small medium large xlarge

Build Awesome Command-Line Applications in Ruby: now in print

March 14, 2012

So have you installed tmux yet? While you’re in a command-line mood, check out how to write professional-level applications for the command line in Ruby. Here’s how to do it right.

Build Awesome Command-Line Applications in Ruby: Control Your Computer, Simplify Your Life

As Ruby pro David Copeland explains, writing a command-line application that is self-documenting, robust, adaptable, and forever useful is easier than you might think. Ruby is particularly suited to this task, since it combines high-level abstractions with “close to the metal” system interaction wrapped up in a concise, readable syntax. Moreover, Ruby has the support of a rich ecosystem of open-source tools and libraries.

Ten insightful chapters each explain and demonstrate a command-line best practice. You’ll see how to use these tools to elevate the lowliest automation script to a maintainable, polished application.

You’ll learn how to use free, open-source parsers to create user-friendly command-line interfaces as well as command suites. You’ll see how to use defaults to keep options simple for everyday users, while giving advanced users options for more complex tasks.

There’s no reason a command-line application should lack documentation, whether it’s part of a help command or a man page; you’ll find out when and how to use both. Your journey from command-line novice to pro ends with a look at valuable approaches to testing your apps, and includes some fun techniques for outside-the-box, colorful interfaces that will delight your users.

With Ruby, the command line is not dead. Long live the command line.

Now available from

Don’t Get Left Out

Are your friends jealous that you get these spiffy email newsletters and they don’t? Clue them in that all they need to do is create an account on (email address and password is all it takes) and select the checkbox to receive newsletters.

Are you following us on Twitter and/or Facebook? Here’s where you can find us and keep up with the latest news and commentary:

Coming Soon:

  • The dRuby Book: Distributed and Parallel Computing with Ruby in print
  • The Rails View in print
  • Rails Recipes: Rails 3 Edition in print
  • Seven Databases in Seven Weeks in print

Recently Released:

  • Deploying with JRuby [in beta]
  • tmux [in print]
  • Technical Blogging [in print]
  • Programming Your Home [in print]
  • Thanks for your continued support,

    Dave & Andy

    Books • eBooks • Screencasts • PragPub Magazine