Learning Ruby

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  • Author: Daniel Carrera
  • Format: online HTML, archived HTML
  • Price: free

This beginner book on Ruby covers the fundamentals of writing a program and the fundamental concepts needed to perform any task.

Chapters include:

  • First Steps
  • Strings
  • New names for old things
  • Variables
  • Your first program
  • Writing good programs
  • Loops
  • Getting user input
  • Conditionals
  • While loops
  • Arrays
  • What can arrays do?
  • Iterators
  • Hashes
  • Example: Addressbook
  • Printing the addressbook
  • Sorting the addressbook
  • Functions
  • Classes and methods
  • More on classes
  • Implementing AddressBook
  • Writing iterators
  • More features


Ruby Cookbook and Language Reference

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  • Author: Ryan Davis
  • Format: online HTML
  • Price: free

A language guide and reference, by Ryan Davis, The Language Freak. This was a work in progress and not fully completed. The author has since abandoned the project, but there may still be merit in listing this as an available free book, since some of his completed chapters may be of help to someone.

Chapters include:

  • Arrays
  • CGI
  • ClassesAndObjects
  • Databases
  • DateAndTime
  • Directories
  • Exceptions
  • FileContents
  • Files
  • Hashes
  • InternetServices
  • Introduction
  • MethodsAndFunctions
  • Multithreading
  • NumbersAndRanges
  • Processes
  • Regex
  • Sockets
  • Strings
  • UI
  • WebAutomation
  • Ruby QuickRef
  • Rails Quickref
  • Ruby Snippets



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  • Author: PLEAC Project
  • Format: online HTML
  • Price: free

Following the Perl Cookbook spirit, the PLEAC Project aims to gather fans of programming, in order to implement the solutions in other programming languages.

In this book, you’ll find an implementation of the Solutions of the Perl Cookbook in the Ruby language.

Chapters include:

  • Strings
  • Numbers
  • Dates and Times
  • Arrays
  • Hashes
  • Pattern Matching
  • File Access
  • File Contents
  • Directories
  • Subroutines
  • References and Records
  • Packages, Libraries, and Modules
  • Classes, Objects, and Ties
  • Database Access
  • User Interfaces
  • Process Management and Communication
  • Sockets
  • Internet Services
  • CGI Programming
  • Web Automation


Why’s Poignant Guide to Ruby

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  • Author: Why the Lucky Stiff
  • Format: online HTML, archived HTML, PDF
  • Price: free (hard copy available on Amazon)

A programming adventure for Ruby beginners illustrated with cartoon foxes.

Chapters include:

  • About this book
  • Kon’nichi wa, Ruby
  • A Quick (and Hopefully Painless) Ride Through Ruby (with Cartoon Foxes): basic introduction to central Ruby concepts
  • Floating Little Leaves of Code: evaluation and values, hashes and lists
  • Them What Make the Rules and Them What Live the Dream: case/when, while/until, variable scope, blocks, methods, class definitions, class attributes, objects, modules, introspection in IRB, dup, self, rbconfig module
  • Downtown: metaprogramming, regular expressions
  • When You Wish Upon a Beard: send method, new methods in existing classes
  • The Tiger’s Vest (with a Basic Introduction to IRB): discusses IRB, the interactive Ruby interpreter.

HTML: http://poignant.guide/
archived HTML: https://github.com/mislav/poignant-guide
PDF: http://www.rubyinside.com/media/poignant-guide.pdf

Beginning Ruby: From Novice to Professional, Second Edition

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  • Author: Peter Cooper
  • Format: PDF (NOTE: Please read author’s full page before downloading)
  • Price: free

Beginning Ruby is a Ruby programming book aimed at newcomers to the language. It’s written in an instructional format and walks through basic programming concepts through to building Web apps, database apps, networking daemons, and GUI based apps. It’s well suited for someone new to programming as well as experienced developers who are just new to dynamic languages.

Chapters include:

  • Let’s Get It Started: Installing Ruby
  • Programming == Joy: A Whistle-Stop Tour of Ruby and Object Orientation
  • Ruby’s Building Blocks: Data, Expressions, and Flow Control
  • Developing Your First Ruby Application
  • The Ruby Ecosystem
  • Classes, Objects, and Modules
  • Projects and Libraries
  • Documentation, Error Handling, Debugging, and Testing
  • Files and Databases
  • Deploying Ruby Applications and Libraries
  • Advanced Ruby Features
  • Tying It Together: Developing a Larger Ruby Application
  • Web Application Frameworks: Rails, Sinatra, and Ramaze
  • Ruby and the Internet
  • Networking, Sockets, and Daemons
  • GUI-Based Desktop Application Development
  • Useful Ruby Libraries and Gems

NOTE: Please read author’s full page before downloading.
Get the book: Beginning Ruby: From Novice to Professional, Second Edition