David Black's book _Ruby for Rails

Discussion in 'Ruby' started by finetan@hotmail.com, Jun 5, 2007.

  1. Guest

    Hi all

    Anyone of you have read the book, David Black's book _Ruby for Rails?

    I 'd like to know what you think about the book from a professional
    perspective.

    Your insight some might find it useful.

    -Jimmy

    --
    http://www.bestwhy.com
    , Jun 5, 2007
    #1
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  2. pat eyler Guest

    On 6/5/07, <> wrote:
    > Hi all
    >
    > Anyone of you have read the book, David Black's book _Ruby for Rails?


    I've read it, recommended it, and lent out my copy on a few occasions.
    It's great.


    >
    > I 'd like to know what you think about the book from a professional
    > perspective.
    >


    While not entirely about the book, I did interview David about it a while
    ago:

    http://on-ruby.blogspot.com/2006/09/author-interview-david-black.html




    > Your insight some might find it useful.
    >
    > -Jimmy
    >
    > --
    > http://www.bestwhy.com
    >
    >
    >



    --
    thanks,
    -pate
    -------------------------
    Duty makes us do things, Love make us do things well.
    http://on-ruby.blogspot.com http://on-erlang.blogspot.com
    http://on-soccer.blogspot.com
    pat eyler, Jun 5, 2007
    #2
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  3. Peter Szinek Guest

    pat eyler wrote:
    > On 6/5/07, <> wrote:
    >> Hi all
    >>
    >> Anyone of you have read the book, David Black's book _Ruby for Rails?

    >
    > I've read it, recommended it, and lent out my copy on a few occasions.
    > It's great.


    +1

    >> I 'd like to know what you think about the book from a professional
    >> perspective.


    I made a quick writeup a few months ago:

    http://www.rubyrailways.com/the-sadly-neglected-pickaxe-killer/

    Cheers,
    Peter
    __
    http://www.rubyrailways.com :: Ruby and Web2.0 blog
    http://scrubyt.org :: Ruby web scraping framework
    http://rubykitchensink.ca/ :: The indexed archive of all things Ruby.
    Peter Szinek, Jun 5, 2007
    #3
  4. Emilio Tagua Guest

    On 6/5/07, <> wrote:
    > Hi all
    >
    > Anyone of you have read the book, David Black's book _Ruby for Rails?
    >
    > I 'd like to know what you think about the book from a professional
    > perspective.
    >
    > Your insight some might find it useful.
    >


    I think it's a great book, i would highly recommend it *after* reading
    and understanding "Agile Development with Ruby on Rails".

    It gives you an idea of what Rails does at the Ruby level. I wouldn't
    recommend it as first book as i said before, maybe as a third
    ("Agile..." and a good Ruby book first). It has some great practices
    and you will be a better Ruby programmer while doing apps in RoR.

    Cheers
    Emilio Tagua, Jun 5, 2007
    #4
  5. Daniel Waite Guest

    unknown wrote:
    > I 'd like to know what you think about the book from a professional
    > perspective.
    >
    > Your insight some might find it useful.


    I've read through the book, and, like those above, loved it.

    What I got most from it was its *incredibly thorough* explanation of the
    concept of 'self' in Ruby. Moments after finishing the chapter on self I
    ran to _why's creature code and, line by line, explained exactly what it
    was doing. I was so proud of myself. :)

    One of the above reviewers cited the book as a Pickaxe killer, and I
    would tend to agree. While I, too, start with the Pickaxe, I could never
    get passed the first hundred pages or so. I primarily used it as a
    reference. R4R though was a smooth read through and through. Mr. Black's
    knowledge of how Ruby works is top-notch, and an awesome, awesome gift
    for anyone serious about developing in Ruby.

    --
    Posted via http://www.ruby-forum.com/.
    Daniel Waite, Jun 6, 2007
    #5
  6. On Jun 5, 2007, at 8:24 PM, Daniel Waite wrote:

    > unknown wrote:
    >> I 'd like to know what you think about the book from a professional
    >> perspective.
    >>
    >> Your insight some might find it useful.

    >
    > I've read through the book, and, like those above, loved it.
    >
    > What I got most from it was its *incredibly thorough* explanation
    > of the concept of 'self' in Ruby.


    That's a good point. I learned things from that explanation myself.

    It is a very good book, though it will never kill the Pickaxe for me.

