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PragPub: Ruby's 20th; 3D Game Programming for Kids

February 06, 2013

We’ve got two new goodies for you this week:

If you’ve ever tried to teach a kid (of any age) to write code, you may have noticed that the regular, text-based, “Hello World” approach seems pretty dull. Plus you usually have to install the language, an editor or IDE, and other bits before you even get started. What if kids could learn programming using nothing more than a browser, and be able to see cool, 3D results as they type? Grab a copy of 3D Game Programming for Kids: Create Interactive Worlds with JavaScript from and you’re there.

Lots of good stuff in PragPub this month: an article by Ron Jeffries, a couple of articles on Ruby as we celebrate 20 years of that fine language, and more. Come and get it for free from

3D Game Programming for Kids: Create Interactive Worlds with JavaScript

You know what’s even better than playing games? Creating your own. Even if you’re an absolute beginner, you’ll build interactive worlds and fun games—you’ll be amazed at what you can do.

You’ll jump right in and write games and simulations while learning programming fundamentals. You’ll use the ICE Code Editor, which was created especially for this book to make it easy for you to get started with JavaScript programming. With the ICE Editor, you’ll see the results of your work right away. Want a red donut? You can make hundreds of them, spinning around like crazy right next to the code you just typed.

You’ll do hands-on coding in every chapter. You’ll start by building simple animated shapes, then make your own player—who can do cartwheels! You’ll learn how to build your own games from start to finish, including a monster eating fruit, a cave puzzle, and rafting on a river. You’ll animate simple shapes to create a model of the solar system, and make your own website so that you can show off your games with your friends. If you just want to make games, jump to the lessons focusing on projects. To understand some of the theory better or if you need some help with functions, turn to the chapters that explain the programming concepts. We’ll walk you carefully through all the math needed to bring games to life.

Best of all, you get to create awesome games and say, “I made this!”

Now available in beta from


In honor of the Ruby language’s 20th birthday on February 24, we’re emphasizing Ruby in this issue, with two articles on where Ruby is going.

Clay Allsopp writes about Ruby as a development language for iOS apps, using RubyMotion. In “Expressive iOS Development,” he shows how Ruby and Objective-C can coexist peacefully in iOS app development.

Joe Kutner takes Ruby in another direction, into the cloud. In “Deploying with JRuby in the Cloud,” he walks you through the options you have for heading into the cloud by way of the JVM. As Joe explains, by moving to JRuby now, you’ll be preparing yourself for the multithreaded future.

While Clay takes you mobile and Joe takes you into the cloud, Nick Krym will take you around the world in his article on “The Five Cs of Offshore Communications.” Whether your offshore project succeeds or fails can depend almost entirely on how you communicate with your offshore team. Nick’s advice will keep you out of trouble.

Teams applying Agile ideas almost always get some improvement. One guess is that the overall improvement due to Scrum, for example, is about twenty percent over what the team was achieving before Scrum. Some teams do much better, and legendary programmer Ron Jeffries thinks he knows why. These teams understand that “Estimation is Evil.” Ron reveals all in this issue.

And there’s more. Steven Roberts continues sharing everything he’s learned in a lifetime of gonzo engineering, from scrounging parts to finding sponsors. Matthias Günther continues his series on the Pomodoro Technique with a discussion of interruptions and how not to let them rule your life. Our resident curmudgeon, John Shade, tackles prediction. Plus we’ve got a Quiz, our Events Calendar, and some odds and ends in a collection we call Choice Bits. And in a blast from the past, we dug up some ancient comments from Bill Gates about writing his first Basic and selling it to MITS for the Altair computer.

Now available, free to read and share from

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Coming Soon:

  • 101 Design Ingredients to Solve Big Tech Problems in beta
  • Cucumber Recipes in print
  • Explore It! in print
  • Practical Programming, 2nd Ed. in beta
  • Java 8 Lambda Expressions: Refactoring from Imperative to Functional Style in beta
  • TDD for C++ Programmers in beta

Recently Released:

  • OpenGL ES for Android [in beta]
  • Core Data, 2nd Ed [in print]
  • Good Math [in beta]
  • Working with TCP Sockets [now available]
  • Thanks for your continued support,

    Andy & Dave

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