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Rubyist Pat Eyler Interviews Ruby Best Practises Author Gregory Brown

By Sara Peyton
January 14, 2009

Ruby aficionado Pat Eyler is conducting a series of wonderful interviews with Gregory Brown, the author of O'Reilly's upcoming Ruby Best Practicess (currently in Rough Cuts).

Based in New Haven, CT, Gregory has been a GSoC student and mentor, as well as the Ruby Mendicant. In the wide ranging two-part interview, Gregory discusses Ruby, mocking, and why he decided to write "Ruby Best Practices." Here's a snip from the interview:

Pat: As part of your own Ruby best practices, I'm sure that you've built a set of tools that you rely on. Can you name a handful of them and why you think they're so important?

Gregory: Using the right tools for the job definitely makes a difference, but I tend to be a bit of a minimalist. I get by fine with extensive use of rake, irb, and a decent text editor (TextMate on OS X, vim elsewhere). Having nearly everything in revision control under either svn or git means that I've got a large library of my own code (often complete with tests/specs) to refer to which helps me remember how to solve particular problems without having to refer to books. Of course, having written a lot of mailing list posts, API documentation, O'Reilly OnLAMP articles, and the Ruport Book, I've got a lot of explanations in my own words reminding me how to do the things I need to as well, and I tend to use these resources extensively.

Also, when my tools come up short, I can always stand to learn more from some of the smartest folks in our community. Since I'm not bashful about asking for help, my two most valuable tools in software development are email and my IRC client.

This answer may be a little boring, because I'm not one to hunt down the next latest and greatest tool to fix a problem I never knew I had. A simple work flow that involves doing some custom scripting when necessary seems to work best for me.

You can read Part 1 and Part 2 of Pat's interview here. And for those that don't know, Rough Cuts is a service from Safari Books Online that gives you early access to content on cutting-edge technologies -- before it's published. It lets you literally read the book as it is being written. You can read it online, download as a PDF, or print. Want to know more? Read the complete Rough Cuts FAQ.

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