Beginning Ruby: From Novice to Professional

Author: Peter Cooper
Publisher: Apress, 2009 (2nd Edition)
Pages: 656
ISBN: 978-1430223634
Aimed at: Those with programming experience moving to Ruby
Rating: 3
Pros: Covers Ruby plus its wider context
Cons: Doesn't deal sufficiently with the basics
Reviewed by: Mike James

This isn't just a book on learning Ruby; it's about the wider world of Ruby. As such it covers a lot of ground in a relatively few pages. It starts off with the basic beginner's material - variables, classes, flow of control and so on. This is all over in 100 pages and even in this section the author can't help but discuss the history of Ruby and its "environment". Personally I would have preferred a more logical and steady introduction to the basics. A real beginner is going to have trouble finding out how to program in the few pages dedicated to it. On the other hand if you already have a rough idea of flow of control and variables this is an adequate introduction to the way that Ruby does things.

Part Two dives into "core Ruby" by which the author means objects, modules, debugging, testing, files, database, deployment and so on. The final chapter in the section develops an example web bot.

Part Three specializes in Ruby online, some would say Ruby's natural application. However rather than concentrate on Rails the book deals with the wider issues - sockets, HTTP, email and then, unusually because it isn't really an online topic, and not something Ruby is currently very good at goes off into building GUI applications. The book rounds off with a reference section on Ruby gems and a few reference appendices.

This isnt' a complete beginner's book because it doesn't spend long enough on the fundamentals. It also isn't just an introduction to the Ruby programming language but to all of the additional technologies that surround it and to what it is used for.  If you are looking for this sort of introduction then this is a good choice. It would also serve as an introduction to the slightly more advanced The Ruby Programming Language or to  Programming Ruby: The Pragmatic Programmer's Guide both of which provide better guides to the language.

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Building Enterprise Applications with WPF and MVVM

Author: Raffaele Garofalo
Publisher: Microsoft Press, 2011
Pages: 224
ISBN: 978-0735650923
Aimed at: WPF developers
Rating: 1
Pros: Good explanation of some difficult ideas
Cons: Fragmented and disorganized
Reviewed by: Mike James

This book seems to be of specific interest to those working with Windows Pres [ ... ]



The Official Joomla! Book

Author: Jennifer Marriott & Elin Waring
Publisher: Addison Wesley, 2010
Pages: 368
ISBN: 978-0321704214
Aimed at: New users of Joomla
Rating: 3
Pros: Enthusiastic
Cons: Too many lists with obvious descriptions and too little overview of Joomla
Reviewed by: Mike James
An official book should concentrate  [ ... ]


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