UKUUG home

UKUUG

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

Home

Events

About UKUUG

UKUUG Diary

Membership

Book Discounts

Other Discounts

Mailing lists

Sponsors

Newsletter

Consulting

 


 

Learning Ruby

Michael Fitzgerald
Published by O'Reilly Media
0-596-52986-4 275 pages
£ 24.99
Published: 1st June 2007
reviewed by Lindsay Marshall
   in the September 2007 issue (pdf), (html)
bookcover  

For a language that has been so prominent recently, there has been a surprising dearth of books aimed at novices learning Ruby. The original Ruby book in the Pragmatic Programmer series is not really suitable as a place to start (I don't think it's suitable for anything, bit that's another review...), so it is good to see something that is not a reference manual and that does not have a huge chunk devoted to Rails.

The material is order in a sensible way (not objects first, thank goodness) and coverage is thorough though perhaps a little shallow: two or three pages on regular expressions really is simply not enough for beginners, but of course this is not a book on regular expressions. As a support text for a Ruby course I think this book will work fairly well, and I am going to try it out this coming semester to see how it goes.

Niggles? I think that it assumes perhaps a little too much experience and background knowledge, for instance, describing an Array as a ``compact, ordered collection of objects'' is entirely accurate but I am not convinced that it actually tells a beginner anything useful. It then later the author goes on to say that a Hash is ``an unordered collection of key-value pairs'', and then that it is ``similar to an Array''. Which is also true, and fine if you already understand the concepts but is not helpful if you don't. Also not nearly enough material on exception handling.

Pluses: some nice examples and only two short mentions of Ajax.

I can definitely recommend this for someone starting out with Ruby who is not that experienced a programmer.

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 29 Jan 2008
Copyright © 1995-2011 UKUUG Ltd.