"Ruby is here to stay," says Fitzgerald. "It has a low task-to-keystroke ratio, but registers high on the fun meter. The syntax is intuitive--it just makes sense, especially to those who have object-oriented programming experience." Fitzgerald's new book, Learning Ruby (O'Reilly, US $34.99) is geared toward those who'd like to see how and why Ruby programs work. As he points out, you don't have to know everything about a car to learn to drive one, and you don't need to know everything about Ruby to start programming with it. Learning Ruby is a just-get-in-and-drive book: a hands-on tutorial that offers lots of Ruby programs to get you rolling down the road.
"People who read this book and apply the simple examples will be Ruby programmers," says Fitzgerald. "They'll get to see how to use over 2,000 lines of code and be exposed to about 300 of Ruby's most commonly used methods."
Fitzgerald believes that we learn by imitation. His book averages five to ten lines of code per page for readers to imitate and try. "You try a little something and watch what it does," he says. "This is how we learned as children."
Highlights of Learning Ruby:
Each chapter concludes with a set of review questions, and appendices provide you with a glossary of terms related to Ruby programming, plus reference material from the book in one convenient location. If you want to take Ruby out for a drive, Learning Ruby holds the keys.
Michael Fitzgerald has more than 20 years of experience as a writer and programmer and describes Ruby as his "favorite language so far." Michael is also the author of Learning XSLT, XML Hacks, Ruby Pocket Reference, and coauthor of XML Pocket Reference, all published by O'Reilly.
More information about the book, including table of contents, index, author bio, and cover graphicLearning Ruby
O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.
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