8 of the Best Free Ruby Books
Individuals wanting to learn to program in Ruby have a good
range of books available at their disposal. There are many
hundreds of instructive Ruby books that are in-print and available to
download or buy at reasonable cost. However, for newcomers to the
programming scene, the cost of these books can be a barrier.
Ruby is a general purpose, structured, flexible,
fully object-oriented programming language. It features a fully dynamic
type system, which means that the majority of its type checking is
performed at run-time rather than at compilation. This stops
having to overly worry about integer and string types. Ruby has
management. The language shares many similiar traits with Python, Perl,
There are many reasons why programmers want to learn Ruby. It
is designed to make programming enjoyable and easier. Coding in Ruby is
more like writing in English than a computer programming language.
Further, you can write the same program in Ruby with fewer lines of
code than say C, C++, or Java. The increasing popularity of Ruby stems,
in part, because of the success of Ruby on Rails, an open source
full-stack web application framework for Ruby.
Besides the books featured in this article, it is also worth
reading the Ruby User's Guide http://www.rubyist.net/~slagell/ruby/.
The guide offers a good overview of the Ruby language.
The focus of this article is to select some of the finest
Ruby books which are available to download for free. Some of the books
featured in this article are published under a freely distributable
To cater for all tastes, we have chosen a range of books,
covering general introductions to Ruby, books for more experienced
programmers, and books that stand out from the crowd in one way or
another. All of the texts featured in this article are worth reading.
1. Ruby Best Practices
Ruby Best Practices is for programmers who want to use
Ruby as experienced Rubyists do. Written by the developer of the Ruby
project Prawn, this book explains how to design beautiful APIs
and domain-specific languages with Ruby, as well as how to work with
functional programming ideas and techniques that can simplify your code
and make you more productive.
Ruby Best Practices is much more about how to go about
solving problems in Ruby than it is about the exact solution you should
use. The book is not targeted at the Ruby beginner, and will
be of little use to someone new to programming. The book assumes a
reasonable technical understanding of Ruby, and some experience in
developing software with it.
The book is split into two parts,
with eight chapters forming its core and three appendixes included as
This book provides a wealth of information on:
- Driving Code Through Tests - covers a number
testing philosophies and techniques. Use mocks and stubs
- Designing Beautiful APIs with special focus on Ruby's
secret powers: Flexible argument processing and code blocks
- Mastering the Dynamic Toolkit showing developers how
to build flexible interfaces, implementing per-object behaviour,
extending and modifying pre-existing code, and building classes and
- Text Processing and File Management focusing on
regular expressions, working with files, the tempfile standard library,
and text-processing strategies
- Functional Programming Techniques highlighting
modular code organisation, memoization, infinite lists, and
- Understand how and why things can go
wrong explaining how to work with logger
- Reduce Cultural Barriers by leveraging Ruby's
- Skillful Project Maintenance
The book is open source, released under the Creative
Commons NC-SA license.
2. Programming Ruby - The Pragmatic Programmer's Guide
Programming Ruby is a tutorial and reference
for the Ruby programming language. Use Ruby, and you will write better
code, be more productive, and make programming a more enjoyable
Topics covered include:
- Classes, Objects and Variables
- Containers, Blocks and Iterators
- Standard Types
- More about Methods
- Exceptions, Catch and Throw
- Basic Input and Output
- Threads and Processes
- When Trouble Strikes
- Ruby and its World, the Web, Tk, and Microsoft Windows
- Extending Ruby
- Reflection, ObjectSpace and Distributed Ruby
- Standard Library
- Object-Oriented Design Libraries
- Network and Web Libraries
- Embedded Documentation
- Interactive Ruby Shell
The first edition of this book is released under the
License, v1.0 or later. An updated Second Edition of this book,
covering Ruby 1.8 and including descriptions of all the new libraries
is available, but is not released under a freely distributable license.
3. Mr. Neighborly's Humble Little Ruby Book
Mr. Neighborly's Humble Little Ruby Book covers the Ruby
language from the very basics of using puts to put phrases on
the screen all the way to serving up your favorite web page from
WEBrick or connecting to your favorite web service.
Written in a
conversational narrative rather than like a dry reference book, Mr.
Neighborly's Humble Little Ruby Book is an easy to read, easy to follow
guide to all things Ruby.
Topics covered included methods, blocks and proc
objects, conditionals, loops, exceptions, filesystem interacton,
processes, and networking.
4. Learn Ruby the Hard Way
Learn Ruby The Hard Way is a translation of the original
"Learn Python The Hard Way" to teaching Ruby, with the translation done
by Rob Sobers. "Learn Python The Hard Way" has taught hundreds of
thousands worldwide how to code in Python, and this book uses the same
method for Ruby.
The title says it is the hard way to learn to write
code but it is actually not. It is the hard way only in that
it is the way people used to teach things. In this book you
will do something incredibly simple that all programmers actually do to
learn a language.
This is a very beginner book for people who want to
learn to code. If
you can already code then look elsewhere. It is targeted for newbies to
build up their skills before starting a more detailed book, such as
Ruby Best Practices.
Learn Ruby The Hard Way consists of:
- 52 Exercises which consist of typing code samples.
This helps budding Ruby programmers to learn the names of the
symbols, become familiar with typing them, and reading the language
- Exercises cover topics such as: Variables, printing,
functions, boolean algebra, branches and functions, automated testing,
and starting your own game
Section: 8 of the Best Free Ruby Books - Part 2
Last Updated Saturday, March 16 2013 @ 07:20 PM EST