I am currently on a intermediate to proficient level of non OO PHP. I would like a book that will teach me Ruby as well as the concept of object oriented programming. If there is such book that has Rails in it as well, that's great, otherwise what book should I use for this?
O'Reilly has a very solid Ruby book (no Rails) called The Ruby Programming Language. I think it gives a better explanation of the most interesting aspects of Ruby, namely metaprograming and DSL creation, than the Pickaxe.
Both are very good books & both are covering Rails 2.0/2.1
HTH - Dave
As of now I am reading "Simply Rails" and it's pretty good. He try his best not make it sound "boring" and he does a great job in that. If I have to make a complaint is that he does not mention "NetBean" as a ruby editor. He mentions "textpad", "ultra edit", but no ide like "Eclipse(Aptana)" or "NetBean". So the way I'm learning RoR is read the chapter and try to do it in NetBean. Also, in this book it gives brief intro to Ruby language and it's sufficient in my opinion. Anyways, for all RoR noobs, give NetBean a try, you'll love it!
Simply Rails is a great books to get started with Rails. The Obie Fernandez book mentioned earlier is called "The Rails Way." It's excellent though perhaps a bit above beginner level; great stuff in it but you may have to work to get it out.
As for Ruby, I learned more about ruby from The Poignant Guide than from any other source. Once you get familiar with the language, perhaps take a peek at "The Ruby Way" for deeper study.
One thing to be aware of: Rails has been changing a lot. I'd stay away from anything that deals with Rails 1.x because too much of it won't work or is deprecated in 2.x. Google "Railscasts" for some excellent free videos, or "peepcode" for some excellent inexpensive ones.
The best book out there that does a good job of teaching Ruby, OOP, and contains an introduction to Rails is Beginning Ruby: From Novice To Professional by Peter Cooper (Apress, 2007).
It doesn't go into great detail about Rails, but is an excellent introduction to OOP (which is difficult to find) and Ruby. It would serve as a good starting point to then move onto a more Rails specific book. It is advisable to have a working knowledge of Ruby as this will make many Rails concepts clearer, especially if you like to know what is going on behind the scenes. 'The Pickaxe' is quite dense and suits someone who is familiar with OOP and programming concepts from having learnt another language.
The 3rd edition of Agile Web Development (covering Rails 2.1 - perhaps 2.2) is due out in Dec 08 (Pragmatic Programmers) and is considered the best overall guide to Rails.
A great recent beginner introduction is Simply Rails 2.0 by Patrick Lenz (Sitepoint, 2008) and another that doesn't feature Rails 2.0 but is not difficult to bring up to date is RailsSpace by Michael Hartl & Aurelius Prochazka (Addison Wesley, 2008) which explains exactly what is happening under the hood and why it is done that way at each stage of the tutorial.