Practical Ruby Gems review

After waiting in the Slashdot pending queue for over a month (!), my
review of David Berube’s Practical_Ruby_Gems finally made it to the
front page: http://books.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/06/18/1623249.

On Jun 18, 5:37 pm, Tim H. [email protected] wrote:

After waiting in the Slashdot pending queue for over a month (!), my
review of David Berube’s Practical_Ruby_Gems finally made it to the
front page:http://books.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/06/18/1623249.

Congratulations.

How did you feel about the choice of gems? Was it a good list? Was it
missing some really important gems? Was there a theme to the choices?
(Most veteran? Most interesting? Randomly chosen?)

How did you feel about the choice of gems? Was it a good list? Was it
missing some really important gems? Was there a theme to the choices?
(Most veteran? Most interesting? Randomly chosen?)

I’ve paged through this a bunch of times, doing the “no I won’t buy it
well maybe I will” thing in the bookstore. Bits of it seem pretty
basic, but the review mentions some kind of natural-language stuff
that seems pretty nifty.


Giles B.

Blog: http://gilesbowkett.blogspot.com
Portfolio: http://www.gilesgoatboy.org

Phrogz wrote:

missing some really important gems? Was there a theme to the choices?
(Most veteran? Most interesting? Randomly chosen?)

Yes, I thought the choice was good. The list includes rake, mongrel,
pdf-writer, Camping, hpricot, and markaby. You’ve gotta figure that any
gem in that company is pretty good. Not every gem is “big,” like Rails.
Some are small, like linguistics. You can get the full table of contents
from the Apress web site:
http://www.apress.com/book/supplementDownload.html?bID=10261&sID=4231.

David and I corresponded by email and he said I could quote him, so
here’s what he told me about how he made his choices:

“As far as deciding which gems, …I tried to look at things that had
practical applications - as well as things where I could give it an
interesting angle. Above all, I tried to cover different material in a
different way - I wanted to get people to think “wow, that’s great.” Of
course, not everything was completely off the beaten path - Rails, for
example, was covered, and that’ easily the most popular gem, and RMagick
isn’t exactly unpopular either, but I tried to show gems which could
make very difficult, less covered problems - like programatically using
zip files as a container, writing PDFs, or automating SSH tasks - into
easy problems…The biggest thing for me is that I wanted to make people
say ‘You can do that with Ruby?’”

Giles B. wrote:

How did you feel about the choice of gems? Was it a good list? Was it
missing some really important gems? Was there a theme to the choices?
(Most veteran? Most interesting? Randomly chosen?)

I’ve paged through this a bunch of times, doing the “no I won’t buy it
well maybe I will” thing in the bookstore. Bits of it seem pretty
basic, but the review mentions some kind of natural-language stuff
that seems pretty nifty.

You might be thinking about the “linguistics” gem, which isn’t even
listed in the table of contents. (A lagniappe, I guess.) I thought it
was pretty cool, too. It’s one of those things that I want to try to
find a need for.

http://www.deveiate.org/code/Linguistics/

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