You didn't set out to spend 2 hours on research for what felt like a simple problem, but you ran in to outdated posts, unanswered questions, and even old books. I know how you feel, because I used to do it.
I didn't set out to be an author, as a matter of fact I still don't think of myself as an "author", I think of myself as a developer and systems administrator who can help teach. I didn't set out to write a book. All I set out to do almost 10 years ago now was to solve interesting problems in clever, elegant ways preferably using code. And I did it.
But it wasn't easy. I'd run in to a problem, go through the standard help loop (we all know it!). "Oh, I'll just google it!". This usually works, but what about the times where you find several other people with your same question and no answered posts. Or even worse, when you find just one and the next post is "Oh never mind, I figured it out!" with no answer. Sometimes we'll add a step of looking on StackOverflow, an amazing site, but not always the best if you want something current. I've found amazing help, but its usually from a post dated 2009, its timeless, but not all my problems are.
Next in the loop of course would be IRC. IRC is a great resource as a general rule, but I never knew if today was going to be the day where I'd waste hours trying to work around the problem with no response and no luck. Somehow these days always seemed to coincide with no other help available from co-workers either. Finally I might go to the library, depending on where you work this could be a variety of locations, anything from raiding that guy's desk who buys all the O'Reilly books to a full, official section.
Don't get me wrong, usually this worked for me. The problem was usually. And I found it less and less effective as I used Ruby. This wasn't Ruby's fault. Ruby is a relatively young language, its years younger than some of its influencer's, Perl and Python. And its increasing adoption meant that there was lots of rapid development. New and great tools were popping up everyday it seems like. They still are.
This newness is fun, but the problem is that a lot of the documentation can't keep up. Have you looked at the Chef community wiki lately? What about trying to keep up with RVM changes? As I continued to use Ruby longer and longer, for more and more projects, I went searching. I started searching for a book. At first it started with a good overview. There are classics and cornerstones of course, but I started to notice how many weren't written for Ruby 1.9. At first I said no problem, I'll just get a cookbook type book to solve the small problems, just as a reference. And so I went looking again and ran in to a slightly different problem. Lots of books saying that they were references, ready to solve problems, only to see that they had first editions only, and only from 2006.
I finally realized that there wasn't the book I was looking for and so I decided to write it. A Ruby book for system administrators looking to solve problems in interesting and elegant ways. Something that provided clear problems and solutions, but didn't feel like a book that just threw code snippets at me, something readable.
I'm still creating that book today, and I want to help you save time and frustration hunting for answers. I'll teach you more than just the basics, but not overwhelm you with what you need to know to effectively use Ruby as a system administrator.
Here's a working Table Of Contents:
Your System Is A Kitchen
What Is Chef
Why Use Chef
A Tour Of Your Kitchen
A Cookbook Tear apart
A word about file paths and terminology
Manage Your Application Dependencies with Bundler
Configuring Bundler with Gemfiles
Specifying Gem Version
Gem Version Operators
Using Bundler to Get Gems
How to get gems
Using version control with Bundler
Specifying your Ruby version with Bundler
Deploying An Application With Bundler
An example Bundler work flow
Develop Your Development Environment With Vagrant
Daemon Processes in Unix
Increasing Productivity With Automation
Modifying files that match regular expressions
Scripting external programs
Controlling Remote Processes
See something missing? Just drop me a line and I'll do my best to put it in the next version if I get enough feedback.
You can buy the Pre-Release version of Ruby For System Administrators today for $19, over 30% off the final price of $29. Click Ruby For System Administrators to buy the Pre-Release for just $19, less than what an hour of your time is worth. When you purchase the pre-release version you’ll get access to chapters as they become available as well as the exclusive ability to vote on content that you want to see in the final product.
I'm Thai Wood. I'm a developer and a systems administrator. I've worked as many combinations of both for different people over the years, but I'm currently focusing on my own projects, such as this book.
Yes. But you're time is valuable, so I'm betting you wouldn't want to. You can find almost anything you need to know about Ruby somewhere on the Internet, but you'd have to pool a huge number of resources and do a lot of fact checking to end up with the same material thats in the book.
The book is released as a PDF though there may be .ePub or .Mobi releases in the future.
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