    James Edward Gray II
    James Edward Gray II, Jun 6, 2007
    #6
  7. Emilio Tagua wrote:
    > On 6/5/07, <> wrote:
    >> Hi all
    >>
    >> Anyone of you have read the book, David Black's book _Ruby for Rails?
    >>
    >> I 'd like to know what you think about the book from a professional
    >> perspective.
    >>
    >> Your insight some might find it useful.
    >>

    >
    > I think it's a great book, i would highly recommend it *after* reading
    > and understanding "Agile Development with Ruby on Rails".
    >
    > It gives you an idea of what Rails does at the Ruby level. I wouldn't
    > recommend it as first book as i said before, maybe as a third
    > ("Agile..." and a good Ruby book first). It has some great practices
    > and you will be a better Ruby programmer while doing apps in RoR.
    >
    > Cheers
    >
    >

    Well ... I think you *can* learn both Ruby and Rails from _Ruby for
    Rails_. Now "Agile" and "Pickaxe" are more or less mandatory as
    *referenced* once you're developing Ruby or Rails code for a living. But
    if you know nothing about either, I'd recommend starting with _Ruby for
    Rails_.
    M. Edward (Ed) Borasky, Jun 6, 2007
    #7
  8. concept of self (was: Re: David Black's book _Ruby for Rails)

    On 06.06.2007 03:24, Daniel Waite wrote:
    > What I got most from it was its *incredibly thorough* explanation of the
    > concept of 'self' in Ruby. Moments after finishing the chapter on self I
    > ran to _why's creature code and, line by line, explained exactly what it
    > was doing. I was so proud of myself. :)


    You make it sound as if there was something complex about "self". Makes
    me wonder whether I am missing something about "self". As far as I can
    see "self" is an ordinary variable with these additional properties:

    - it is automatically set to the current receiver and it cannot be
    altered by Ruby code

    - it is implicitly used for method invocations without an explicit
    receiver and for instance variable access

    Did I miss anything?

    Kind regards

    robert
    Robert Klemme, Jun 6, 2007
    #8
  9. Guest

    Re: concept of self (was: Re: David Black's book _Ruby for Rails)

    Hi --

    On Wed, 6 Jun 2007, Robert Klemme wrote:

    > On 06.06.2007 03:24, Daniel Waite wrote:
    >> What I got most from it was its *incredibly thorough* explanation of the
    >> concept of 'self' in Ruby. Moments after finishing the chapter on self I
    >> ran to _why's creature code and, line by line, explained exactly what it
    >> was doing. I was so proud of myself. :)

    >
    > You make it sound as if there was something complex about "self". Makes me
    > wonder whether I am missing something about "self". As far as I can see
    > "self" is an ordinary variable with these additional properties:
    >
    > - it is automatically set to the current receiver and it cannot be altered
    > by Ruby code
    >
    > - it is implicitly used for method invocations without an explicit receiver
    > and for instance variable access
    >
    > Did I miss anything?


    Only the fact that in practice, grasping self is a stumbling-block for
    a lot of people. In addition to just getting the concept of a
    "default object", which is not always easy, there's the question of
    where and when self changes, which can be confusing because it
    sometimes overlaps with local scope but not always.

    So I wanted to explain (and document and demonstrate) both self and
    scope pretty thoroughly. Almost anything in the language can probably
    be reduced to a couple of defining phrases, but just saying (for
    example) that a class method is a singleton method of a class object
    doesn't actually make everyone understand or feel confident about
    applying the concepts involved. People really do learn in different
    ways :)


    David

    --
    Q. What is THE Ruby book for Rails developers?
    A. RUBY FOR RAILS by David A. Black (http://www.manning.com/black)
    (See what readers are saying! http://www.rubypal.com/r4rrevs.pdf)
    Q. Where can I get Ruby/Rails on-site training, consulting, coaching?
    A. Ruby Power and Light, LLC (http://www.rubypal.com)
    , Jun 6, 2007
    #9
  10. Re: concept of self (was: Re: David Black's book _Ruby for Rails)

    On Jun 6, 2007, at 5:57 AM, wrote:

    > Almost anything in the language can probably
    > be reduced to a couple of defining phrases, but just saying (for
    > example) that a class method is a singleton method of a class object
    > doesn't actually make everyone understand or feel confident about
    > applying the concepts involved.


    And David's description of the singleton class is another terrific
    feature of the book.

    James Edward Gray II
    James Edward Gray II, Jun 6, 2007
    #10
  11. Re: concept of self

    On 06.06.2007 12:57, wrote:
    > Hi --
    >
    > On Wed, 6 Jun 2007, Robert Klemme wrote:
    >
    >> On 06.06.2007 03:24, Daniel Waite wrote:
    >>> What I got most from it was its *incredibly thorough* explanation of
    >>> the concept of 'self' in Ruby. Moments after finishing the chapter on
    >>> self I ran to _why's creature code and, line by line, explained
    >>> exactly what it was doing. I was so proud of myself. :)

    >>
    >> You make it sound as if there was something complex about "self".
    >> Makes me wonder whether I am missing something about "self". As far
    >> as I can see "self" is an ordinary variable with these additional
    >> properties:
    >>
    >> - it is automatically set to the current receiver and it cannot be
    >> altered by Ruby code
    >>
    >> - it is implicitly used for method invocations without an explicit
    >> receiver and for instance variable access
    >>
    >> Did I miss anything?

