One of the most anticipated features of this year’s Ruby Conference, has unquestionably been the
first viewing of Dave Thomas’s Programming
. Dave and Andy were
kind enough to donate the first (signed!) copies to early-registered
RubyConf attendees.

Before I explain what a fantastic book this is, I should disclose that my
name appears on the cover, and then explain what this really means. I was
honored to be asked to write one
for the new book on the topic of the RubyGems package manager. My
praise for the book stands regardless of my (very minor) contribution. So,
don’t take any of these comments as self-praise or self-promotion. I
am humbled by what Dave and Andy have done for Ruby and am flattered to
have been mentioned on the cover for my somewhat trivial involvement.

If you’ve read the first edition of "The Pickaxe", you
already know that it’s one of the most readable and informative
programming language introductions you’ll find—for any
language. Don’t be fooled by the fact that the second edition is also
called "Programming Ruby". This is a new and better
book. Dave has updated the book to cover Ruby 1.8, added an
excellent chapter on unit testing, and single-handedly documented
the entire standard library (which has grown immensely since Ruby 1.6).

If you’ve been thinking about learning a new language, now’s
the time.



and PDF