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Programming Ruby, 3rd Edition now in BETA

I’m very pleased to announce Dave Thomas’s Programming Ruby: The Pragmatic Programmers’ Guide, 3rd Edition is now available as a Beta Book.

For more information, or to order, please visit

This is the Pickaxe book, named for the tool on the cover. The original PickAxe was the first English-language book on Ruby. Each edition of the book tracks the latest Ruby release, and each is the definitive reference to Ruby. This third edition maintains that tradition, and has been updated to reflect the new features of Ruby 1.9.

Ruby is the fastest growing and most exciting dynamic language out there. If you need to get working programs delivered fast, you should add Ruby to your toolbox.

Did You Buy the Second Edition from Us?

If you bought the second edition book or PDF directly from us, we have some significant savings for you. Visit your home page for details.

About this Book

Would you like to go from first idea to working code much, much faster? Do you currently spend more time satisfying the compiler instead of your clients or end users? Are you frustrated with demanding languages that seem to get in your way, instead of getting the work done? Are you using Rails, and want to dig deeper into the underlying Ruby language? If so, then we’ve got a language and book for you!

Ruby is a fully object-oriented language, much like the classic object-oriented language, Smalltalk. Like Smalltalk, it is dynamically typed (as opposed to Java or C++), but unlike Smalltalk, Ruby features the same conveniences found in modern scripting languages such as Perl and Python.

The combination of the power of a pure object-oriented language with the convenience of a scripting language makes Ruby a favorite tool of intelligent, forward-thinking programmers.

The Pickaxe contains four major sections:

  • An acclaimed tutorial on using Ruby.
  • The definitive reference to the language.
  • Complete documentation of all built-in classes, modules, and methods.
  • Complete descriptions of all 98 standard libraries.

This is the reference manual for Ruby, including a description of all the standard library modules, a complete reference to all built-in classes and modules (including all the new and changed methods introduced by Ruby 1.9). It also includes all the new and changed syntax and semantics introduced since Ruby 1.8. Learn about the new parameter passing rules, local variable scoping in blocks, fibers, and the new block declaration syntax, among other exciting new features.

  • The definitive reference manual for Ruby programmers.
  • Up-to-date and expanded for Ruby version 1.9.
  • Complete documentation of all built-in classes, modules, and methods.
  • Complete descriptions of all 98 standard libraries.

Tracking Ruby

Matz is still making adjustments to Ruby 1.9. This book will track those changes—the PDF will be updated to reflect the very latest Ruby, and we’ll only go to print once the book is accurate and Ruby 1.9 has been frozen.

Coming soon:

  • Programming Groovy
  • Groovy Recipes
  • Prototype and
    You never knew JavaScript could do this
  • Augmented Reality:
    A Practical Guide
  • FXRuby:
    Create Lean and Mean GUIs with Ruby
  • Rails for PHP Developers (Beta)

Recently released:

  • Design Accessible Web Sites:
    36 Keys to Creating Content for All Audiences and Platforms
  • GIS for Web Developers
    Adding “Where” to your Web Applications
  • A Peek at Computer Electronics:
    The Things You Should Know

Andy & Dave