On Sep 2, 2004, at 4:29 PM, Jason Lane wrote:

> Hi list ;)
>
> Apart from good old Google based research and trawling mailing 
> archives, which Ruby books can you recommend.
>
> If I were to buy 1 or 2 which would it be?

I just recently picked up Ruby, primarily from books, so I'll tell you 
what I used.  Your milage may vary, of course...

I read "Programming Ruby" first.  I felt it was a very good book...  
for programmers who are already familiar with one or more languages.  A 
scripting language background (Perl, Python, etc.) is even more handy.  
I'm not saying a rank beginner couldn't learn from it, but I didn't 
feel like they were the intended audience.  Just as one example, I 
don't feel this book teaches Object Orientation (outside the syntax for 
using it).  I think you're going to need to know these concepts 
eventually in a language like Ruby.  You'll have to bring that 
knowledge with you though, or find it elsewhere.  Again, I want to 
stress that I'm trying to give an honest, not negative, opinion.  I 
enjoyed the book a lot and I did learn Ruby from it.  I believe a 
second edition is due out soon, if you want to wait.

After that I read "The Ruby Way", which is basically a Ruby cookbook.  
I always find these kind of books help me get the practical side of a 
language to go along with the theory and this book was no exception.  I 
enjoyed it too.  Again though, this is a book for people who know Ruby. 
  It's unlikely you could learn it here, in my opinion.

Hope that helps.

James Edward Gray II