Ruby Under a Microscope
An Illustrated Guide to Ruby Internals
Publisher: No Starch Press
Released: November 2013
Pages: 360

Ruby is a powerful programming language with a focus on simplicity, but beneath its elegant syntax it performs countless unseen tasks.

Ruby Under a Microscope gives you a hands-on look at Ruby's core, using extensive diagrams and thorough explanations to show you how Ruby is implemented (no C skills required). Author Pat Shaughnessy takes a scientific approach, laying out a series of experiments with Ruby code to take you behind the scenes of how programming languages work. You'll even find information on JRuby and Rubinius (two alternative implementations of Ruby), as well as in-depth explorations of Ruby's garbage collection algorithm.

Ruby Under a Microscope will teach you:

  • How a few computer science concepts underpin Ruby's complex implementation
  • How Ruby executes your code using a virtual machine
  • How classes and modules are the same inside Ruby
  • How Ruby employs algorithms originally developed for Lisp
  • How Ruby uses grammar rules to parse and understand your code
  • How your Ruby code is translated into a different language by a compiler
No programming language needs to be a black box. Whether you're already intrigued by language implementation or just want to dig deeper into Ruby, you'll find Ruby Under a Microscope a fascinating way to become a better programmer.

Covers Ruby 2.x, 1.9 and 1.8
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oreillyRuby Under a Microscope
 
4.5

(based on 2 reviews)

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4.0

Great book to dive into Ruby internal

By Polob

from Paris, France

About Me Developer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Accurate
  • Easy to understand

Cons

    Best Uses

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    Comments about oreilly Ruby Under a Microscope:

    Great ressource if you are interrested in how a language like Ruby is really implemented. This book is best suited for the curious and those who want to get a grip on how things really work, not those who want to learn a better way to use Ruby.

    The book starts with details on how MRI parse and compile your script to a internal representation, making it a great concrete application of various compiler techniques. They are presented in a clear and concrete way that is sometime missing from the classic books on compilers.

    The middle of the book deals mainly with the MRI run time and how it keeps track of your data and where you are in your program. The various illustration are really clear and you can really understand what's going on. I had various 'ha ha !' moments where I finaly understood various limitations or behaviors of the language.

    The end of the book deals with garbage collection and makes comparaisons with other runtimes like the JVM or Rubinius. While the comparaisions are pretty interresting, they may or may not be your prime issue, depending on how you use Ruby. If you are only using Ruby for small to medium scripts like me, it's not a real big deal.

    I'm not sure reading this book is a must read for Rubists. For diving into Ruby, you should really start with the seminal 'The Ruby Programming Language' or 'Ruby cookbook' (even if the cookbook is now getting a little bit old, it remains largely valid).

    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Unique, In-depth knowledge

    By Hybernaut

    from Boston, MA

    About Me Developer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Easy to understand
    • Well-written

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      • Intermediate

      Comments about oreilly Ruby Under a Microscope:

      This book is full of deep in-depth analysis and cogent explanation of Ruby internals, from the parser to the way dynamic method wiring makes metaprogramming easy in Ruby.

      Pat is a frequent speaker at the Boston Ruby Group, and I always look forward to patient, insightful explanations from his inquisitive and deeply analytical mind.

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