[OT] Pragmatic programmers

(BearItAll) #1

Hello

Just for those of you who have gone through various tutorials on ruby
and/or Rails. But don't feel like you've come away with quite enough
information to do anything more than a few basic utilities. Also, like I
did, you might view some areas of Ruby with a touch of scepticism.

The Pragmatic Programmers guide is the next part of the puzzle. I think it
was right to do other tutorials first, before getting the book or pdf,
because although the book starts by assuming a new user of the language,
it is much more pleasant to work through if you already have some ground
work done.

It is well written, doesn't go off into waffle land like many a
programming book does, which is often done to disguise a section the
writer doesn't really understand. This book just tells you what is what
and why.

The tricky part for myself with Ruby was it's class system. Coming from
C++ it seemed a very messy error-prone way of object building from
classes. The book sorted that part out in my mind, cleared up the blocks
system too, I had a feeling they would be more to it than the tutorials
had been telling me.

Anyway, I promise I have nothing to do with the writing or distribution of
this book, I am writing this to the group simply because over just one
weekend it has cleared up a lot of areas of Ruby that I was unsure of or
mistrusted.

http://pragmaticprogrammer.com/titles/ruby/index.html

I got the pdf version. The odd bit is that I seemed to remember that the
Adobe Reader let you add notes and your own bookmarks, but I downloaded
Adobe Reader 7 for linux and it hasn't either of those.

(Chris Game) #2

BearItAll wrote:

The Pragmatic Programmers guide is the next part of the puzzle. I
think it was right to do other tutorials first, before getting
the book or pdf, because although the book starts by assuming a
new user of the language, it is much more pleasant to work
through if you already have some ground work done.

What I find difficult about the book is that one keeps coming across
terms that are used before they're explained, which means a lot of
flicking backwards and forwards through the book. I was trying to
work out how to sort an array of [a, b] elements by the b value
yesterday, and sorting isn't covered at all well, other than in the
library sections. There are other cases of terms being used without
any useful explanation at all (scope, binding,...). Maybe they need
more input from newer users, I don't remember these issues with
Programming Perl, but maybe Larry Wall is a better author. Writing
good documentation is a whole different ball game from writing
clever programs.

And the 'Songs' database example the authors use through the first
sections just seems so lame...

(Good point, Einstein, as often the case the random sig thingie
ships in with an appropriate comment!)

···

--
Chris Game

"Keep things a simple as possible, but not simpler."
  -- Albert Einstein

(John) #3

The better book, in my opinion, for learning Ruby is Why's (Poignant)
Guide to Ruby.

(Kero) #4

The Pragmatic Programmers guide is the next part of the puzzle. I
think it was right to do other tutorials first, before getting
the book or pdf, because although the book starts by assuming a
new user of the language, it is much more pleasant to work
through if you already have some ground work done.

What I find difficult about the book is that one keeps coming across
terms that are used before they're explained, which means a lot of
flicking backwards and forwards through the book. I was trying to
work out how to sort an array of [a, b] elements by the b value
yesterday, and sorting isn't covered at all well, other than in the
library sections. There are other cases of terms being used without
any useful explanation at all (scope, binding,...). Maybe they need
more input from newer users, I don't remember these issues with
Programming Perl, but maybe Larry Wall is a better author. Writing
good documentation is a whole different ball game from writing
clever programs.

If you don't understand e.g. binding, skip it and come back later.

The book is called "Programming Ruby", not "Learning how to program".
I really have no idea what the book should explain about sorting.
(btw, the easy solution for your problem is called "sort_by")

I had about ten years of programming under my belt when I read the
pickaxe for the first time. It's been four years since, and I still
learn from it. There is so much in Ruby that you do not need every day,
and most is in the book; you can't expect to grasp it all by reading it
cover to cover once.

NB: matz wrote ruby, not the pickaxe.

+--- Kero ------------------------- kero@chello@nl ---+

all the meaningless and empty words I spoke |
                      Promises -- The Cranberries |

+--- M38c --- http://members.chello.nl/k.vangelder ---+

(Dave Burt) #5

John wrote:

The better book, in my opinion, for learning Ruby is Why's (Poignant)
Guide to Ruby.

I know some PHBs that would prefer PragProg :slight_smile:

(Christian Neukirchen) #6

Kero <kero@chello.single-dot.nl> writes:

The book is called "Programming Ruby", not "Learning how to program".

And I think that is good. There are so much books about programming,
it's good to have one that actually focuses on the topic you are
interested in, Ruby.

···

Kero

--
Christian Neukirchen <chneukirchen@gmail.com> http://chneukirchen.org