Practical Ruby Gems

Author: David Berube
Publisher: Apress, 2007
Pages: 271
ISBN: 978-1590598115
Aimed at: Ruby programmers
Rating: 3.5
Pros: Showcases some handy Gem packages
Cons: Limited scope
Reviewed by: Mike James

The most important thing to know is that this isn't a book about really good ideas in Ruby, as it well could be if it was about any other language. A Gem is a Ruby package - the Ruby equivalent of a Java Jar file. So basically this book is a brief introduction to getting and using Gems. The final chapter is about creating your own Gems. The bulk of the book of is a guide to some Gems that you can download and use in your own projects. What this means is that the book is valuable or rather might be valuable if you plan to use any of the Gems it describes. The problem is that most of the descriptions are fairly shallow and while they do augment the usually poor online documentation it is difficult to justify the cost of the book unless you are going to use more than one of its offerings.

What the book does do is act as a catalogue and showcase for the easily available Gems and in this role it might well have a role in life. Not an essential Ruby book but it might be handy to have around.

<ASIN:0596516177>

<ASIN:1934356085>

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CoffeeScript: Accelerated JavaScript Development

Author: Trevor Burnham
Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf
Pages: 138
ISBN: 978-1934356784
Aimed at: JavaScript developers
Rating: 2
Pros: Engaging style, interesting topic
Cons: Too short, lacks focus, often confusing
Reviewed by: Ian Elliot

The subtitle of this book is "Accelerated JavaScript Development". Why [ ... ]



Arduino Cookbook

Author: Michael Margolis
Publisher: O'Reilly
Pages: 660
ISBN: 978-0596802479
Aimed at: D-I-Y hardware enthusiasts
Rating: 5
Pros: Wide range of projects
Cons: Mostly module-based construction
Reviewed by: Harry Fairhead

For our final Best Book of 2011 we've chosen one that will appeal to hardware enthusias [ ... ]


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