    >
    > Only the fact that in practice, grasping self is a stumbling-block for
    > a lot of people. In addition to just getting the concept of a
    > "default object", which is not always easy, there's the question of
    > where and when self changes, which can be confusing because it
    > sometimes overlaps with local scope but not always.


    This reminds me of the headaches I had when confronted with OOP the
    first time. That's quite a few years ago now and OOP has become my
    second nature (or so) - that's probably the reason why I did not find
    anything strange about "self". But true, for somebody relatively new to
    OOP this might be considerably harder. I had forgotten that. But it's
    good to be reminded of this once in a while.

    > So I wanted to explain (and document and demonstrate) both self and
    > scope pretty thoroughly. Almost anything in the language can probably
    > be reduced to a couple of defining phrases, but just saying (for
    > example) that a class method is a singleton method of a class object
    > doesn't actually make everyone understand or feel confident about
    > applying the concepts involved. People really do learn in different
    > ways :)


    Sure. I didn't want to question the explanation (haven't even read the
    book as I am not doing any Rails), I was just curious whether I missed
    something. Thank you for your explanation!

    Kind regards

    robert
    Robert Klemme, Jun 6, 2007
    #11
  12. On 5-Jun-07, at 1:10 PM, wrote:

    > Hi all
    >
    > Anyone of you have read the book, David Black's book _Ruby for Rails?
    >
    > I 'd like to know what you think about the book from a professional
    > perspective.


    I'm pretty enthusiastic about the book. Ruby for Rails, in my
    opinion, is targeted at someone who is using Rails already and is
    feeling that it is time to learn Ruby. The book uses Rails as a guide
    to explaining Ruby. This is really quite unusual for general
    programming language books. You normally expect to see this when a PL
    is explained as an embedded language (autolisp in autocad, mel in
    Maya, come to mind). Trouble is that these books usually limit
    themselves to what the author thinks is important in the context
    (autocad, Maya). David didn't do that. He has managed to provide an
    excellent how to program in Ruby guide within the context of Rails,
    not just a how-to-use-ruby-while-working-with-rails book. I think
    that it is better than that actually, David manages to use the
    context of Rails to improve the presentation. This makes for a really
    effective learning experience for people familiar with Rails, and
    merely a really good experience for everyone else. It has the feel of
    a well done tutorial.

    On top of that, there are some really good explanations of
    interesting aspects of Ruby in the book (e.g. the self/scope
    discussion, Ruby-style domain specific languages).

    It doesn't act as a Ruby reference, you'll need the Pickaxe for that.

    Be aware: I'm quoted on the back of the book

    Cheers,
    Bob

    >
    > Your insight some might find it useful.
    >
    > -Jimmy
    >
    > --
    > http://www.bestwhy.com
    >
    >


    ----
    Bob Hutchison -- tumblelog at <http://
    www.recursive.ca/so/>
    Recursive Design Inc. -- weblog at <http://www.recursive.ca/
    hutch>
    -- works at <http://www.recursive.ca/>
    Bob Hutchison, Jun 6, 2007
    #12
  13. On Wed, Jun 06, 2007 at 11:18:45AM +0900, M. Edward (Ed) Borasky wrote:
    > Emilio Tagua wrote:
    > >On 6/5/07, <> wrote:
    > >>Hi all
    > >>
    > >>Anyone of you have read the book, David Black's book _Ruby for Rails?
    > >>
    > >>I 'd like to know what you think about the book from a professional
    > >>perspective.
    > >>
    > >>Your insight some might find it useful.
    > >>

    > >
    > >I think it's a great book, i would highly recommend it *after* reading
    > >and understanding "Agile Development with Ruby on Rails".
    > >
    > >It gives you an idea of what Rails does at the Ruby level. I wouldn't
    > >recommend it as first book as i said before, maybe as a third
    > >("Agile..." and a good Ruby book first). It has some great practices
    > >and you will be a better Ruby programmer while doing apps in RoR.
    > >
    > >Cheers
    > >
    > >

    > Well ... I think you *can* learn both Ruby and Rails from _Ruby for
    > Rails_. Now "Agile" and "Pickaxe" are more or less mandatory as
    > *referenced* once you're developing Ruby or Rails code for a living. But
    > if you know nothing about either, I'd recommend starting with _Ruby for
    > Rails_.

    Seconded. I'd recommend Ruby for Rails even if you aren't necessarily
    doing Rails. It's the best intro to ruby the language I've ever read.
    Logan Capaldo, Jun 6, 2007
    #13
  14. Rich Morin Guest

    At 1:34 AM +0900 6/7/07, Logan Capaldo wrote:
    > Seconded. I'd recommend Ruby for Rails even if you aren't
    > necessarily doing Rails. It's the best intro to ruby the
    > language I've ever read.


