The Ruby Programming Language
- ISBN: 0-596-51617-7
- Publisher: O'Reilly
- Publication Date: January 2008
- Pages: 446
- Price: £30.99
The observant will notice the similarity of the title to the classic C Programming Language. It's no coincidence - the authors intend it to become the standard reference for Ruby, taking the same approach to documenting Ruby's features. It's aimed "at experienced programmers who are new to Ruby", so my perl-fu puts me squarely in the target market segment. Comparisons in the text to other languages are frequent and even helpful.
The book is very readable - more so than I remember K&R being - and explains Ruby in a clear and accessible style, with good, relevant examples. It's well organised, minimising forward references effectively. Which the possible exception of some of the discussion on eigenclasses, I found it easy to pick up and understand what was going on.
The book doesn't attempt to cover gems or support tools like rake in any detail. However, it makes an excellent reference for the core language, and thereby hits the spot it intends to.