[ANN] Why's (Poignant) Guide to Ruby, Chapters 1 to 3


(why the lucky stiff) #1

Greetings. Man, I’m giddy about this announcement. My blood is visibly
pulsing.

On Nov. 11, 2003, during RubyConf 2003, I kinda mentioned a major
project of mine that I believed would “change the Ruby world
significantly.” [1] 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 [2] license of the Creative Commons.
Cool?

Okay, then. I starch you all!

_why

[1] http://whytheluckystiff.net/arch/2003/11/17
[2] http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/1.0/


(Paul Vudmaska) #2

why the lucky stiff wrote:

Greetings. Man, I’m giddy about this announcement. My blood is
visibly pulsing.

On Nov. 11, 2003, during RubyConf 2003, I kinda mentioned a major
project of mine that I believed would “change the Ruby world
significantly.” [1] 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 [2] license of the Creative
Commons. Cool?

Okay, then. I starch you all!

_why

[1] http://whytheluckystiff.net/arch/2003/11/17
[2] http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/1.0/

Shoot for the starts why don’t you, man! Your giddyness is palpable -
and i kinda got a kick out of the post. Going over there to read pronto
because, the other morning i was thinking, could’nt i write a program to
keep my oatmeal from lumping :O)

Anyway I really do wish you the best and i’ll send some feedback for sure.

Paul


(Laurent Julliard) #3

I love this.
I repeat:
I love this.
too bad I can’t give it to my little cousin that does not speak
english :wink:

BTW, you should put links for this on internet newssite. That is
something like ‘The little prince reads SICP’. geeks will scream at
you.

···

il Wed, 18 Feb 2004 04:58:00 +0900, why the lucky stiff ruby-talk@whytheluckystiff.net ha scritto::

Greetings. Man, I’m giddy about this announcement. My blood is visibly
pulsing.


(Jamis Buck) #4

why the lucky stiff wrote:

Greetings. Man, I’m giddy about this announcement. My blood is
visibly pulsing.

Okay. That is seriously the funnest thing I’ve read in a long time.
Thank-you!

A few minor typos I noted:

Chapter 2, Part 2, near the end:
“cel phone”
“whose to say” (should be “who’s to say”)

Chapter 3, discussion on blocks:
“shoot” should be “chute”

Thanks again!

  • Jamis
···


Jamis Buck
jgb3@email.byu.edu
http://www.jamisbuck.org/blog/jamis.cgi

ruby -h | ruby -e ‘a=[];readlines.join.scan(/-(.)[e|Kk(\S*)|le.l(…)e|#!(\S*)/) {|r| a << r.compact.first };puts “\n>#{a.join(%q/ /)}<\n\n”’


(Dick Davies) #5

why the lucky stiff wrote:

Greetings. Man, I’m giddy about this announcement. My blood is visibly
pulsing.

On Nov. 11, 2003, during RubyConf 2003, I kinda mentioned a major
project of mine that I believed would “change the Ruby world
significantly.” [1] Well, we’ll see about that. Sorry if that was a
bit pompous, but I’ll let you be the judge of that.

Beautiful, cheers.
I’ll print it out in pamphlet form if I may and take a soapbox full to
Queen Street tomorrow afternoon.

Incidentally, even Google doesnt know who Smotchkkiss is. Congratulations!


#6

In article 40327236.9000301@whytheluckystiff.net,

Greetings. Man, I’m giddy about this announcement. My blood is visibly
pulsing.

On Nov. 11, 2003, during RubyConf 2003, I kinda mentioned a major
project of mine that I believed would “change the Ruby world
significantly.” [1] 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 [2] license of the Creative Commons.
Cool?

Okay, then. I starch you all!

Noooo… we’re all doing that low-carb diet thing. No starch!

Why, your missive is a postmodern literary tour de force. I couldn’t put
it down (now my arms hurt from holding the monitor that long).

Do you think you could come speak to our writer’s club? Some of us even
don our fox suits and pretend to be Ruby programmers.

Are you sure you’re from Utah? Your book has such a Portland
zine-scene flavor to it. Don’t lose your roadmap.

Phil

···

why the lucky stiff ruby-talk@whytheluckystiff.net wrote:


(Karl von Laudermann) #7

why the lucky stiff ruby-talk@whytheluckystiff.net wrote in message news:40327236.9000301@whytheluckystiff.net

Greetings. Man, I’m giddy about this announcement. My blood is visibly
pulsing.

On Nov. 11, 2003, during RubyConf 2003, I kinda mentioned a major
project of mine that I believed would “change the Ruby world
significantly.” [1] Well, we’ll see about that. Sorry if that was a
bit pompous, but I’ll let you be the judge of that.

Wow… cool stuff. I’m gonna have to make sure I have plenty of chunky
bacon around while I’m programming in Ruby, from now on.

One request though… the text doesn’t wrap to the width of the
browser window. The line length is fixed, forcing you to size the
browser to a certain minimum width if you don’t want to get a
horizontal scroll bar. It seems a lot of web sites do that these days,
and it’s a pet peeve of mine. I don’t want to have to make my browser
wide enough to wallpaper my house just to read the site without
horizontal scrolling. :slight_smile:


(Sean O'Dell) #8

Congratulations _why, you just made the Slashdot front page!

Sean O'Dell
···

On Tuesday 17 February 2004 11:58 am, why the lucky stiff wrote:

Greetings. Man, I’m giddy about this announcement. My blood is visibly
pulsing.

On Nov. 11, 2003, during RubyConf 2003, I kinda mentioned a major
project of mine that I believed would “change the Ruby world
significantly.” [1] 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 [2] license of the Creative Commons.
Cool?

