To quote Tim Hunter quoting me in his Slashdot review:
"As far as deciding which gems, ...I tried to look at things that had practical applications - as well as things where I could give it an interesting angle. Above all, I tried to cover different material in a different way - I wanted to get people to think "wow, that's great." Of course, not everything was completely off the beaten path - Rails, for example, was covered, and that' easily the most popular gem, and RMagick isn't exactly unpopular either, but I tried to show gems which could make very difficult, less covered problems - like programatically using zip files as a container, writing PDFs, or automating SSH tasks - into easy problems...The biggest thing for me is that I wanted to make people say 'You can do that with Ruby?'"
Take it easy,
Let's go to the waterfront with this tiny ad:
Two software engineers solve most of the world's problems in one K&R sized book