Practical Ruby Gems
Practical Ruby Gems

Author: David Berube
Publisher: Apress, 2007
Pages: 271
ISBN: 978-1590598115
Aimed at: Ruby programmers
Rating: 3.5
Pros: Showcases some handy Gem packages
Cons: Limited scope
Reviewed by: Mike James

The most important thing to know is that this isn't a book about really good ideas in Ruby, as it well could be if it was about any other language. A Gem is a Ruby package - the Ruby equivalent of a Java Jar file. So basically this book is a brief introduction to getting and using Gems. The final chapter is about creating your own Gems. The bulk of the book of is a guide to some Gems that you can download and use in your own projects. What this means is that the book is valuable or rather might be valuable if you plan to use any of the Gems it describes. The problem is that most of the descriptions are fairly shallow and while they do augment the usually poor online documentation it is difficult to justify the cost of the book unless you are going to use more than one of its offerings.

What the book does do is act as a catalogue and showcase for the easily available Gems and in this role it might well have a role in life. Not an essential Ruby book but it might be handy to have around.




Pro SQL Server 2012 BI Solutions

Author: Randall Root and Caryn Mason
Publisher: Apress
Pages: 806
ISBN: 978-1430234883
Aimed at: database admins and developers working on BI projects
Rating: 4.5
Reviewed by: Kay Ewbank

You can put forward a strong argument that Business Intelligence is the only real point of having a database.

Alan Turing's Electronic Brain

Author: B. Jack Copeland
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Pages: 592
ISBN: 978-0199609154
Audience: Historians of computing
Rating: 4.5
Reviewer: Harry Fairhead

Alan Turing didn't have an electronic brain, but he did try to build one.

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