Professional IronRuby – Coming to a bookstore near you

I finally found a bit of time to blog about a book I am writing with a friend of mine, Aaron Junod.  You may be familiar with Aaron from the RubyDoes.NET web site.  The title of the book is, you guessed it, Professional IronRuby and is being published by Wrox/Wiley Press.  The topic is of course, IronRuby.  Since the RTM of IronRuby will likely be the end of the year you should see the book in stores in the November time frame.

I don’t really know what made me take the plunge to write a book let along strive for a good.  I have enjoyed writing on the blog here and also for InfoQ which I am both a .NET and Ruby editor, so I guess the topic of Ruby on .NET really made sense to me.  I will post an image of the book cover once we have it, which will contain the usual author photos.  Yes, you get to see my ugly mug.

The goal of the book will be to discuss Ruby on .NET, not be an introduction to Ruby.  We will take the time to give a short overview of Ruby, an overview which will be enough for experienced .NET developers to know how to create the same constructs in IronRuby as they do in their native .NET language of choice.  We will discuss all of those things important to developers interested in exploring and creating great applications using dynamic language.

Draft Table of Contents

We are fortunate enough to have our Forward written by John Lam, I can’t think of a better person.  The Table of Contents below is just a draft and may change based on additional items added to IronRuby later in the year.

  • Chapter 1 – Introduction to IronRuby?
  • Chapter 2 – Getting Started with IronRuby
  • Chapter 3 – Introduction to Ruby 
  • Chapter 4 – Objects
  • Chapter 5 – Conditional statements and flow control
  • Chapter 6 – Working with Files and Databases
  • Chapter 7 – Reflection and meta programming
  • Chapter 8 – Testing in Ruby
  • Chapter 9 – The Ruby Universe
  • Chapter 10 – Running Ruby on Rails
  • Chapter 11 – Creating Ruby on Rails Applications
  • Chapter 12 – Working with .NET classes/libraries from IronRuby
  • Chapter 13 – Working with WPF from IronRuby
  • Chapter 14 – Ruby and ASP.NET
  • Chapter 15 – Ruby and Silverlight
  • Chapter 16 – Calling IronRuby Code from .NET
  • Chapter 17 – Hosting IronRuby and the DLR in your application
  • Chapter 18 – A tour of the IronRuby source code, how the magic happens
  • Chapter 19 – Porting Ruby libraries to IronRuby
  • Chapter 20 – IronRuby and Mono

I would be interested to hear some feedback on what topic details readers might want to see in the book that either I have not mentioned or as a suggestion to include in the chapter topics I listed.

I am really looking forward to the whole experience.  So many people write books and say they will never do it again.  I am certainly not doing for the money but instead, the experience.  Writing this book so far has been eye-opening to the publishing process as well as gotten us closer to the Dynamic Language team and seeing the development of this important technology a bit closer than we normally would have.


23 responses to “Professional IronRuby – Coming to a bookstore near you

  1. Great to see an IronRuby book coming up.

    What are your plans regarding an in depth coverage of Databases. I think, that chapter should be developed with suggestions from IronRuby community, as it is the most discussed and required topic in terms of ORMs and LINQ.

    You may have a look here and suggest your views as well as start collection suggestions for the book to shape the way it should be.


    Rahil Kantharia

  2. Great!

    I think, you should be removing few chapters that focus only on Ruby.

    Since its Professional book and does not require a re-introduction to Ruby.

    LINQ2SQL is the hottest thing and its here to stay.

    You should focus on few chapters explaining IronRuby with LINQ2SQL

    Rails is famous for fetching Data via ActiveRecord and IronRuby can do wonders to that, provided expalined with the right methods with the right tools.

    Using LINQ2SQL tools, like SQL Designer, Etc… is a must thats what i personally suggest.

    Just 2 cents


  3. nice to know about this via and Ruby Forums as well.

    Good start indeed.

    I would suggest to create a website from scratch or Converting a current C# or Vb.Net.. Classified Starterkit with IronRuby on Rails.

    A professional real life example is what the community needs. Imar Spanjaars current book by wrox on 3.5 also follows this.

    Problem, Design Solution… an other book by Wrox was a big hit due to real life approach

    Developers wants to create along with learning, thats the approach taken today, which is very true.

    This will show the power of IronRuby,as well as the power of Asp.Net MVC as well.

    Databases and fetching BCL libraries with IronRuby should be comprehensive.

    Select the ORM your way, but ActiveRecord, Linq to SQL and SubSonic should be well covered as options.

    My Best Wishes.

    Peter Mendis

  4. Good comments flowing here…

    LiNQ to SQl with IronRuby deserves a book on its own. few chapters for this huge topic are not enough.

    Wrox should plan a book based on this. It should cover LINQ with IronRuby + IronPython just as they have covered C# and

    My thoughts on the above topic discussing LINQ


  5. hey!
    why reinvent the wheel again. Ruby is well known and there are plenty of books on it.

    IronRuby will be used for for major work and Rails + linq + merb + ActiveRecord + DataMapper + SubSonic are the options to be used along with it.

    Focus on something different than whats available.

    I suggest…the book by Imar Spaanjaars called ” Beginning ASP.NET 3.5: In C# and VB ”

    Now just replace the codes within the book with IronRuby and give few more chapters on the points i mentioned above.

    A great book will be available and preserved.

    Think again.

