Rubyist wiki
Ruby

Ruby is a programming language conceived by Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto in 1993. Ruby is a fully object-oriented programming language that emphasizes efficiency of the programming experience rather than efficiency of execution. Ruby is built for the programmer’s enjoyment, and not the compiler’s. Ruby has a tendency to instill a love into Ruby programmers—or Rubyists as they like to call their selves—which is seldom experienced with other programming languages.

Ruby has a very active community that is hailed for its niceness. Witness of this is the acronym MINASWAN which stands for “Matz Is Nice And So We Are Nice”. The main communication channel between Ruby gurus and Ruby newbies (often referred to as nubies) is the ruby-talk mailing list. In 2000, comp.lang.ruby, the official Ruby newsgroup, was approved. Gateway software synchronizes this news group with the ruby-talk mailing list. A forum interface to ruby-talk is provided as well. For more information on Ruby related lists and how to subscribe, see http://www.ruby-lang.org/en/community/mailing-lists/.

Before the advent of the Pickaxe—as “Programming Ruby” is known to Rubyists—Ruby was largely unknown outside Japan. Nowadays, only deaf people and ostriches haven’t heard of Ruby, and a plethora of information is available on it:

  • “Programming Ruby”, or the Pickaxe. This is the Ruby bible; it’s the reference on Ruby. The second edition is available from the Pragmatic Programmers, both in a dead tree and PDF version. The first edition was made freely available on the web.
  • David Black’s “Ruby for Rails” teaches you Ruby, but from the perspective of someone who wants to use Rails. It’s available from Manning .
  • David Flanagan’s “The Ruby Programming Language” was cowritten by Matz himself and features illustrations by the one and only _why . It is the authoritative guide to Ruby, including Ruby 1.9.
  • Chris Pine’s “Learn to program” is a hallowed programming tutorial for the completely programming agnostic. It uses Ruby as a very gentle introduction to programming. More information here.
  • Hal Fulton’s The Ruby Way closely followed the Pickaxe in 2001 and is considered by many as a good introduction to Ruby.
  • A more recent effort in bringing you the basics of Ruby in book form is Mr. Neighborly’s Ingeniously Impertinent and Decorously Ephemeral Humble Ruby Book.
  • A must-read is Why’s (Poignant) Guide to Ruby. The Poignant Guide is simply genius!
  • From the same author, there’s Hackety Hack that aims to teach programming to our youngsters.
  • Try Ruby! gives you the opportunity to try out Ruby without the need for installing anything on your computer. Try Ruby! runs straight in your web browser.

For more information on Ruby and a complete list of Ruby related literature, see the comp.lang.ruby FAQ, though it has a tendency to get out of date.

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