Thursday, August 20, 2009

About the Book

A few readers have asked me for details on the book-in-progress.

The working title is "Automating Windows Applications with Ruby". As the title implies, the focus is on automating applications, usually via Win32OLE/COM.

This is not an "Introduction to Ruby" book: I make the assumption that the reader already has a working knowledge of the language and now wants to put it to good use driving applications and processes on Windows. Some of the topics covered include:

* Microsoft Excel
* Microsoft Word
* Microsoft Outlook
* Microsoft PowerPoint
* Database Access with ADO
* Microsoft Access
* Microsoft SQL Server
* Microsoft Internet Explorer
* Microsoft Office Document Imaging (OCR)
* iTunes
* Windows Media Player
* Text-to-Speech
* Microsoft Agent
* Hummingbird HostExplorer
* Attachmate Extra
* Windows Management Instrumentation

Each chapter will include step-by-step tutorials, and many chapters will also include a reference section covering commonly-used classes, properties, and methods. Some chapters are extensive, while others may be only a few pages in length.

This isn't intended to be an "Everything You'd Ever Want To Know About..." resource, but it is my intention to provide you with a book that will serve as both a quick-start guide and a go-to reference for automating a wide variety of applications.

Stay tuned...

12 comments:

cremes said...

Thank you for the update. I've recently dipped my toes into the Windows automation waters and have come away rather impressed with how well the WIN32OLE stuff works.

While you are still putting the book together, don't forget to say a word or two about WIN32OLE_EVENT. The last two days I have spent enormous effort into figuring out how to properly spec this stuff out (rspec) and test the callbacks.

I also took a look at IronRuby which allows "first class" access to .NET stuff but it has some pretty significant limitations right now that ruin it for me. For example, until they hit 1.0 (months/years from now?) IronRuby will not work with any gems containing native C extensions. Boo!

Likewise, JRuby has limited support for the WIN32OLE stuff. I'm trying to track down a definitive answer on its current support for that library in the latest tree. It should also be noted that the person who contributed the WIN32OLE patch didn't include any of the other WIN32OLE_* classes.

KTamas said...

wow, this is REALLY exciting. Can't wait to read it. WIll you offer it as a 'beta' book as they do nowadays with tech books?

Mark Murphy said...

Who is publishing your book?

If you are considering going a self-publishing route, drop me a line sometime. I have been having decent success with that model for a line of Android books.

Karthi said...

It is misleading to say "Windows Applications", rather it has to be "Windows OLE Applications". The way "Win Applications Automation" works should be similar to tools like QTP, Silk or AutoIt etc., which run on any Win application not just OLE applications.

Anybody who know VB Macros would just see this as "VBA on Ruby Syntax Sugar", because all OLE apps have very good support for VBA and well documented user guides.

Anonymous said...

The book sounds good. Similar to what I am looking for. Though my interest is as a systems engineer wanting to automate administration and handle remote deployment tasks. The WMI section sounds great. The iTunes and other 3rd party application sections (with the exception of MS Office applications, since the are ubiquitous and somewhat useful), otherwise doesn't sound even remotely interesting.

Paul said...

Excellent news David!

Do you have a time line for the books release?

William Hertling said...

I love Programmatic Programmers books - everything from early access to beta books, to electronic + paper versions, to online discussion forums.

I think they are one of the best publishers out there.

- Will

Paul said...

Any updates on the book David?

bbiker said...

What is the latest status of the book?

Thank you,
bbiker

AM said...

Hi David,

I have been following your blog for quite some time now. I am very excited about laying hands on your book. Kindly update all of your ardent fans on the latest status of the book.

Regards

Asheesh

renard@nc.rr.com said...

it's been 2 yrs since the last post.
Is this site still active?
any progress in the book?

renard@nc.rr.com

Anonymous said...

This is a great idea - but I notice it has been 2 years. Is this project still live? Any updates?