Practical Ruby Gems / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 95%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (19) from $1.99   
  • New (9) from $24.93   
  • Used (10) from $1.99   


Practical Ruby Gems is a comprehensive guide to utilizing and creating Ruby Gems—ready-made Ruby code modules that can be easily added to Ruby and Rails projects. This book is ideal for Ruby programmers as well as web developers who use Rails and wish to extend the functionality of their projects.

You'll get a prime selection of 34 of the best and most useful Gems, which makes up the core of this book. Each of these also comes complete with actual use cases and code examples that you can use immediately in your own projects.

Table of Contents

  1. What Is RubyGems?
  2. Installing RubyGems
  3. Using RubyGems in Your Code
  4. Managing Installed Gem Versions
  5. Data Access with the ActiveRecord Gem
  6. Easy Text Markup with the BlueCloth Gem
  7. Creating Web Applications with Camping
  8. Creating Command-Line Utilities with cmdparse
  9. HTML Templating with erubis
  10. Parsing Feeds with feedtools
  11. Creating Graphical User Interfaces with fxruby
  12. Retrieving Stock Quotes with YahooFinance
  13. Parsing HTML with hpricot
  14. Writing HTML as Ruby with Markaby
  15. Parsing CSV with fastercsv
  16. Multiple Dispatch with multi
  17. Serving Web Applications with mongrel
  18. Transferring Files Securely with net-sftp
  19. Executing Commands on Remote Servers with net-ssh
  20. Validating Credit Cards with creditcard
  21. Writing PDFs with pdf-writer
  22. Handling Recurring Events with runt
  23. Building Websites with Rails
  24. Automating Development Tasks with rake
  25. Manipulating Images with RMagick
  26. Speeding Up Web Applications with memcache-client
  27. Managing Zip Archives with rubyzip
  28. Speeding Up Function Calls with memoize
  29. Tagging MP3 Files with id3lib-ruby
  30. Shortening URLs with shorturl
  31. Creating Standalone Ruby Applications with rubyscript2exe
  32. Cleaning Dirty HTML with tidy
  33. Parsing XML with xml-simple
  34. Creating Our Own Gems
  35. Distributing Gems
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Ruby Gems offers Ruby users an extensive collection of software solutions, together with consistent infrastructure for packaging and distributing them. Read David Berube's Practical Ruby Gems, and you'll become a far more effective Ruby (and Rails) programmer, capable of leveraging the work of the broader Ruby community.

Berube presents example-rich introductions to 34 of today's most impressive Gems. For instance: Camping, the elegant, superlightweight web application "microframework." And cmdparse for writing command toolkits. And erubis, for leveraging Ruby's full power to output HTML. And solutions for everything from validating credit cards to accelerating Rails applications, processing RSS feeds to using CAPTCHA to resist Spam.

Along the way, you'll learn how to create, package, and distribute your own Gems, share Gems between your own projects, handle dependencies and cross-platform issues, and more. Maybe Berube's next edition will contain a Gem of yours! Bill Camarda, from the June 2007 Read Only

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590598115
  • Publisher: Apress
  • Publication date: 4/16/2007
  • Series: Expert's Voice in Open Source Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 271
  • Product dimensions: 0.62 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 9.25 (d)

Meet the Author

David Berube is a Ruby developer, trainer, author, and speaker. He's used both Ruby and Ruby on Rails for several years, starting in 2003 when he became a Ruby advocate after he wrote about the language for Dr Dobb's Journal. Prior to this, he worked professionally with PHP, Perl, C++, and Visual Basic.

His professional accomplishments include creating the Ruby on Rails engine for, a site that tracks the latest Ruby developments, and working with on the Rails engine that powers Sermo America's Top Doctor contest. Additionally, he has worked on several other Ruby projects, including the engine powering CyberKnowHow's BirdFluBreakingNews search engine, and he also created the Slueshi text adventure game system, a multiplayer text game engine written in Ruby.

David's journalism has been in print in over 65 countries, in magazines such as Linux Magazine, Dr Dobb's Journal, and PHP International Magazine. He's also taught college courses and spoken publicly on topics such as "MySQL and You" and "Making Money with Open Source Software."

He lives in New Hampshire and his hobbies include basketball, yo-yos, and sleep.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2007

    A reviewer

    Practical Ruby Gems, by David Berube (APress) digs into Rubygems ¿ the Ruby package management system. David presents a quick overview of Rubygems and its usage, then offers an overview of 29 popular gems, and finally shows you how to roll your own. Overall, this is a solid book. The writing is almost alarmingly to the point ¿ think O¿Reilly Pocket Reference style, but it does cover the material reasonably well. There is a pleasant variety in the gems presented, and I saw a few that I wasn¿t aware of (like FastCSV) which will definitely be useful to me. Each gem is presented with a short application that carefully balances meatiness against ease of comprehension. I¿m happy to report that Practical Ruby Gems is fairly well indexed. Some of the more complex gems (like ActiveRecord, FxRuby and Ruby on Rails) are given a very thin treatment, and I think that¿s fair enough, given the format of the book. ActiveRecord, let alone Rails, is large enough to have its own book. Other than that, my only complaint lies in the amateurish page layout. The transition from prose to sample code is delimited with only a change of font, and sample output is separated from code with a simple horizontal rule. This means that my eye must hunt and peck through the page when I¿m skipping around, looking for that particular line of sample code that I need. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a high level overview of what¿s out there in the way of free Ruby libraries. I will also probably refer to the book if and when I roll my own gems.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)