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David Black’s Ruby 1.9 Video Tutorials

By Peter Cooper / April 23, 2009


Popular Ruby trainer and author David A Black has partnered up with Envycasts (from the Rails Envy guys) to produce a set of two Ruby 1.9 video tutorials / screencasts. You can buy each part (part 1, 2) on its own for $9 or the two together as a set for $16. If you choose the set, you'll also get a 40%-off coupon for David's new book, The Well Grounded Rubyist (the followup to Ruby for Rails).

I've watched both of the videos and they're up to the usual extremely high production standards that Envycasts is becoming known for (see this review of their Rails 2.2 screencast and PDF). Both videos are about 40 minutes long and the first covers hashes, arrays, symbols, enumerators, the Enumerable module, and RubyGems, while the second looks at some less obvious enhancements including new block variable features, String class updates, encodings, and a plethora of new methods that are newly available to all Ruby objects (as well as the new BasicObject class).

David has dug up some interesting examples and intriguing methods that aren't being used much by Rubyists yet, due to their newness, so even if you've got the basic hang of Ruby 1.9, the second video is sure to throw up some things you've hadn't seen before, such as instance_exec, tap, public_send, and ancestors.

5 Copies To Be Won! Read on...

Want to see the videos but haven't quite managed to whip your credit card out just yet? The first five unique people who post a comment on this post using a valid e-mail address (in the field, to keep it hidden from the general public, if you wish) and a suggestion of a screencast that you'd like to see produced in future (perhaps even with a specific suggestion of who should host it!) will receive a promo code to use. So.. get going with those ideas.. shoot from the hip! Gregg Pollack will leave a comment to follow up.

Lastly, don't forget to check out Envycasts' range of videos. The Scaling Ruby one is particularly cool.


  1. Tristan Dunn says:

    A few ideas off the top of my head: Engines, Metal, advanced debugging, continuous integration

  2. Paul says:

    In a hurry, but I'd like to see a screencast along the lines of the Emacs on, but for Vim, too.

  3. Dejan Simic says:

    advanced git

  4. Paul says:

    My bad, the Emacs screencast was peepcode, but my suggestion still stands :)

    I'd also like to see one about some of the newer features in Rails 2.3/3.0; Engines, Rack Middleware, etc...

  5. rugal says:

    I'd love like to see screencasts about optimizations, on how to make the code performe better. I'm sure that there are a lot of ways for doing one thing, but some perform better than others, so it would be good to know the best ruby practices

    And maybe also another screencast about useful case histories, like ruby projects failed, or with a really high success, because particular stuff, and going to analize that particular stuff with what they should had done instead (in the fail case) :)

  6. Marcos Neves says:

    About testing (rspec, Cucumber, Shoulda, Remarkable)

  7. Matthew Vince says:

    Continuous integration!

  8. Bryan Buchs says:

    I'd love to see something along the lines of "testing for dummies". I've been picking up ruby/rails as I go along, and I know that testing is something I NEED to be doing, but I don't quite have a full grasp on the concepts yet.

  9. Alex says:

    This is something I am working on right now: advertising network application. Would love to see a screencast on how to design something like this and, more importantly, the reasons for key design decisions.

  10. Michael Boutros says:

    I wish they would do a screencast on RJS, because I am unable to find any describing the newer methods.

  11. BradfordW says:

    My suggestion is to maybe show how various key/value stores can be used to increase database performance (by taking the load off). Things like tokyo-cabinet, redis and mayyyyybe couch. Anyway, they're useful for many things obviously (I sometimes use them for content delivery) and I think more should be done to inform developers of these benefits.


  12. Deadmilkman says:

    A screencast about Ruby code optimization, performance, etc. Would be nice.

  13. Tom Cocca says:

    I would love to see a new screencast on the Rails Metal features that were recently added, especially regarding testing the integration between the rails metal services and the rest of your rails app.

