Bill Tihen wrote:
So that not all of have to buy all of the books would you like to
provide a mini-review of each book – I would appreciate it?
Hop over to amazon.com and amazon.co.uk. There are reviews of The Ruby
Way and The Develper’s Guide by my humble self and others.
But to cut it short - everyone should own Programming Ruby as their
first Ruby reference.
Hal Fulton writes well and his book, Ruby Way, is an excellent
collection of HOWTOs following the model of the Perl Cookbook (or my,
sadly out of print, Perl5 ;). The only defect of the “Way” is that
REXML and DBI are not covered. Non DBI database access is covered.
Ruby Developer’s guide dives in where Hal’s book leaves off (there is
some overlap but nowhere near enogh to make the books mutually
exclusive purchases). If Ruby Way is “Ruby as a better Perl or Python”,
then RDG is “Ruby as an alternative Java or C++”. Its not quite as well
written as the Way, and is typeset badly, in a needlessly large font,
to give that 4Cm spine, so beloved of pre-O’Reilly computer
publications. Despite that RDG is an exciting book and ther are few
computerbooks that deserve that adjective.
RDG covers those areas where Ruby really begins to turn "difficult"
programming into fun programming - database access, XML processing,
SOAP, XML-RPC, distributed Ruby, parser generation, Ruby GUIs, Math
programming etc etc. Read this book and have your Soap server up and
running while the .NET and Java prorammers are still reading the
Matz’s OReilly book is a very condensed reference. Definative, of
course, but the material is largely covered by Programming Ruby. I
believe both books are available under the OpenBook license.