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Ruby Programming
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When we originally wrote this book, we had a grand plan (we were younger then). We wanted to document the language from the top down, starting with classes and objects, and ending with the nitty-gritty syntax details. It seemed like a good idea at the time. After all, most everything in Ruby is an object, so it made sense to talk about objects first.

Or so we thought.

Unfortunately, it turns out to be difficult to describe a language that way. If you haven't covered strings, if statements, assignments, and other details, it's difficult to write examples of classes. Throughout our top-down description, we kept coming across low-level details we needed to cover so that the example code would make sense.

So, we came up with another grand plan (they don't call us pragmatic for nothing). We'd still describe Ruby starting at the top. But before we did that, we'd add a short chapter that described all the common language features used in the examples along with the special vocabulary used in Ruby, a kind of minitutorial to bootstrap us into the rest of the book.
Ruby Programming
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  Published under the terms of the Open Publication License Design by Interspire