This is an excellent book for anyone getting started with Ruby, or who has been using Rails for a little while and feels they need stronger Ruby skills (which, I suspect, describes a great number of Rails programmers, myself included).
Despite its title, this is not just a beginner's book. It does start at the beginning, and it is written without assuming a lot of background, but it is not a simplified, dumbed-down treatment. I found it to be very easy to read, and it follows a natural progression from language basics through a variety of advanced topics.
The author is a very experienced Ruby programmer, and his insights shine throughout the book. (Among many other things, he's the creator of Feed Digest, Ruby Inside, and code snippets, which he sold to DZone.
In addition to an exposition of the language that builds nicely over the course of the book, there's chapters on the Ruby ecosystem, how to design an application, and network programming. There's also a chapter that covers many of the useful libraries and gems.
There is one chapter that summarizes Rails, but this is definitely a Ruby book, not a Rails book.
Any Ruby book will inevitably be compared to Dave Thomas' Programming Ruby (commonly known as "the Pickaxe" for the image on its cover), which has been the standard reference for the language since its debut and won't lose its spot as a reference work. I found Beginning Ruby to be easier to absorb, however, and I thought the examples were especially clear and useful. If you're already deep into Ruby, you probably don't need this book. But if you're relatively early in the learning curve, I highly recommend it.
- Paperback: 631 pages
- Publisher: Apress (26 March 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1590597664
- ISBN-13: 978-1590597668
- Product Dimensions: 19.1 x 3.8 x 23.5 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 1 Kg
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 189,589 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)