Ruby and Rails books keep popping up on the (virtual and real) shelves, which means that it may be slightly puzzling for newcomers to decide which books to spend their hard earned cash on. In the spirit of providing guidance in this process, I’ve prepared the Recommended Books for Ruby and Rails page. The recommendations are organized by skill level and should provide the reader with a nice logical sequence of increasingly more challenging reading material, making the task of identifying valid books easier for the new developer or student.
The more I become acquainted with Textmate, the more I’m impressed by such a nice little editor. I’ve had next to no time to play with it, and yet I’ve already added new functionalities to some of the existing bundles. In particular, I’ve committed a patch that extends the Textile bundle features, and I’ve become the maintainer of that bundle, with SVN access. Textmate bundles are very easy to customize and extend, and this flexibility is really appreciated from a development standpoint.
ri is an indispensable tool for the Ruby programmer, however you may have noticed that it’s a bit sluggish. If you haven’t done it already, do yourself a big favor and install the FastRi gem. FastRi provides various enhancements and advanced functionalities over the standard ri tool. But even when it’s used simply as a replacement for ri locally, it is significantly faster, and in my opinion more practical. Also, if you look for String#o for example, ri provides you with all the methods of the class String, that contain the letter ‘o’. While FastRi outputs only the methods starting with the letter ‘o’, which is what you actually want in most cases. Install with:$ sudo gem install fastri and $sudo fastri-server -b . Then use it in this way (qri is used for stand-alone mode, fri to connect to a remote server):$ qri String#scan.
Antonio Cangiano is a Software Developer and Technical Evangelist at IBM. He authored ‘Ruby on Rails for Microsoft Developers’ by Wrox (2009) and ‘Technical Blogging’ by The Pragmatic Bookshelf (2012). You can follow him on Twitter.