    +1

    I'd really like to see David to rework it into a Ruby-based
    introductory programming text.

    -r
    --
    http://www.cfcl.com/rdm Rich Morin
    http://www.cfcl.com/rdm/resume
    http://www.cfcl.com/rdm/weblog +1 650-873-7841

    Technical editing and writing, programming, and web development
    Rich Morin, Jun 6, 2007
    #14
  15. fREW Guest

    Re: concept of self (was: Re: David Black's book _Ruby for Rails)

    On 6/6/07, James Edward Gray II <> wrote:
    > On Jun 6, 2007, at 5:57 AM, wrote:
    >
    > > Almost anything in the language can probably
    > > be reduced to a couple of defining phrases, but just saying (for
    > > example) that a class method is a singleton method of a class object
    > > doesn't actually make everyone understand or feel confident about
    > > applying the concepts involved.

    >
    > And David's description of the singleton class is another terrific
    > feature of the book.
    >
    > James Edward Gray II
    >
    >
    >


    I am now convinced. I am putting this on my to read list after I read
    the Agile book (I have it and not the other and cannot order books
    right now...)

    --
    -fREW
    fREW, Jun 6, 2007
    #15
  16. John Joyce Guest

    Re: concept of self (was: Re: David Black's book _Ruby for Rails)

    On Jun 6, 2007, at 12:37 PM, fREW wrote:

    > On 6/6/07, James Edward Gray II <> wrote:
    >> On Jun 6, 2007, at 5:57 AM, wrote:
    >>
    >> > Almost anything in the language can probably
    >> > be reduced to a couple of defining phrases, but just saying (for
    >> > example) that a class method is a singleton method of a class

    >> object
    >> > doesn't actually make everyone understand or feel confident about
    >> > applying the concepts involved.

    >>
    >> And David's description of the singleton class is another terrific
    >> feature of the book.
    >>
    >> James Edward Gray II
    >>
    >>
    >>

    >
    > I am now convinced. I am putting this on my to read list after I read
    > the Agile book (I have it and not the other and cannot order books
    > right now...)
    >
    > --
    > -fREW
    >

    It all really depends on what you want to learn. But I'd say that you
    really should be comfortable with Ruby before doing too much with
    Rails. Rails makes a lot more sense if you've really delved into Ruby
    first.

    The Pickaxe is a vital Reference book. buy it, keep it handy.

    Agile... is also a vital Reference book and tutorial, if you intend
    to do Rails, you need to have it.

    Ruby for Rails fills in a lot of blanks, and yes, the discussions in
    it about self and several other topics are some of the best and most
    often referred to. You'll be glad you bought it. You could jump
    straight into Ruby and Rails with only this book, but you should
    always build a small library for any language and/or framework,
    because one book will answer what another book will not.

    If you really need to learn beginning Ruby, go for the book Beginning
    Ruby: From Novice to Professional.
    It won't really get you to Professional, but it will get you to where
    you have at least a basic understanding of a broad number of topics
    touched by Ruby.

    Also consider the Oreilly books, Ruby Cookbook, and Rails Cookbook.
    The Ruby Cookbook unfortuanately doesn't address some of the useful
    topics in other language cookbooks (like the PHP book).
    Luckily all but maybe 1 of the Ruby books out there are very very
    good programming books.

    The problem you may eventually encounter is situations where Rails
    (or Camping even) are overkill for a web site, and all you need is
    simpler stuff. Also, if you are planning to use Ruby technologies for
    web sites, investigate hosting services very carefully. Ruby isn't as
    widely or well supported by hosting providers as is PHP. What's more,
    Rails, like some Python frameworks, is best hosted by companies that
    specialize in these kinds of web apps. These kinds of web apps are
    best served by having slice hosting or VPS (virtual private server)
    hosting. Not the usual shared hosting. Of course, if you can afford
    dedicated hosting, that works too.
    John Joyce, Jun 6, 2007
    #16
  17. On 6/6/07, Rich Morin <> wrote:
    > At 1:34 AM +0900 6/7/07, Logan Capaldo wrote:
    > > Seconded. I'd recommend Ruby for Rails even if you aren't
    > > necessarily doing Rails. It's the best intro to ruby the
    > > language I've ever read.

    >
    > +1
    >
    > I'd really like to see David to rework it into a Ruby-based
    > introductory programming text.


    I'd like to see that too, well unless I beat him to writing one <G>

    Actually I like Ruby For Rails, but I'm afraid to say that it's gotten
    pretty far behind the current state of Rails.

    --
    Rick DeNatale

    My blog on Ruby
    http://talklikeaduck.denhaven2.com/
    Rick DeNatale, Jun 7, 2007
    #17
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