Everyday Scripting with Ruby
For Teams, Testers, and You
By Brian Marick
Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf
Final Release Date: January 2007
Pages: 310

Are you a tester who spends more time manually creating complex test data than using it? A business analyst who seemingly went to college all those years so you can spend your days copying data from reports into spreadsheets? A programmer who can't finish each day's task without having to scan through version control system output, looking for the file you want?

If so, you're wasting that computer on your desk. Offload the drudgery to where it belongs, and free yourself to do what you should be doing: thinking. All you need is a scripting language (free!), this book (cheap!), and the dedication to work through the examples and exercises.

Everyday Scripting with Ruby is divided into four parts. In the first, you'll learn the basics of the Ruby scripting language. In the second, you'll see how to create scripts in a steady, controlled way using test-driven design. The third part is about finding, understanding, and using the work of others--and about preparing your scripts for others to use. The fourth part, more advanced, is about saving even more time by using application frameworks.

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oreillyEveryday Scripting with Ruby
 
4.3

(based on 3 reviews)

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4.0

Easy to use introduction into Ruby

By Markus Gärtner

from Lage, Germany

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Pros

  • Accurate
  • Concise
  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples
  • Well-written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate
    • Novice

    Comments about oreilly Everyday Scripting with Ruby:

    Brian Marick does a great job to introduce into Ruby. He gives a short introduction into test-driven development and then starts off to describe the core language features, all along implementing a real-world program. This is very good introduction into the language and it was worthwhile for me to get the common touch of Ruby. Marick also touches topics as using irb and rake as well as introducing into rdoc.

    Clearly, it's a great book for people new to ruby. If you want to get more in-depth knowledge about the language, you would also consider buying another book. As a simple introduction into Ruby itself this book pays off, but it even does not give you more.

     
    5.0

    Great introduction to Ruby via pragmatic" scripting."

    By Scott Schram

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Everyday Scripting with Ruby:

    "Everyday Scripting With Ruby" addresses its three target audiences well:

    The first audience: The person who is doing repetitive or manual tasks that could be automated by scripts, but "thinks programming is too hard."

    For that audience, the book is a fine introduction to the Ruby language using practical scripts.

    The major example scripts are:

    * Comparing files in two different directories and reporting the differences.

    * An example of automated testing.

    * A reporting script for a version control system.

    * A script that visits a web site, "scrapes" data from the page, and prepares it for import into a spreadsheet.

    * A "watchdog" script that keeps an eye on long-running programs or tests and sends an email or instant message when they finish.

    These scripts will be a fine start to your own scripting library, and portions of them will be useful in writing scripts to solve your own problems.

    The scripts are improved iteratively, and each iteration provides compelling motivation and a context for learning the next set of Ruby language features.

    The second audience: "The person who gets bogged down when writing or changing larger scripts."

    This book teaches modern programming techniques that assist in managing complexity, such as test-driven development, "borrowing other people's work in bits in pieces, growing programs gradually, and constantly keeping them clean."

    The third audience: "For the person who knows the wrong languages [for scripting purposes] well." It is much easier to write scripts in Ruby than in many other languages. Ruby also compares favorably to other scripting languages such as Perl, Python, or shell scripting (like Bash.) It is easy to read and make changes to a Ruby program that you wrote six months ago.

    Ruby on Rails is the web framework that is driving a lot of interest in the Ruby language, and this book would serve as a good introduction to the Ruby language before tackling Rails. An understanding of the Ruby language is essential to understanding Rails.

    "Everyday Scripting With Ruby" is well organized and well written. It's a very easy read, and a great introduction to Ruby and scripting.

     
    4.0

    Good Ruby book for beginners

    By Valerio Valerio VDVsx

    from Evora, Portugal

    Comments about oreilly Everyday Scripting with Ruby:

    It's been 12 years since Yukihiro Matsumoto released Ruby's first version. Now that Ruby has achieved mass popularity, more and more people are getting into this new, perhaps odd, programming language. Among other functionalities, Ruby is very suitable for developing lightning fast scripts and learning how to write these is this book's main purpose.

    The book is written around four interesting projects that teach you from the basics of Ruby to some useful aspects of this language. Those are an uninstaller checker, a version control system, a web page information retriever and a system monitor for watching long-running programs and then forward information trough email or instant messaging.

    Even though the graphics in the book's back says it is for people between beginner and expert level users, I find it specially good for beginners. I'd risk saying that it is even suitable for absolute beginners due to the fact that Brian Marick explains how to set up the language, use a system shell as well as what object oriented programming is, etc...

    He does all this without appealing to other languages. This fact, although it is great for beginners, can sometimes annoy experienced developers a bit but it's nothing one cannot deal with.

    Brian Marick lead us through the book using a simple and direct speech sometimes with a slight sense of humor to chill things out. He doesn't only teaches how to use the language but also encourage people using it referring to eventual "bugs" and other things that may appear to be odd for beginners.

    Another good characteristics are the "Ruby Facts" chapters, it's like an intermission that briefly introduces some concepts as in chapter 10 - "Ruby Facts: Regular Expressions".

    The book intends that the reader goes programming along with it as it is a practical book. No deep and extensive concepts are taught here, there's not even an introduction reminding of Ruby's history. Therefore this is a straight practice oriented hands-on book with it's main target being testers that might want to automate some of their work.

    Concluding, despite the fact that the book's name ends with "for Teams, Testers and You", all the book seems to be written thinking about testers. I recommend the book specially for beginners who want to learn Ruby as their first programming language and for people who don't know Ruby and want to learn quickly how to write Ruby scripts. Therefore I give this book an overall classification of 4/5.

    Review by

    Joaquim Rocha (NEEI)

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