Many books on programming language ruby have been published during these years. Although it is a good thing, it also is true that picking one from these books is becoming hard and hard. Here I will list 10 of the books on ruby for beginners, and try to tell the differences between them, and hope by doing so, help beginner decide which one suits him or her.
(update: a book list for advanced ruby learners)
Learn To Program, Second Edition
by Chris Pine
Compared to other ones, this book is very small, which is good for a new programming language learner. From this book, you will learn what is Programming and How to program (using Ruby).
for those New to Programming Language
Programming Ruby 1.9 -- The Pragmatic Programmers’ Guide
by Dave Thomas with Chad Fowler and Andy Hunt
Programming Ruby 1.9 is the new (third) version of the PickAxe Book. This book is known as “the PickAxe book”, because there is a pickaxe on the cover of this book.
It is a big book, containing 400 pages ruby tutorial teaching you from the abc of the language to every deep bit you may need to know to become a professional ruby programmer, and 500 pages Ruby Library Reference.
Foreworded by Yukihiro Matsumoto, the Ruby language creator, the book is treated as the official book of the ruby language, and is very popular among ruby learners and developers.
This third version, as it’s title show, mainly cover ruby 1.9. If you want to learn ruby 1.8, you may consider to buy the second version.
For everyone, ruby 1.9
For everyone, ruby 1.8
The Ruby Programming Language
by David Flanagan and Yukibiro Matsumoto with drawings by the luck stiff
Covers Ruby 1.8 and 1.9
An updated and expanded version of Ruby in a Nutshell. It is written for experienced programmers ( new to ruby or not).
A ruby book the ruby language creator took part in, to explain how the language works, from beginning.
For experienced programmers (new to ruby or not), ruby 1.8 and 1.9
For Everyone who loves examples, Ruby 1.8
Beginning Ruby -- From Novice to Professional, Second Edition
by Peter Cooper
This book is divided into three parts : Ruby Foundation, the core of ruby, and ruby online. There is more than 100 pages References of Ruby and its Libraries. Sounds very practical and useful.
Those are New to Ruby, and want to learn ruby in a practical and fast way.
For those New to Ruby
Ruby by Example Concepts and Code
No Starch Press.
by Kevin C. Baird
A book divided into more than 40 examples. The book present most of the example code first, and then explain how the code works.
For ruby learners
Not recommended, outdated