Published: October 2004
The Pickaxe book, named for the tool on the cover, is the definitive reference to Ruby, a highly-regarded, fully object-oriented programming language. This Second Edition has more than 200 pages of new content, and substantial enhancements to the original, covering all the new and improved language features of Ruby 1.8 and standard library modules.
If you want to use Ruby 1.9, or Ruby 2.0, then check out our new book Programming Ruby 1.9 & 2.0.
Alternatively, if you want to continue to use Ruby 1.8, then use the book on this page.
For various technical reasons, the eBook version of this edition is a PDF only: epub and mobi versions of this edition are NOT available.
Would you like to go from first idea to working code much, much faster? Do you currently spend more time satisfying the compiler instead of your clients or end users? Are you frustrated with demanding languages that seem to get in your way, instead of getting the work done? If so, then we’ve got a language and book for you!
Ruby is a fully object-oriented language, much like the classic object-oriented language, Smalltalk. Like Smalltalk, it is dynamically typed (as opposed to Java or C++), but unlike Smalltalk, Ruby features the same conveniences found in modern scripting languages such as Perl and Python.
The combination of the power of a pure object-oriented language with the convenience of a scripting language makes Ruby a favorite tool of intelligent, forward-thinking programmers.
The Pickaxe contains four major sections:
Readers of the First Edition will appreciate the new and expanded content, including: enhanced coverage of installation, packaging, documenting Ruby source code, threading and synchronization, and enhancing Ruby’s capabilities using C-language extensions. Programming for the world-wide web is easy in Ruby with new chapters on XML/RPC, SOAP, distributed ruby, templating systems and other web services. There’s even a new chapter on unit testing.
This is the definitive reference manual for Ruby, including a description of all the standard library modules, a complete reference to all built-in classes and modules (including more than 250 significant changes since the First Edition). Coverage of other features has grown tremendously, including details on how to harness the sophisticated capabilities of irb, so programmers can dynamically examine and experiment with running code.
Class Hash reference An example from the Built-in Classes and Modules chapter.
Standard Library excerpts Selected pages from the Standard Library chapter.
Published: October 2004