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About this Book


Welcome to Ruby in Practice! This book is geared toward software developers who know Ruby or who are starting with Ruby and want to put their skills to use solving real software-development problems. We’ll walk you through a series of common software scenarios, such as authenticating against LDAP or parsing XML, and show you how to approach and easily solve them using Ruby.

These solutions (and the chapters themselves) are discrete units that can be read in any order. If you’re not interested in the web-related chapters, feel free to skip them. If you really want to learn all about reporting, skipping past the other chapters shouldn’t affect your ability to understand that one. While we do suggest that you read them in order (because some chapters will make at least a little more sense after reading others), you don’t have to. And, fear not: if a concept is discussed elsewhere in the book, it is noted so that you can find it easily enough.

Who should read this book

Ruby is gaining steam both on and off the web. This book is geared toward developers who want to explore using Ruby in environments that aren’t necessarily “database-backed web applications.” Experience in Ruby is assumed (and is fairly essential to get the maximum value from most of the discussions), but you don’t need to be an expert to get started with this book. Even beginners will find their place, learning from examples that range from practical solutions to development challenges.

What this book doesn’t include

How this book is organized

Code conventions

Code downloads

Author online

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