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The Ruby Programming Language

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  1,023 ratings  ·  33 reviews
The Ruby Programming Language is the authoritative guide to Ruby and provides comprehensive coverage of versions 1.8 and 1.9 of the language. It was written (and illustrated!) by an all-star team:

David Flanagan, bestselling author of programming language "bibles" (including JavaScript: The Definitive Guide and Java in a Nutshell) and committer to the Ruby Subversion reposi
Paperback, 448 pages
Published February 1st 2008 by O'Reilly Media (first published January 1st 2008)
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 ·  1,023 ratings  ·  33 reviews

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Jun 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book provides comprehensive documentation of the Ruby programming language (1.8.x and 1.9.x) by the language's creator, Yukihiro Matsumoto, and David Flanagan (from Javascript: The Definitive Guide and Java in a Nutshell fame).

Ruby is an easy language to program in, but it is not a simple language. This book is intended for experienced programmers who want to master Ruby. It is not a beginner's book, although it does take a bottoms up approach -- it is intended to be read in the order it is
Le Dat
Jul 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-development
So far what I want to write have been written by people.
May 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
I was familiar with Dave Flanagan through his Javascript book. Seeing his name on the cover of this book was all I needed to buy it. And of course it doesn't hurt that Matz -- Ruby's creator -- was the other author. But to be fair, I had seen Matz' work in O'Reilly's "Beautiful Code" -- an essay called "Treating Code as an Essay." It was not only the best piece of writing in that book, but one of the best essays on programming I've ever read. It prompted me to scour the Internet for more of his ...more
Dec 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Excellent intermediate-level guide to the Ruby programming language. It discusses every feature, every nuance, and every "gotcha" that arises from ambiguity or as a trade-off for flexibility and expressiveness. Like other O'Reilly "nutshell" books, this book covers the language, the whole language, and nothing but the language. It doesn't waste a single precious sentence on anything but details. This makes it very dense to read, but very efficient, and makes it an excellent reference. No interme ...more
Mar 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
This book contains less fluff than the Pickaxe book. While Pickaxe is good for quickly learning about Ruby and trying out some things, along with a so-so appendix of std classes, this book contains more in-depth detail on the core language constructs and behavior. Combined, they make a great reference duo.
Dec 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: techy
Gave me great basics about ruby programming language
Mar 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Good book for a detailed look at the language.

It presents the material well and is clear in it's explanations and examples. It does a particularly good job of expressing the theory behind features of the language and it positions you to really understand what is going on behind the scenes well.

On the down side the book is a bit too linear and doesn't get to classes/modules or even how to break code up into files until later in the book. This means you're tinkering for quiet some time and it's aw
D. Pereira
Jun 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
This probably works better as a reference book after you learn Ruby than as an actual intro to Ruby (is that how ALL O'Reilly books work? I felt that way about the only other book I read from them, way back). Seems to be structured in a way that leads to a lot of "hands off" learning before you get to do anything, but you sure do learn a lot. Partway through I was struggling with it and tried to switch to learning from a website, but the site made me appreciate how much I'd already learned from ...more
Jul 04, 2014 rated it liked it
I must confess...I never really finished this book. Python is my language of choice. I've mostly picked this up to manage some of the existing Ruby code in my organization.

First things first, this book is not for beginners. If you do not have much experience with tech or code, go elsewhere. This book reads more like documentation with helpful examples, starting from the ground up. I must say though, if you've got a little experience with code, this book will probably get you a thorough understa
João Bruno
Apr 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Its language can be a bit dry and technical, but this is a solid book particularly if you were already a programmer when you picked it up and want to get to know Ruby. It explains the language from the ground-up, with the next chapter building on the previous, in a simple and unpretentious manner.
This is not a fun, hipster-y book about Ruby - there's hardly any fluff here. But it's great to build a general understanding of the language and I've come back to it since I've read it for reference.
Mar 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reference
This is not designed to be an entertaining look, but a detailed study of the Ruby language. Which it is. And for a book that's covering so much ground, it manages to do it in such a way that you don't feel like you're chewing cardboard.

This is not a book on beginning programming. If you're looking to learn how to program, go hunt another title. If you're a seasoned programmer looking for a quick way to pick up the Ruby language , syntax and libraries, you're hard pushed to beat this.
Abdulsattar Mohammed
Jan 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book does what it aims to do perfectly: document the entire Ruby language. David Flannagan has covered every aspect of Ruby with a very good pace.

This book, as it says on the back cover, is not for anyone who's getting into programming. However, if you know any other language or have beginner to intermediate Ruby knowledge, this book will make you an expert in Ruby.
Jan 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Not a real page-turner but a ton of great details on Ruby. I use it most days at the office to look up how to do things in Ruby or get a better understanding of how things are working under the covers.
Said A
Sep 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: programming
Great and detailed intro to the Ruby. This is "the one" book for any beginner. Provides you with the insights of the language, introduces new concepts and provides great examples for better understanding.
Feb 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
As a programming reference, one of the best I've ever read; although, the book has some pretty egregious formatting errors. (You can do better, copy editor.)
Apr 11, 2010 rated it liked it
This book is pretty technical - which makes it both a great reference and not a great DIY learn how to program Ruby.
May 14, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: technology
Comprehensive coverage of the Ruby language, modeled after The C++ Programming Language.

It's probably best used as a reference, rather than cover-to-cover.
Douglas Mendes
Dec 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
An excellent and a must read book on the Ruby programming language.
Rob Olson
Jan 09, 2011 rated it liked it
Good book on the ruby programming language. Not a page turner but works well as a more concise guide than the Programming Ruby for beginning Ruby Programmers.
Chapter on blocks, procs and lamdas was a little confusing.
Could have done with more examples of building real code over API documentation.
Lewis Cawthorne
Oct 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Not as good as the Pickaxe, but fine none the less, IMHO.
Nick Carter
Feb 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tech
Absolutely comprehensive, but not a boring read at all. So many corners to explore!
Mar 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: development
Very good Ruby book. After reading find a lot of things I didn't know before.
Sep 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reference
A good start to finish intro. I learned Ruby from this book very easily; 0 to fluency took about three days.
Long Nguyen
Mar 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
a must book for ruby programmer
Sep 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: geek
Solid overview of the language. Delivers on all its promises. Combine this book with another source of Ruby instruction--perhaps codecademy--and you'll be well on your way to mastering the language.
Gabriel Galvão
Nov 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Probably the best book on programming that I've read.
Saint Lart
Now I like Ruby as much as Python.What do I do all my scripting in? Perl.
Good guide to learning Ruby, very readable.
Jun 11, 2012 marked it as to-read
Shelves: programming
shelved for the time being.
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