  14. cldwalker says:

    A screencast that compares different design patterns for a specific coding task at hand would be cool.

  15. dmonaco says:

    I would like to see produced a screencast about the most common metaprogramming techniques in ruby and real world usages including when and why is recommended to use those techniques.

  16. Eugene Bolshakov says:

    I'd be interested in a screencast about using Ruby for non-web stuff. Say to build a desktop app.

  17. Karl Larson says:

    I can't wait to check these vids out. David is great instructor and the envycasts are superb as well. Maybe we can look for the RailsEnvy guys to put out something giving a heads up for Rails 3 before it hits shelves.

  18. Peter Cooper says:

    Wow, you guys didn't hang around! :) Thanks for commenting. I've sent Gregg the e-mail addresses of the first five: Tristan Dunn, Paul, Dejan Simic, Rugal, and Marcos Neves - congrats!

    I've told Gregg that if he wants he can certain send promo codes to anyone else whose ideas he likes, though, so you never know..! I particularly like the RJS idea actually, although I'm not sure how popular it is anymore.

  19. David Matthews says:

    I would like to see a screencast with Mr. Pollack presenting Behavior Driven Development or Test Driven Development, if he prefers.

  20. Peter Cooper says:

    That desktop app screencast is a great idea too. I haven't seen anything solid like that yet. The only problem is the amount of choice in libraries.. Shoes, FXRuby, wxRuby, Ruby-GNOME2, MacRuby/Cocoa, RubyCocoa, etc..

  21. AntaresTrader says:

    I would really like to see one or more screen casts on using jQuery and JavaScript with rails. Yahuda Katz had a recent blog post about adding tabs using jQuery that makes my attempts with it look second-rate. I'd really like to learn 1) how to make the most of jQuery, 2) think in javascript, 3) Integrate javascript into my rails development and testing.

  22. Shalev says:

    I'd really like to see something on how the various Ruby implementations work, an overview of their code layout, and how to begin contributing to them. For instance, I'd love to get involved with Rubinius or MacRuby, but "just diving in" would be a lot easier with a well presented guide.

  23. jthoenes says:

    Hi guys,

    I would really love to see a JRuby envycast!

    Keep up the good work.


  24. Jan Wedekind says:

    @petercooper: Regarding development of desktop apps. I'm using Qt4QtRuby and I can really recommend it. As in C++ one can use Qt4-Designer to design the widgets. The tools rbuic4 and rbrcc are then used to compile the user interface and the resources to Ruby. To fill the GUI with functionality one needs to do some Ruby programming. The GUIs run under GNU/Linux, Windows, and MacOS (haven't tested it with MacOS myself). Qt4 has multiple document interfaces, dockable widgets, toolbars, keyboard shortcuts, Webkit integration, style sheets, ... . Also the internationalisation support is very good.

  25. Carlos A. da Silva says:

    Hi guys,

    I'd like to see screencasts about test methods, good and bad ways to test something, how to test rightly, what to test... Tests are really important, people are always talking about tests, but something is lacking here. It's hard to find good resources about testing.

    I (as I might guess lots of developers also) am loving railscasts' series about testing, Ryan's screencasts are awesome.

    Best regards,
    Carlos A. da Silva

  26. Daniel Lopes says:

    I'm also interested to see some more advanced about tests. Like Carlos said, everybody talks about it, but is hard to find good sources.

  27. David Smit says:

    I'd like to see a sreencast on Rack

  28. Gregg Pollack says:

    Thanks for all the suggestions guys... If there were 30 hours in a day I might actually have time to do them all.

    If you're looking for testing screencasts, Ryan Bates has been putting out a few great ones lately on testing:

    It's also worth mentioning that there's a peepcode on TDD:

    IFor those talking wanting more information on Metal / Rack, there is definitely some stuff coming down the pipeline. If you're going to Railsconf, you'll see some of this in my talk.

    If you're not going to be at Railsconf, I'll be releasing the video online sometime after.

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