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Book Review: Eloquent Ruby

by Justin Spradlin

Eloquent RubyI can’t even begin to imagine how difficult it would be to write a book covering such an in-depth topic as the Ruby Programming language. Add to that a target audience with a widely diverse range of skills and the tasks seems to be out right impossible. Fortunately for us mere mortals Russ Olsen has taken on this challenge and surpassed my high expectations in his second book, Eloquent Ruby.

The first part of the book is for the Ruby newbies, but takes an interesting deviation from most programming books. Instead of focusing simply on the syntax and language libraries, Eloquent Ruby focuses on the community aspect of the Ruby programming language. Each programming community has its own style and norms and without a lot of direction and practice, these style and norms can be difficult to learn. The Ruby community is heavily opinionated and Russ’s book does a great job of explaining these opinions and their manifestation in many Ruby codebases.


Update March 03, 2010:

Due to changes in the Google Finance API only GMoney gem versions >= 0.4.3 are working. If you run gem update gmoney to get the latest version or install the gem from scratch you will be fine.

Let’s pretend the year is 2007 and I have a close “friend” who is really excited about the upcoming 2010 World Cup. My friend is not too naive and realizes that airfare to Africa, lodging, tickets to the games, and Safaris are all very expensive. My friend has a little extra cash to save each month and with a three year time horizon he figures he can stow away a little money in a moderately aggressive mutual fund in order to take advantage of some growth opportunities.

Unfortunately for my friend the next two years would be some of the worst the world economy has ever seen. Like many people, my friend took a bath on his investments and his hopes and dreams of going to the World Cup went down the drain along with his money.

It’s too bad my friend didn’t keep better track of his investments. Perhaps if he had he could have pulled his money out of the stock market and salvaged his vacation. Since my friend is an avid Ruby lover I figured I’d help make sure he doesn’t end up in this situation ever again. That’s why I wrote GMoney, a RubyGem for interacting with the Google Finance API.


Recently I added a Flickr photostream to the footer of the home page of this blog and I thought it would be cool to post an entry on how you can use jQuery and the Flickr API to do the same. Even if you’re not familiar with jQuery or the Flickr API it’s actually quite simple to accomplish this task.

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Chuck Klosterman IV by Chuck Klosterman Rating: 8
Javascript Enlightenment by Cody Lindley
Javascript Enlightenment by Cody Lindley Rating: 8