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The Ruby Way, Second Edition: Solutions and Techniques in Ruby Programming (2nd Edition) Paperback – Oct 25 2006

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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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 26 reviews
53 of 58 people found the following review helpful
This is one of my favorite Ruby books Nov. 8 2006
By Curt Hibbs - Published on
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
random access for someone already knowing Ruby Dec 6 2006
By W Boudville - Published on
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
A good choice for a second Ruby book... Dec 24 2006
By Thomas Duff - Published on
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... :)
2 of 0 people found the following review helpful
One of the best books I ever read March 27 2007
By W. Wen - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has a very good design. In each chapter, one aspect of Ruby is explained in great detail. The examples also help a lot on comprehending the language.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
A great book for Ruby beginners Dec 18 2006
By Michael Stahnke - Published on
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.