Ruby Under a Microscope
An Illustrated Guide to Ruby Internals
Publisher: No Starch Press
Final Release Date: 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
 
4.6

(based on 5 reviews)

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100%

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Pros

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  • Easy to understand (4)
  • Well-written (4)
  • Helpful examples (3)

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    5.0

    Best Ruby book I've read

    By Tristan

    from Berkeley, CA

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    Pros

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    • Concise
    • Easy to understand
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    • Well-written

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      Comments about oreilly Ruby Under a Microscope:

      If you're a relatively comfortable with Ruby, this book is fantastic at understanding what's going on under the hood. Which really, really helps at getting a mental picture of what the MRI system is doing, but also, why certain Ruby constructs - classes and modules and procs - work they way they do.

      I found this invaluable when trying to consider architectural decisions, or build a ruby extension.

       
      4.0

      An "under the hood" look

      By larye

      from Shelton, WA

      About Me Developer, Sys Admin

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        Comments about oreilly Ruby Under a Microscope:

        As a "language junkie" who has taught programming language principles, I always like to know how things work, not just how to use them. RUAM certainly satisfies that need, plus. Ruby sometimes surprises when porting code from one version to the next: RUAM will help, with explanations of some of the major internal changes between 1.8/1.9/2.0. RUAM is a big book, and covers a lot of ground, but still leaves room for more.

         
        5.0

        Amazing !

        By Daniel Lutz

        from São Paulo, SP

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          Comments about oreilly Ruby Under a Microscope:

          If you want to learn how Ruby works under the hood and/or if you want to build better Ruby softwares, you MUST buy this book.

           
          4.0

          Great book to dive into Ruby internal

          By Polob

          from Paris, France

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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

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              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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