Practical Ruby Gems
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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The Technical and Social History of Software Engineering

Author: Capers Jones
Publisher: Addison Wesley
Pages: 452
ISBN: 978-0321903426
Audience: Anyone with an interest in the history of computing and software
Rating: 4
Reviewer: Sue Gee

The title sounds a bit dry, but is this a good read?



Effective JavaScript

Author: David Herman
Publisher: Addison-Wesley
Pages: 240
ISBN: 978-0321812186
Audience: Intermediate JavaScript programmers
Rating: 5
Reviewer: Ian Elliot

JavaScript can be difficult to get right if you don't understand it. This book provides 68 specific examples of how you can get it wrong and how  [ ... ]


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