worth a read!

On 03/15/2011 09:01 PM, Josh C. wrote:

“Dynamic programming” is already defined, though, it’s an approach to
writing algorithms. I think it’s not a very fitting name for that, and think
your definition is hinting at a much more useful concept, but nonetheless it
is claimed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_programming

It is a pretty unfortunate name with an odd story behind it:
http://www.eng.tau.ac.il/~ami/cd/or50/1526-5463-2002-50-01-0048.pdf
http://www.eng.tau.ac.il/~ami/cd/or50/1526-5463-2002-50-01-0048.pdf

-Justin

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