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Programming Ruby (2nd edition): The Pragmatic Programmers' Guide


Cover image for Programming Ruby

Programming Ruby (2nd edition)

The Pragmatic Programmers' Guide


The Pickaxe book, named for the tool on the cover, is the definitive reference to Ruby, a highly-regarded, fully object-oriented programming language. This Second Edition has more than 200 pages of new content, and substantial enhancements to the original, covering all the new and improved language features of Ruby 1.8 and standard library modules.

What Version of Ruby are You Using?

If you want to use Ruby 1.9, or Ruby 2.0, then check out our new book Programming Ruby 1.9 & 2.0.

Alternatively, if you want to continue to use Ruby 1.8, then use the book on this page.

For various technical reasons, the eBook version of this edition is a PDF only: epub and mobi versions of this edition are NOT be available.

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  • $25.00 In Stock
  • Ebooks are DRM free.

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About this Title

Pages: 864
Published: 2004-10-01
Release: P10.0 (2006-09-20)
ISBN: 978-0-9745-1405-5

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? 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.

Readers of the First Edition will appreciate the new and expanded content, including: enhanced coverage of installation, packaging, documenting Ruby source code, threading and synchronization, and enhancing Ruby’s capabilities using C-language extensions. Programming for the world-wide web is easy in Ruby with new chapters on XML/RPC, SOAP, distributed ruby, templating systems and other web services. There’s even a new chapter on unit testing.

This is the definitive reference manual for Ruby, including a description of all the standard library modules, a complete reference to all built-in classes and modules (including more than 250 significant changes since the First Edition). Coverage of other features has grown tremendously, including details on how to harness the sophisticated capabilities of irb, so programmers can dynamically examine and experiment with running code.

  • The definitive reference manual for Ruby programmers.
  • Up-to-date and expanded for Ruby version 1.8.
  • Complete documentation of all built-in classes, modules, and methods.
  • Complete descriptions of all 98 standard libraries.
  • 200+ pages of new content in this edition.
  • NEW: Learn more about Ruby’s web tools, unit testing, and programming philosophy.

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What You Need

  • This book assumes you have a basic understanding of object-oriented programming.
  • In general, Ruby programmers tend to favor the the command line for running their code, and they tend to use text editors rather than IDEs.
  • Ruby runs on Windows, Linux, and Macs.

Contents & Extracts


Dave Thomas is a cornerstone of the Ruby community, and is personally responsible for many of its innovative directions and initiatives. He and original co-author Andy Hunt are founders of the Pragmatic Programmers and the Pragmatic Bookshelf. Chad Fowler is co-director of Ruby Central, Inc., and remains an active, driving force in the Ruby community.

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