Title: Programming Ruby
Authors: Andrew Thomas, David Hunt; foreword by Yukihiro Matsumoto
Published: Addison Wesley Longman Inc, Oct 2000
ISBN: 0201710897

Programming Ruby is a book about, surprisingly enough, programming in Ruby. It was written by the Pragmatic Programmers, Andrew Hunt and David Thomas, who also authored the book, The Pragmatic Programmer. Affectionately known within the Ruby community as the Pickaxe (after the image on the front cover of a pickaxe lying among rubies), the book makes an excellent introduction to Ruby for anyone who has recently discovered the language, as well as an invaluable reference for the practising Ruby programmer.

The book is divided into three sections: the first section introduces Ruby from the ground up, for people with little or no programming/scripting experience; the second section covers the language more extensively and details what the authors believe makes Ruby different, for those of you who are already avid Perl afficionados; and the third section contains a comprehensive reference to Ruby's built-ins and standard library.

Thanks to the kindness and foresight of the publishers, the book has been released under the Open Publication License and you can read it all online, although the general concensus is that it's worth having it in print; see the authors' site at

This first edition is based on Ruby v1.6 - a second edition is in planning but may not be published in dead tree format, due to the current decline in the sales of technical books.