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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PayPal APIs

Author: Michael Balderas
Publisher: O'Reilly
Pages: 124
ISBN: 978-1449396121
Aimed at: Web developers
Rating: 2
Pros: Helpful diagrams
Cons: Long and repetitive listings, lack of explanation
Reviewed by: Ian Elliot

Subtitled "Up and Running: A Developers Guide", this slim book promises to be on the mark.



MySQL 5th Edition

Author: Paul DuBois
Publisher: Addison Wesley,  2013
Pages: 1176
ISBN: 978-0321833877
Target audience: Developers working with MySQL
Rating: 5
Reviewed by: Kay Ewbank

Any book that gets to a 5th edition is probably worth reading, and this book on MySQL by Paul Dubois certainly fits this pattern.


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