A Little Ruby

I got a nice note today complimenting me on my never-finished A Little Ruby, a Lot of Objects. I get those every once in a while. It’s a Ruby book modeled after The Little Lisper.

I’ve been considering what to do with this, my second midlife crisis. (The first was at 28.) Having bought the Porsche, gotten fit, and gotten divorced in the first one, the customary responses are out. Been there, done that. So, instead, I’ve been thinking that finishing A Little Ruby might be a good use of pent-up frustration and legacy idealism.

Besides being fodder for language geeks, it would also have a practical purpose: I think of it as becoming the best book for those wanting a gentle introduction to extreme metaclass hackery.

Also: having just gotten a royalty check for Everyday Scripting, the idea of publishing the results appeals.

Would you buy such a book? Do you think other people would?

38 Responses to “A Little Ruby”

  1. bret Says:

    I think this is a great idea.

  2. lisa.crispin Says:

    I had forgotten all about that (and I had forgotten it was you who wrote it). I remember the parts you had written were helpful to me at the time because I had no clue about OO programming. I hope you will finish it.

  3. caton Says:

    > Would you buy such a book? Do you think other people would?

    yes and yes

  4. chrismo Says:


  5. Bil Kleb Says:


  6. peterb Says:

    Yes please. The Socratic method of learning is powerful, but hard on the teacher. The questions must be practiced and “tuned” just right. I wish you luck and godspeed, the little lisper set a very high bar.

  7. GJB Says:

    I’ll buy it. I’ll even pre-order it !

  8. gavin_stark Says:


    I believe, as lisa points out above, the book would be great for those coming to Ruby (or programming) with limited OO experience. Or even those with OO experience coming to Ruby without an appreciation for what Ruby’s open class and message passing approach can do.

  9. rsanheim Says:

    Yes, I would definitely buy. Your pdf was one of the best things I read to get really understand the ruby object model.

  10. kewball Says:

    Think of the children — they will need this!

  11. seanhussey Says:

    Yes and yes. I’d love it for myself and to pass on to others. (Or, rather, to encourage them to buy it, of course.)

  12. galtenberg Says:

    I love The Little Schemer beyond words. If I were more adept at Ruby, I’d help you with this project in a millisecond. Would other people want it? Ruby is the chic thing, and this book would be the tres chic :) We’ll all hype up the hype and buzz the buzz, promise! Right everyone?

  13. brandonbyars Says:

    I’d buy it in a heartbeat

  14. rgreen Says:

    I just read the three chapters available (thanks Dave). I would definitely buy it.

  15. A Place for my head » Useful discoveries of the day Says:

    […] 5. “A little Ruby” is a nice book for experienced Ruby developers who are looking to learn metaprogramming with Ruby. The sad part is, its not complete. Now, with growing interest in Ruby, the author wonders whether he should revive the project and complete the book. Vote for completion here […]

  16. protoscript Says:

    Please, oh please continue working on it!

  17. manik Says:

    It was first ruby book and I loved it.
    Ate a lot of parsley Ice-cream after reading it ;)

  18. bernhard Says:

    Yes!! I’ll take two, if that helps!

  19. asaleh Says:

    Can’t wait till its published. Do it!

  20. njonsson Says:

    Count me in for a copy. There’s definitely a need for more black-belt material.

  21. cadmann Says:

    Yes, I’d buy it. I’ve been reading what you’ve done so far, and love the approach.

  22. xpmatteo Says:

    Please go for it! We need more good books and more beautiful books. This would be both.

  23. Krishna Says:

    I loved the 3 chapters that you originally published and have been checking ever since reading them about news on a full book. Please write a complete book - I’d definitely buy a copy.

  24. dcadenas Says:

    Please do it!

  25. smcburnie Says:

    Please do finish the book! I’ll happily buy (and buzz) when you do.

  26. Jon Thoroddsen Says:

    I’ve been buzzing the first 3 chapters since I came across them a couple of months back. I’d love to buy a complete book!

  27. Jon Thoroddsen Says:

    I’ve been buzzing the first three chapters among my programming buddies. I’d definitely buy the complete book!

  28. jimjames99 Says:

    In a heartbeat.

  29. lutzw Says:

    Yes, I’d buy it as well.

  30. Brian Adkins Says:

    Go for it.

  31. Satish Talim Says:

    A BIG Yes.

  32. jason Says:

    Go for it! I will buy a copy.

  33. thefecund1 Says:

    Hells yeah I would buy it.

  34. Adriano Says:

    I would most certainly buy it!

  35. Steven Hansen Says:

    Absolutely yes!

  36. Ben Says:

    Yes, please.

  37. Dan Friedman Says:

    Oh please do. Working with another person on the “little books” makes doing them a lot more fun.

  38. Stephan Says:

    Would it be a beta book? A(nother) introduction to meta programming is something I would buy very likely.

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