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Learning Ruby

O'Reilly are renound for their introductory guides for programming languages, with a formidable list of languages covered. *FOO* ensures they now also cover the object oriented scripting language, Ruby. Ruby has been around for many years, but with the Rails environment and projects such as puppet it has now gained notable visibility in the community, and this book delivers a good grounding in the basics of the language.

Logically laid out and with a good learning curve you'll find yourself rapidly ploughing through the core of the language and heading towards some of it's more esoteric edges. The typically O'Reilly examples help compound the lessons, and by the end of the book you can feel confident of having the main building blocks of the language.

Lacking from ths book are some more advanced bits, like ruby's reflection and tracing tools get only basic coverage. Also gems, Ruby's extension packaging system gets a very cursory overview, where a little detail about commonly used gems might have been nice. The quick look at Rails is a nice teaser, but no replacement for a full text on the subject.

All in all this is a great introductory text, but isn't quite a one stop shop for all your Ruby needs.

Score: 7.5 out of 10.

Stuart Teasdale

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