Review Of "Build Awesome Command-Line Applications in Ruby"


In the IT world, "scripting" is usually looked down on by "real" programmers and people who aspire to be one. It is seen as a dumb task done by dumb people who don't know any better. If only they would learn to use "real" languages like Java or C#, then they could write some real programs.

Of course, this isn't true in reality. Actually learning how to write a quality script using a language like Ruby or Perl takes lots of knowledge and experience, and the results can be fantastic. I've seen short, concise scripts do the work of giant Java programs too many times to keep count.

This book is a very good guide to writing quality scripts. It first introduces you to the building blocks of such a script, and then shows you to create such a script using Ruby and some third-party libraries. By the time you're done, you have a concise script that is easy to use, update and distribute.

My favorite part of this book is its coverage of streams such as STDIN, STDOUT and STDERR. Knowledge of streams is one of the most important and often overlooked subjects of scripting, and this book provides a very solid explanation of what they are and how you can use them.

If you're any type of sysadmin or tester or programmer, I definitely recommend this book. And you'll definitely want to lend it to anybody who thinks that "code quality" and "scripting" are mutually exclusive terms.