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Book Of Ruby - Chapter 20: Dynamic Programming

Programs that write programs
by Huw Collingbourne
Friday 9 January 2009.

With the addition of Chapter 20, The Book Of Ruby is now very nearly complete. This chapter explores meta-programming - self modifying programs.

The Book Of Ruby now contains 395 pages and comes complete with more than 300 small, ready-to-run demo programs to provide working examples of every topic described in the text. While the author (me) happens to be one of the developers of the Ruby In Steel IDE, the book does not assume that you are using any specific IDE: you may view the code using any editor and you may execute these demo programs using the standard Ruby interpreter from the command prompt.

If, however, you happen to be a Ruby In Steel user, you will have the additional benefit of being able to load the entire set of programs for all 20 Chapters in the form of a single Visual Studio solution called book-of-ruby.sln.

All 300+ programs may be loaded into Ruby In Steel as a single solution with separate folders for each chapter

Using Ruby In Steel (including the free Personal Edition), you may run a program simply by loading it into the editor and pressing CTRL+F5 to execute it in the interactive docked console:

Interact with programs using the Ruby Console

If you have either the Developer or Text Editions of Ruby In Steel, you may also use the debugger to place breakpoints in the margin and watch the values of variables when debugging (press F5). The debugger will often help you understand much more clearly what is actually happening in complex Ruby programs.

The Ruby In Steel debugger lets you drill down into objects in the debugging windows or simply by hovering over a variable name in the code editor

When reading the book, be sure to use the Acrobat ‘Bookmark’ panel which shows each chapter and each topic in the form of a hyperlinked tree.

Acrobat’s Bookmark panel acts as a quick-navigation Table Of Contents

While this is the final chapter of The Book Of Ruby, there will be one more update in order to add some appendices. I’ll announce that on the Blog shortly.

- Go To The Book Of Ruby Download Page

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