  6. Great post Rob! 🙂

    It’s interesting to read the comments. When I think IronRuby, data access barely even comes to mind. I see IronRuby as a great way to use all of the .net things I’ve coded throughout the years in new, aggregated ways, and those components already handle data access.

    I’m curious to see what others think as well, and if we need to alter the plan to include more on data access then we will certainly do that.

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  9. @Rahil We don’t really have solid plans for the part of book about databases. We really want to hear from you guys.

    We do have a good plan for the overall view of the book but we are open to change and producing a book people will really be happy with.

    The more suggestions the better.

  10. @Fredrik Thank you for the suggestions. We are focused on writing a great book and LINQ and those technologies will be included. The release of IronRuby is a huge event in our eyes and covering important technologies like LINQ will be in there along with equally important technologies like Silverlight (Dynamic Silverlight) and running what we consider “native” applications like Ruby on Rails, Merb and others.

    Please keep up the comments, all are appreciated very much.

  11. @Florin I agree, great flow here. I also agree LINQ is huge and deserves a book of its own. Actually there are quite a few books already dedicated to LINQ. Sure, they are not IronRuby specific but….Wrox may be open to a proposal for a book. I am sure I can put in contact with the right person if you are thinking of writing a book yourself. 🙂

  12. @Sam Not reinventing the wheel is really what we want to do here. This was one of the first things I said when talking about the book. Our audience may not be experienced with Ruby so we need to cover some of it. This applies to LINQ as well but we can’t cover like a book dedicated to it.

    We do want to make a lot of this book very unique, covering the areas you can only get from new texts.

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  14. Hi,

    I vote for a total tutorial on LINQ 2 SQL with IronRuby. ActiveRecord with IronRuby, DataMapper with IronRuby.
    do not send much time to explain much ruby. Great ruby books are out there.

    convince wrox for a book on LINQ 2 SQL with IronRuby and IronPython. Give a good name as LINQ 2 SQL with Dynamic langugues.

    my vote stands unchanged for ever.
    hardy williams

  15. @ hardy

    I support you. Nice name suggested by you. ” LINQ with Dynamic Languages ”

    Of course this is the book that wrox will obviously need to cater the new developers entering the .Net world with dynamnic languages.

    I vote for LINQ to SQL + ActiveRecod + DataMapper + SubSonic Support with IronRuby.

    I can even suggest a new name.
    ” Using Great ORM’s with IronRuby ”

    Let Wrox plan a new book for this.
    I’m the first to place the order.


  16. Let me ask.. What do you mean by professional….? A professional is always aware of small things and would like to achieve better and big results.

    Teaching ruby under the Professional Title in this book is waste of pages. Why would one need Professional book to learn a basic languages. He/She will go for a beginners book.

    IronRuby is a great languages with clear syntax and powerful support for great ORM’s. Use this title for explaining Dtafetching in several ways and Silverlight.

    The chapters i have seen above, suits for another title…” Introducing IronRuby “, Do not waste such a great title to explain the basics. I hope i’m clear with my opinions.

    Wrox just published 2 books on 3.5. Why not go that way too.

    Parag kantharia

  17. @Parag The title is not ours, this was given to us by Wrox. The title will stand and it is a book about IronRuby. It is in the professional series and for professionals but regardless how experienced you are if Ruby is new, you NEED some introduction.

    I appreciate your input and suggestion introducing Ruby at all is a “waste of pages” but it’s needed.

    Thanks again.

  18. Thanks everyone for the comments. We obviously need to cover Data Access more then we originally planned.

    That being said, IronRuby brings a lot to the table, and this book aims to show all the strengths and weaknesses of the Ruby language and it’s implementation in IronRuby. We need to have content for those who have never seen Ruby, and content for those who are Ruby experts but want to focus on the interoperability story with .net.

    I think changing the direction of the book to be primarily about data access would defeat the purposes of the professional line of books, but covering it in good detail is well within our scope.

    Does anyone have any comments on content other then data access/linq?


  19. I think one of the most interesting areas for discussion would be the support for and interoperability of the two class libraries – that is: Ruby classes and .NET classes.

    Good luck with the book!

    best wishes

    Huw Collingbourne

  20. @Huw Thank you for the support. I agree with you, I think some of the most interesting things are interop to .NET Classes. We do have a chapter planned for this very topic.

  21. Hi Both the Authors,

    As per your blog, your book will be out in November 2008. As per my knowledge the RTM of Asp.Net MVC will be out earlier than your book.

    It would be a smart move from your side to explain IronRuby with Asp.Net MVC as a framework, rather than WebForms as currently available and used by all.

    Asp.Net MVC is the best approach for the web and you should go that way.

    With This move… Readers shall enjoy best of both the worlds. IronRuby on Rails as well Asp.Net MVC too.

    You may collect more opinions on this if you wish.

    Vikram Panchal ( India )

  22. hi,
    looking at the flow of the books on Ruby and rails coming out from amazon website is really amazing. i just see the web world changing.

    i suggest 2 another books, based on my futuristic vision.
    (1) Asp.Net MVC with IronRuby.
    ( Show many ORM’s as options + LINQ )

    (2) IronRuby on Rails
    ( Create a working site step by step )

    do any thing you want with the current book you are writing, but keep this 2 new books in mind or suggest wrox to think over.

    Best wishes
    Kevin Patrik

  23. Is Wrox or any other publications have plans for a book on LINQ with IronRuby and IronPython.

    ——–Philip Miranda

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