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The Ruby Way, Second Edition: Solutions and Techniques in Ruby Programming (2nd Edition) [Paperback]

Hal Fulton

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Book Description

Oct. 25 2006 0672328844 978-0672328848 2

Ruby is an agile object-oriented language, borrowing some of the best features from LISP, Smalltalk, Perl, CLU, and other languages. Its popularity has grown tremendously in the five years since the first edition of this book.

 

The Ruby Way takes a “how-to” approach to Ruby programming with the bulk of the material consisting of more than 400 examples arranged by topic. Each example answers the question “How do I do this in Ruby?” Working along with the author, you are presented with the task description and a discussion of the technical constraints. This is followed by a step-by-step presentation of one good solution. Along the way, the author provides detailed commentary and explanations to aid your understanding.

 

Coverage includes

 

•    An overview of Ruby, explaining terminology and basic principles

•    Operations on low-level data types (numbers, strings, regular expressions, dates)

•    The new regular expression engine (Oniguruma)

•    Internationalization (I18N) and message catalogs in Ruby

•    Operations on hashes, arrays, and other data structures such as stacks, trees, and graphs

•    Working with general I/O, files, and persistent objects

•    Database coverage including MySQL, SQLite, Oracle, DBI, and more

•    Ruby-specific techniques in OOP and dynamic programming

•    Graphical interfaces in Ruby (Tk, GTK+, Fox, and Qt)

•    Working with Ruby threads for lightweight multitasking

•    Everyday scripting and system administration in Ruby

•    Working with image files, PDFs, YAML, XML, RSS, and Atom

•    Testing, debugging, profiling, and packaging Ruby code

•    Low-level network programming and client-server interaction

•    Web development tools including Rails, Nitro, Wee, IOWA, and more

•    Working with distributed Ruby, Rinda, and Ring

•    Ruby development tools such as IDEs, documentation tools, and more

 

The source code for the book can be downloaded from www.rubyhacker.com

 

 

Hal Fulton has worked for over 15 years with variousforms of Unix, including AIX, Solaris, and Linux. He was first exposed to Ruby in 1999, and in 2001 he began work on the first edition of this book–the second Ruby book published in the English language. He has attendednumerous Ruby conferences and has given presentations at several of those, including the first European Ruby Conference. 

 

He has two degrees in computer science from the University of Mississippi and taught computer science for four years before moving to Austin, Texas to work as a contractor for variouscompanies, including IBM Austin.  Hal currently works at Broadwing Communications in Austin, Texas, maintaining a large data warehouse and related telecom applications, working daily with C++, Oracle, and, of course, Ruby.

 

 


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About the Author

Hal Fulton has two degrees in computer science from the University of Mississippi. He taught computer science for four years at the community college level before moving to Austin, Texas, for a series of contracts (mainly at IBM Austin). He has worked for more than 15 years with various forms of UNIX, including AIX, Solaris, and Linux. He was first exposed to Ruby in 1999, and in 2001 he began work on the first edition of this book, which was the second Ruby book in the English language. He has attended six Ruby conferences and has given presentations at four of those, including the first European Ruby Conference in Karlsruhe, Germany. He currently works at Broadwing Communications in Austin, Texas, working on a large data warehouse and related telecom applications. He works daily with C++, Oracle, and of course, Ruby.

 

Hal is still active daily on the Ruby mailing list and IRC channel, and has several Ruby projects in progress. He is a member of the ACM and the IEEE Computer Society. In his personal life, he enjoys music, reading, writing, art, and photography. He is a member of the Mars Society and is a space enthusiast who would love to go into space before he dies. He lives in Austin, Texas.

 


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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  26 reviews
53 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is one of my favorite Ruby books Nov. 8 2006
By Curt Hibbs - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
People in the Ruby development community know me because I started several of the most popular open source Ruby projects (I have been active in Ruby since 2001). If you are serious programming in Ruby then there are two must-have books to keep within reach as you program: Dave Thomas' Programming Ruby; and this book: Hal Fulton's The Ruby Way.

This is really two books in the guise of one. One the surface, The Ruby Way appears to be a cookbook of Ruby recipes, and a very thorough one at that. But The Ruby Way also manages to capture the gestalt of Ruby, that intangible, indefinable philosophy behind the Ruby idioms that old-timers now take for granted.

Every programming language has its own "way" of doing things. You don't want to write Java code in Ruby, or VB code in Ruby, you should be writing *real* Ruby code. If you want to see Ruby code the way it was "meant" to be written, this is your book.
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars random access for someone already knowing Ruby Dec 6 2006
By W Boudville - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Yes, there are some typos in Fulton's book. But the vast bulk (and it is indeed a big text) can be profitably read. Either by someone wanting to learn Ruby from scratch or by a Ruby programmer searching for a solution to some common problem. For the former, the book may be too long. If you want to come up to speed on Ruby, ab initio, perhaps you might consider a slimmer text.

