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Everyday Scripting with Ruby: For Teams, Testers and You

Brian Marick
Published by Pragmatic Bookshelf
ISBN:0-977-61661-4
310 pages
£ 20.99
Published: 30th January 2007
reviewed by Lindsay Marshall
   in the June 2007 issue (pdf), (html)
bookcover  

This is a book in the Pragmatic Programmers series, and, as I vaguely recall saying in another, I have to own up to not being fond of the books in it so far. They have been decidedly underwhelming and not really up to the standards of other O'Reilly books. IMHO: the intertubes are full of rave reviews of the series so I seem to be a bit out on a limb on this one.

The current book does seem to be a little better than others though - lots of good clear, useful examples and even getting into exception handling and more advanced OO programming. But there is still much that I don't find attractive. I find the tone of the book decidedly condescending in places and I wonder who is the intended audience. Experienced programmers will find much of the material redundant, so it must be for keen novices who want to get on the Ruby bandwagon (it's not a juggernaut just yet). There are exercises at the end of the chapters (something for which I have a deep-seated and entirely irrational dislike) so it may be intended for teaching but it doesn't seem geared quite that way either. There are sort of UML diagrams for some of the code examples which seems to make it a bit more technical. I am at a loss to tell who it's for.

The real weakness of the book though is its presentation. The paper feels coarser than usual and the pages just don't seem clear. In particular example outputs are presented in a typeface that is just seems to be just too small to be comfortably readable, even wearing my glasses. (There is no colophon in this series so I can't tell you what face it is either). Perhaps it is a plot to make Ruby inaccessible to older people by making the books hard to read for aging eyes.

So to summarise: sound technical content, some nice examples, but not nice to read or look at. If you are a member of the target audience then it may well be great, but I have no idea who you are.

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Page last modified 12 Jul 2007
Copyright © 1995-2011 UKUUG Ltd.

Everyday Scripting with Ruby: For Teams, Testers and You, by Brian Marick
 UKUUG home

UKUUG

(the UK's Unix & Open Systems User Group)

Home

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About UKUUG

UKUUG Diary

Membership

Book Discounts

Other Discounts

Mailing lists

Sponsors

Newsletter

Consulting

 


 

Everyday Scripting with Ruby: For Teams, Testers and You

Brian Marick
Published by Pragmatic Bookshelf
ISBN:0-977-61661-4
310 pages
£ 20.99
Published: 30th January 2007
reviewed by Lindsay Marshall
   in the June 2007 issue (pdf), (html)
bookcover  

This is a book in the Pragmatic Programmers series, and, as I vaguely recall saying in another, I have to own up to not being fond of the books in it so far. They have been decidedly underwhelming and not really up to the standards of other O'Reilly books. IMHO: the intertubes are full of rave reviews of the series so I seem to be a bit out on a limb on this one.

The current book does seem to be a little better than others though - lots of good clear, useful examples and even getting into exception handling and more advanced OO programming. But there is still much that I don't find attractive. I find the tone of the book decidedly condescending in places and I wonder who is the intended audience. Experienced programmers will find much of the material redundant, so it must be for keen novices who want to get on the Ruby bandwagon (it's not a juggernaut just yet). There are exercises at the end of the chapters (something for which I have a deep-seated and entirely irrational dislike) so it may be intended for teaching but it doesn't seem geared quite that way either. There are sort of UML diagrams for some of the code examples which seems to make it a bit more technical. I am at a loss to tell who it's for.

The real weakness of the book though is its presentation. The paper feels coarser than usual and the pages just don't seem clear. In particular example outputs are presented in a typeface that is just seems to be just too small to be comfortably readable, even wearing my glasses. (There is no colophon in this series so I can't tell you what face it is either). Perhaps it is a plot to make Ruby inaccessible to older people by making the books hard to read for aging eyes.

So to summarise: sound technical content, some nice examples, but not nice to read or look at. If you are a member of the target audience then it may well be great, but I have no idea who you are.

Back to reviews list

Tel: 01763 273 475
Fax: 01763 273 255
Web: Webmaster
Queries: Ask Here
Join UKUUG Today!

UKUUG Secretariat
PO BOX 37
Buntingford
Herts
SG9 9UQ
More information

Page last modified 12 Jul 2007
Copyright © 1995-2011 UKUUG Ltd.