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Programming Ruby 1.9 (The New Pickaxe) Now In Print

By Peter Cooper / April 30, 2009

pickaxe2000.pngWhether you love it or not, as a Rubyist you probably have a copy of Programming Ruby (also known as The Pickaxe) floating about. It was the first English language Ruby book to be published and was instrumental in boosting Ruby's popularity in the early noughties.

Now, after quite some time, the latest, third, edition of Programming Ruby has gone into print and is now available in both print and PDF/e-book formats. Direct from the publisher, The Pragmatic Programmers , you can pick it up as a eBook + Paper Book package for $59.95, an eBook only for $25, or the print version for $49.95. If you want to save some pennies, Amazon has the print copy for $32.97 (not an affiliate link).

The third edition of the Pickaxe is notable as the only complete reference for Ruby 1.9 (and the standard library) so if you want to be up to speed, fill your boots. O'Reilly's The Ruby Programming Language, by David Flanagan and Yukihiro "Matz" Matsumoto also covers 1.9 but isn't quite as up to date and presents Ruby in a more walkthrough fashion. Programming Ruby now clocks in at a stomping 960 pages, quite a growth on the 800 page second edition..!

Comments

  1. john says:

    Flanagan/Matz a "walkthrough"? There go into detail more frequently on hard topics, and have longer code examples . . .

  2. Robert Dempsey says:

    I'll be giving away a fresh copy to one lucky attendee of my A-Z Introduction to Ruby on Rails talk at RailsConf. Yay!

  3. Peter Cooper says:

    John: I mean in narrative structure. It's not a "reference" in the narrative sense. It walks through topics. Definitely not a snub to that book, I gave it a glowing review on RI and Amazon many moons ago :)

  4. Andrew Grimm says:

    What do you mean by "Now, after quite some time"? Unless you expect a reference book to cover popular gems that are a work in progress, I don't see how the second edition is out of date for ruby 1.8.

    With regards to "now available in both print and PDF/e-book formats", PDF is the only e-book format available according to their web site.

  5. Ray says:

    Note that the e-book edition is PDF only. So, unlike most of the books available from the Pragmatic Programmers, you can't view it on your Kindle/iPhone. It was probably too difficult to make it fit on the small format devices.

  6. Peter Cooper says:

    What do you mean by "Now, after quite some time"? Unless you expect a reference book to cover popular gems that are a work in progress, I don't see how the second edition is out of date for ruby 1.8.

    By "Now, after quite some time" I mean that the 3rd edition is out "now" and that it has been "quite some time" since the 2nd edition. I'm not sure how else those words could be interpreted.

    On your latter point, the second edition is not necessarily out of date, but I didn't say that. That said, on 1.8.7 it's bound to be out of date as 1.8.7 added a bunch of stuff and the book was out before then.

    With regards to "now available in both print and PDF/e-book formats", PDF is the only e-book format available according to their web site.

    That's why it's PDF/e-book and not "PDF and e-book." In this case, the plural of "format" is referring to "print" and "PDF/e-book" formats.

  7. Peter Cooper says:

    I bet if I wrote "I love everyone and, please, let's all be nice to each other" someone would find some nit to pick in it :)

    Not, of course, that I want to give you the impression that I don't appreciate each and every one of your comments. Keep up the good work!

  8. Andrew says:

    Poor Peter, they are really giving you a hard time on this one. :-)
    I wasn't a huge fan of the previous editions, but it's great to finally see books covering ruby 1.9

  9. cbmeeks says:

    Peter, I think you should change that link to an Amazon affiliate link.

    I pre-ordered the PDF + Print book directly from Prag months ago but I don't personally feel offended by you making the link to Amazon an affiliate.

    I mean, why not? You can disclaim it if you want but I say earn as much as you can on this site. I visit this site frequently and you deserve a little dough.

    On one of my tiny little sites, I had an Amazon affiliate link to a book. Well, the user wound up buying Visual Studio 2008! I made something like $25 or something like that with one click. Paid my hosting for one month. Things like that might keep RI around much longer.

    Anyway, just my opinion.

    cbmeeks

  10. John Leach says:

    I'm a notorious grump about advertising/affiliatey conflicts of interest, but I'd be well comfortable with that being an Amazon affiliate link (with the parenthesized warning changed to say it *was* an affiliate link, which is what I thought it said at first).

    You're just giving Amazon cash otherwise, and I think they probably have enough. I do like the efforts at squeaky cleanness though :D

  11. mileszs says:

    I'm pretty excited about this. The quicker we get everyone moved to Ruby 1.9, the better.

    If you offer both a non-affiliate link and an affiliate link, people can choose. I'd like to think there exist enough kind Rubyists that you may make a few bucks.

  12. cbmeeks says:

    What's wrong with just using an affiliate link with no disclaimers? It doesn't cost the consumer any extra money. In fact, it's BETTER than ads because if someone clicks it and buys something, the content provider (RI) gets a little cash. Which might motivate to create more content. It's a win-win.

    If a disclaimer is important, then maybe put it in an FAQ or about somewhere stating that some links could be an affiliate.

    No big deal to me. The fact that RI might get $0.40 from my $60 purchase makes no difference to me.

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