The book is best suited as a random access resource, for a Ruby programmer. As implied by the title. The 400 odd examples demonstrate a good diversity of usages of the language. Grouped according to broad topics like threads, user interfaces and networks. This helps you focus on finding a possible solution. However, suppose you can't find an exact match. The numerous examples may have one close enough to suggest an easy mod.

Granted, if a relevant example has typos, so that it won't run, that's a drag. But only a minor one. If you already know Ruby, fixing this should be a low level detail.

As far as comparing with other scripting languages, well the book does not do this. No mention at all of Perl or PHP. Probably the author regards this as outside the book's remit. The decision of whether you should use Ruby over those alternatives is something that cannot be answered by this book alone.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good choice for a second Ruby book... Dec 24 2006
By Thomas Duff - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a book I could see being really helpful for someone who's done the Ruby tutorial and now needs to actually *use* the language to do something... The Ruby Way (2nd Edition) by Hal Fulton.

Contents: Ruby in Review; Working with Strings; Working with Regular Expressions; Internationalization in Ruby; Performing Numerical Calculations; Symbols and Ranges; Working with Times and Dates; Arrays, Hashes, and Other Enumerables; More Advanced Data Structures; I/O and Data Storage; OOP and Dynamic Features in Ruby; Graphical Interfaces for Ruby; Threads in Ruby; Scripting and System Administration; Ruby and Data Formats; Testing and Debugging; Packaging and Distributing Code; Network Programming; Ruby and Web Applications; Distributed Ruby; Ruby Development Tools; The Ruby Community; Index

Fulton states in the introduction that this book is not designed to be a "teach yourself Ruby" title. Instead, it's meant to explore the power and utility of the language by means of examples. Think of it as a *really* large cookbook-style volume. In each chapter, there are a series of how-to sections that are practical examinations of a particular technique. For instance, in the regular expressions chapter, you'll see sections such as using anchors, positive and negative lookahead, recursions in regular expressions, and detecting doubled words in text. This solutions-based approach to Ruby is perfect for someone who has covered the basics via a tutorial or some other book, but now has to actually use the language to do something. Personally, I find having a book like this is extremely valuable in making the jump from rank novice to functional developer. I know good code when I steal it... :)
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book for Ruby beginners Dec 18 2006
By Michael Stahnke - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I haven't done much with Ruby and decided it was time to dive in. I opened this enormous text and started. The book is broken down nicely into several beginners "howto" sections and then into more of reference and advanced learning portion.

Coming from a Perl programming background I found several things (mostly syntax) in Ruby quite odd and am very happy to have this reference on hand.

The GTK section of the book is very nice as I haven't seen it covered elsewhere. The additional coverage of Rails adds to the completeness of the material and helps the book win some popularity on a current hot topic.

This is a very well-rounded text for Ruby programmers. I would recommend it to anyone interested in learning Ruby, regardless of programming experience.
20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for everyone Nov. 2 2008
By Torli Birnbauer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
If you want to learn or expand your knowledge and/or proficiency in Ruby as quickly as possible, this is NOT the book for you! Hal Fulton's "The Ruby Way" is an excellent example of a miserably poor technical literature. It presents us Ruby as if it were a rather obscure poorly defined powerful beast whose many features could never be seen completely at one time, leaving the reader in a suspense and waiting for missing information to appear in the following paragraphs, which may indeed never show up.

That is not to say that there aren't many interesting things to be found in the book, however, the question is weather they are worth the time you have to spent searching for them as if you were a desperate cowboy sifting through the river sands of the wild west to find few grains of gold. If you are not seeking adventure and useless wandering around and about, do not bother reading this pedagogically unsound concoction. Perhaps best use of this book is on the book shelf - for occasional picking up at random times to check out the most obscure and weak areas of your Ruby proficiency, providing that such indeed is the case.

Let me give you an example for instance, on page 425 you will find the following conclusion after arguably too trivial treatment of the pertinent subject: "You can nest a class within a module, a module within a class, and so on. If you find an interesting and creative uses for these technique, please let us all know about it." This statement tells us very much about the mindset you ought to have in order to appreciate this book. This suites a description of a pioneer, an explorer in a research institute, or indeed an adventurer. Continuing on the same page, author is discussing Ruby peculiarity - "class instance variables" in the shadow of commonly known "class variables", failing to explain the most important mechanics behind the example he presents, which makes this paragraph interesting only for someone very well versed in Ruby intricacies.

However, if you are a Ruby novice, perhaps even proficient in C++, Java or in something similar, unless you have tones of spare time and are just trying to test your understanding of Ruby and explore someone else's take on the subject, I then recommend instead to read a much less voluminous an far superior book on Ruby by D. Flanagan and Y. Matsumoto entitled "The Ruby Programming Language". If you feel after reading Flanagan's and Matz's book you may be ready for something like "The Ruby Way", I believe a second or even a third reading of "The Ruby Programming Language" is a far better choice.

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