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.

<ASIN:0596516177>

<ASIN:1934356085>

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OCaml from the Very Beginning

Author: John Whitington
Publisher: Coherent Press
Pages: 204
ISBN: 978-0957671102
Audience:  OCaml beginners
Rating: 4.5
Reviewer: Mike James

OCaml is an odd language. Especially if you are coming from a background in the Java-like languages. A book that promises to take you from the very beginnin [ ... ]



Pro Silverlight 5 in C# 4th Ed

Author: Matthew MacDonald
Publisher: Apress
Pages: 944
ISBN: 978-1430234791
Aimed at: Devlopers still using Silverlight
Rating: 4.8
Reviewed by: Ian Elliot

The latest, and probably last, update to a book we have previously highly recommended. How does this fourth edition compare?


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