Greetings. Man, I’m giddy about this announcement. My blood is visibly
On Nov. 11, 2003, during RubyConf 2003, I kinda mentioned a major
project of mine that I believed would “change the Ruby world
significantly.”  Well, we’ll see about that. Sorry if that was a
bit pompous, but I’ll let you be the judge of that.
Why’s (Poignant) Guide to Ruby is a free, open-source book for anyone
wanting to learn Ruby. I have finished the first three chapters. You
can start reading at http://poignantguide.net/.
This book is not so much a manual. There will be no reference. This
book is closer to a novel, a comic, or maybe a biography. Or all
three. Ultimately, I’d like to have a book that could be so accessible
that it could be a NYT bestseller. Of course, I don’t ever expect that
to happen, but that’s how plain I’d like the instruction to be.
Face it. This is the future. Kids are going to be programming their
skateboards, their GI-Joe tanks, their shoelaces, their oatmeal. Ruby
could easily be that language that the common man can get his hooks
into. This probably isn’t the book that will make Ruby become
universal, but it’s a steppie in that vicinity.
My roadmap has the book finished next summer. This gives me a couple
months for each chapter. I’d like to release early and often. The best
thing you can do is bug me. Feedback. Constant reminders when a new
chapter is due. Bug me to death. The demand will motivate me. If you
don’t like the book, tell me why.
I have no intention to print the book. I have no desire to publish. I
am not working on PDF, Palm, TeX, etc. versions of the book. I am
writing the book and I am going to leave those matters for later.
However, I will be setting up a RubyForge project soon. The
YAML/Textile source for the book will be available for any of you to
format, print or reuse. I am releasing it all (graphics included) under
the GPL’ish Attribution-ShareAlike  license of the Creative Commons.
Okay, then. I starch you all!