I'd like to know in your book since you are taking the user by the hand in teaching them Ruby, do you employ a style of presenting questions and exercises at the end of each chapter to help solidify the material just covered? In addition what version of Ruby is your book based on?
No, it's not an exercise driven book. I know a lot of people prefer that, though it's not very common to see nowadays. I think the main reason I didn't take that route was because Beginning Ruby is quite a long and thorough book in terms of how things are introduced. There are often multiple examples of the same concept, just with a slight bit of extension each time. It doesn't try and rush over topics too much. There are suggestions throughout the book as to what you could "do next" but they're not defined exercises, per se.
The book is based on Ruby generically and all code examples (except a few, which are noted) will work the same on Ruby 1.8 and Ruby 1.9. I'd personally advise no lower than 1.8.6 though. A couple of Ruby 1.9 specified topics are covered (character encoding and fibers, specifically).
Thank you for the response Peter. That style book I think does help in driving home the material covered for some people, but then again you have to do the exercises! I was curious, because I typically like that style when learning new material; however, as long as the subject is covered thoroughly that works equally well in my opinion. I'm beginning to develop more interest in Ruby and will definitely be looking at your book!
Interesting that it's not exercise driven. Are their companion code exercises/samples that can be downloaded online (after purchase of course)?
Joined: Jul 17, 2009
There's a source download for the larger examples in the book, but no exercises, no.
If I had to be honest, I probably didn't include exercises because I've never used them or found them useful myself. I will certainly keep it in mind for future books though as I wasn't really aware they were so well appreciated by some
A lot of people think that exercises are important, especially juniors. Since your book is targeted towards new developers, some of them do not have that much experience to try to think of a scenarios to develop a small program for. Having small task of clear use cases for people to develop does a lot of help for them.
As for myself, I don't like exercises that much, and I rarely solve them.