Getting Started in Ruby
A Guide for the Practicing Programmer
If you're not already coding in Ruby, you
may wonder how to get started--especially when it comes to the more "interesting"
language features like closures and evaluations. This article provides some
tips for ramping up, along with links to Amazon books. (If you're not sure
whether Ruby is the language for you, read Ruby Rocks!)
Articles and Books
The first thing you need is a bit of information.
- Closures and Blocks
See Martin Fowler's article
on the subject and this Ruby
- Overview of Ruby
in a Nutshell does an excellent job of giving you an overview of the syntax.
It also gives you a summary of the standard libraries and an introduction
to the language.
But to get a really good sense of the language's more advanced features, you
need to dive deeper.
- Language Tutorials
David Black's Ruby
for Rails provides excellent introductory tutorials for both Ruby and
See especially: The writeup on the Lisp- and Smalltalk-like features (singleton
evaluations, blocks and closures) in chapter 13. As one reviewer wrote, it
"does a good job of
explaining the things you wish you understood better."
- Code Fragments
Hal Fulton's book, The
Ruby Way. See especially the section, "Training Your Intuition",
at the end chapter 1.
- Another great introduction
I've never delved into ths one deeply enough. (Somehow it never drew me in
the way Ruby for Rails did.)
But too any people swear by this one not to mention it: The Pickaxe
book, also available online.
- Application templates
I haven't received this one yet. But it seemed to cover a lot of useful ground
developers, so I ordered it: Beginning
Ruby on Rails: From Novice to Professional
Once you've begun finding out how things work, you need some code fragments
you can read and reuse. For that, see Ruby Templates.
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