7 Ruby Articles to Read Over The Holiday Season
So here we are right in the down period between Christmas and the start of the New Year. Few big releases or new developments come out at this time of the year, so it's a good time to either enjoy time offline or.. to get reading some insightful articles we wouldn't normally have time for! Luckily a few Rubyists have been busy spending the end of December putting together some rather good articles.. so get reading:
Understanding Ruby Blocks, Procs, and Lambdas by Robert Sosinski. Robert presents a comprehensive walkthrough of Ruby blocks, Proc objects, and lambdas with lots of code examples. If Procs and lambdas are still a bit greek to you, it's well worth reading - you'll feel a lot more confident for it.
Speeding up method_missing by Diego Scataglini. Diego laments on the lack of performance when using method_missing. He looks at some ways to speed it up - including caching and defining methods inline as they're used. He performs some benchmarks, and finds that a combination of caching and inlining can lead to performance approaching that of a regular, static method.
irb & script/console tips by Dan Croak. Dan Croak of Thoughtbot presents some tips for irb (Interactive RuBy) users, including delights such as auto completion, syntax coloring, aliases, and pretty printing.
HTML Scraping with scRUBYt! for Fun and Profit by Peter Szinek. Peter is the developer of scRUBYt! (once billed as "WWW::Mechanize and Hpricot on steroids") and in this article for the 2008 Ruby Advent Calendar he shows how simple it can be to scrape Google search results.
Prawn and the Future of Ruby PDF Generation by Gregory Brown. For several months this year, Gregory Brown was funded by the community to work on Prawn, an all-new PDF generation library for Ruby. In this article he shows you how to use Prawn to generate PDFs of your own. The illustrative code and examples make it a pleasure to work through.
Unit Testing Using Context by Mark Tucker. Mark looks at using Jeremy McAnally's context library to add contexts to Test::Unit test suites. He gets bonus points for being fueled by ale during the writing of the post. You might also find this blog post on using lambdas as a "ghetto context" tool interesting tool.
Ruby reflection by Khaled al Habache. Khaled takes a look at Ruby's reflection features and the operation of the various eval functions (eval, instance_eval, class_eval, etc).
Aching for even more reading? Check out the 2008 Ruby Advent Calendar for 24 Ruby related articles.