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Ruby in a Nutshell by Yukihiro Matsumoto

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Chapter 1. Introduction

Ruby has been readily adopted by programmers in Japan and has had much documentation written for it in Japanese. As programmers outside of Japan learn about the benefits of Ruby, there is a growing need for documentation in English. The first book I wrote for O’Reilly, Ruby Pocket Reference, was in Japanese. Since then Ruby has changed significantly. To meet the needs of non-Japanese programmers, we translated, updated, and expanded Ruby Pocket Reference into Ruby in a Nutshell.

Ruby is an object-oriented programming language that makes programming both enjoyable and fast. With the easy-to-use interpreter, familiar syntax, complete object-oriented functionality, and powerful class libraries, Ruby has become a language that can be applied to a broad range of fields from text processing and CGI scripts to professional, large-scale programs.

While Ruby is easy to learn, there are many details that you can’t be expected to remember. This book presents those details in a clean and concise format. It is a reference to keep next to your desktop or laptop, designed to make Ruby even easier to use.

For those of you who are new to Ruby, there are several online tutorials available to get you started: Ruby’s home page (http://www.ruby-lang.org) is a good starting pointing as it offers Ruby tutorials and the Ruby Language FAQ.

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