My first into the foray of Ruby, a pre-cursor for me before going into Ruby on Rails. I have always wanted to read about something that has been talked about by quite a large cult of followers on the internet, so without any prior knowledge or experience in this language, I decided Learning Ruby by Michael Fitzgerald would be my first 'Hello World' book to pick up. This book certainly fit the intention of a beginner who wanted to get into the world of Ruby, and this book has a plethora of examples to get you going, along with revision questions at the end of each chapter to solidify your knowledge of the chapter's contents. But bare in mind, this book teaches you primarily the basics, with any of the interesting Rails stuff, the author is providing you just a taste of the flavour, giving you a chance to take the next step in subsequent books (which I will hopefully review soon and learn a bit of myself). Looking at the chapters the author does provide in the book, the author begins with the Ruby Basics, talking about the history of the language, installing and setting up the language on your specific platform. The author then provides a Quick Tour of Ruby in the second chapter, going into variables, operators, reserved words and OOP concepts, before going deeper into Conditional Logic and Strings and Math operators in the following three chapters.
Chapter 5 deals with Arrays, how to access and manipulate and sort, which is the bread-and-butter of any good programmer, before looking at Array's other cousin, Hashes in chapter 6, before looking at accessing, manipulating and writing files. Chapter 9 gets into the real interest stuff with OOP, talking about Classes and working with Ruby in a more modern way that draws parallels with other familiar object-oriented languages you have worked with before. The final two chapters, More Fun with Ruby and A Short Guide to Ruby on Rails, are your rewarding chapters, to give you a sense of practical uses of Ruby and introducing you to Ruby on Rails.
The author in my opinion has done a great job of introducing you to the basic concepts of programming in Ruby, and even though he does talk about the basics of the language, I do think you need to have the basic principles of programming in OOP as a prior knowledge, so if you have worked with Java or any other similar language, this book should be easy enough for you to pick-up without any issues. The book isn't too lengthy either, and serves as a good appetiser toward becoming a more professional Ruby geek. I recommend this book, and thoroughly enjoyed my introduction into the world of Ruby. Stay tuned for some future Ruby blogs and reviews from me, after this....
Prior Knowledge: Basic Objective-Oriented principles knowledge and some experience.
My rating :[rating=4.0]
Author: Michael Fitzgerald Title: Learning Ruby, 1st Edition Publisher: O'Reilly Media Year: May 2007