While the book assumes no prior knowledge of Ruby, it is not a book solely for beginners. On the contrary, it was written during the design and testing of my company’s Ruby on Rails IDE, Ruby In Steel, and it contains information on many of the twisty byways of Ruby which you might not come across unless you happened to be, well, writing a Ruby On Rails IDE
So, whether you just need a simple reference to Ruby syntax or whether you need to learn about some of the more weird any wonderful ‘dynamic’ things you can do such as creating classes at runtime, you should find something of use in this book.
Incidentally, I will warn you in advance that I (deliberately) do not adopt some of the stylistic conventions preferred by some Ruby programmers for the simple reason that I find them ugly. So, where some people like names_with_underscores I may prefer NamesWithoutThem. And where many Ruby programmers avoid brackets whenever possible, I use them fairly freely. I know this annoys the heck out of some Ruby folk who feel that it is good for the soul slavishly to copy someone else’s preferred coding style. If that is your opinion then by all means avoid reading my book.
The truth is that I have never understood why people get so passionate about naming conventions. You like underscores, I like camel case, I say potatoes, you say pot-ah-toes. In brief, the way you write names is trivial. Language elements such as brackets, on the other hand, are important. Parentheses clarify code and avoid ambiguity which in a highly dynamic language such as Ruby is, in my opinion, absolutely vital (see the index entries on ‘ambiguities’ and ‘parentheses’).
In any case, The Book Of Ruby doesn’t preach on matters of style. I don’t disapprove of other people’s preferred coding style as long as they don’t try to force me to adopt it. If you are interested, you can read some more of my thoughts on programming style in a series of articles I wrote a whole back called ‘Ruby The Smalltalk Way’ - parts one, two and three.
Anyway, decide for yourself. The Book Of Ruby is 100% free, after all.
Download The Book Of Ruby here: http://www.sapphiresteel.com/The-Book-Of-Ruby.