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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The Magic of Computer Graphics

Author: Noriko Kurachi
Publisher: CRC Press, 2011
Pages: 448
ISBN: 978-1568815770
Aimed at: Academic computer scientists who already know basics of computer graphics
Rating: 5
Pros: Covers topics neglected elsewhere; a mathematical approach
Cons: No introductory level content; mathematical approach
Reviewed [ ... ]



Analyzing Social Media Networks with NodeXL

Author: Derek Hansen, Ben Shneiderman & Marc A. Smith
Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann
Pages: 304
ISBN: 978-0123822291
Aimed at: Social media research community
Rating: 4
Pros: Unique reference for NodeXL, reports extensive research
Cons: Niche topic
Reviewed by: Janet Swift

Interested in social network anal [ ... ]


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