Okay, then. I starch you all!

_why

[1] http://whytheluckystiff.net/arch/2003/11/17
[2] http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/1.0/


(Tim Hunter) #9

Before I read this book I could never remember the difference between "…"
and “…”. Now I’ll never forget.

Bravo! Inside my head it sounds like a standing ovation.

···

On Wed, 18 Feb 2004 04:58:00 +0900, why the lucky stiff wrote:

Greetings. Man, I’m giddy about this announcement. My blood is visibly
pulsing.


(Alexander Kellett) #10

how about translations? :slight_smile:

my dutch really does suck but i’d just love to get my
cousins speaking ruby as i’m pretty fluent in that :slight_smile:

ciao,
Alex

···

On Tuesday 17 February 2004 22:04, gabriele renzi wrote:

I love this.
I repeat:
I love this.
too bad I can’t give it to my little cousin that does not speak
english :wink:


Sometimes when you look into his eyes you get the feeling that someone
else is driving.
– David Letterman


(Kent Dahl) #11

gabriele renzi wrote:

too bad I can’t give it to my little cousin that does not speak
english :wink:

…chapter three and going strong, I’ve got to say I think that is a
good thing. I’m getting the feeling this should come with a PG-rating,
and be kept safe out of the reach of wee 'uns, the easily agitated and
politicians.

And that’s just the sidebars :slight_smile:

···


([ Kent Dahl ]/)_ ~ [ http://www.pvv.org/~kentda/ ]/~
))_student_/(( _d L b_/ Master of Science in Technology )
( __õ|õ// ) ) Industrial economics and technology management (
_
/ö____/ (_engineering.discipline=Computer::Technology)


(Gavin Sinclair) #12

While we’re on it: “wierd” appears in a cartoon. (Heh, grep that!)

Gavin

···

On Wednesday, February 18, 2004, 8:40:03 AM, Jamis wrote:

why the lucky stiff wrote:

Greetings. Man, I’m giddy about this announcement. My blood is
visibly pulsing.

Okay. That is seriously the funnest thing I’ve read in a long time.
Thank-you!

A few minor typos I noted:


(why the lucky stiff) #13

Jamis Buck wrote:

A few minor typos I noted:

Chapter 2, Part 2, near the end:
“cel phone”
“whose to say” (should be “who’s to say”)

Chapter 3, discussion on blocks:
“shoot” should be “chute”

Good eye. All repaired. Be sure to join the mailing list when it
enters existence.

starch

_why


(Dick Davies) #14

Rasputin wrote:

Incidentally, even Google doesnt know who Smotchkkiss is. Congratulations!

One other thing, this:

require 'net/http’
Net::HTTP.start( ‘www.ruby-lang.org’, 80 ) do |http|
print( http.get( ‘/index.html’ ).body )
end

gives a 404 - how about /en/index.html (ha, internationalize that!) ?


(Gavin Kistner) #15

Why, if you are set against a scalable design (sometimes users need to
be saved from themselves by setting type with an optimal line-length)
may I suggest specifying the width of the content be specified in 'em’
rather than ‘px’?

This way the column width is locked to the current font size (allowing
you to control a reasonable line-length), which can be scaled by the
user.

And even more off-topic…tables for layout?
May I suggest my (currently-seeking-a-proper-home-on-my-site):
http://phrogz.net/tmp/HowToDevelopWithCSS.html

···

On Feb 18, 2004, at 7:29 AM, Karl von Laudermann wrote:

One request though… the text doesn’t wrap to the width of the
browser window. The line length is fixed, forcing you to size the
browser to a certain minimum width if you don’t want to get a
horizontal scroll bar.


(-, /\ / / //


(Simon Strandgaard) #16

follow this URL:

Congratulations too.

···

On Thu, 19 Feb 2004 04:04:17 +0900, Sean O’Dell wrote:

Congratulations _why, you just made the Slashdot front page!


Simon Strandgaard


(why the lucky stiff) #17

Sean O’Dell wrote:

Congratulations _why, you just made the Slashdot front page!

Wonderful. Can’t wait for the ensuing Python v. Ruby flamewar to start
up in the comments.

_why


(why the lucky stiff) #18

Alexander Kellett wrote:

I love this.
I repeat:
I love this.
too bad I can’t give it to my little cousin that does not speak
english :wink:

how about translations? :slight_smile:

my dutch really does suck but i’d just love to get my
cousins speaking ruby as i’m pretty fluent in that :slight_smile:

Calm down. I want to help everyone’s cousins. Let’s see what we can do.

I have not an whim of idea as to how we could get this book translated.
Especially considering that I am constantly revising and rephrasing. In
addition, I intend to change flow based on audience reaction. I fear
that embarking on translation too soon will either (a) inhibit the
flexibility of revisions or (b) drive the translators to harpoon
theyselves, leaving behind them a smattering of ancient (poignant)
translations. Yeh?

I starch you! (And we’ll make it through this together.)

_why

···

On Tuesday 17 February 2004 22:04, gabriele renzi wrote:


(why the lucky stiff) #19

Kent Dahl wrote:

…chapter three and going strong, I’ve got to say I think that is a
good thing. I’m getting the feeling this should come with a
PG-rating, and be kept safe out of the reach of wee 'uns, the easily
agitated and politicians.

Not to worry. The “clean” version is in the works and (fingers crossed)
will likely come with a plush toy fox.

Thanks. (starch)

_why


(Peter) #20

While we’re on it: “wierd” appears in a cartoon. (Heh, grep that!)

There’s also an “intellegently” in chapter 2, part 3.
^
Peter