Rails drives Ruby book sales past Python Jason 07 Dec 2005

10 comments Latest by Sherwin Techico

Tim O’Reilly, a Ruby on Rails fan (as seen in Wired), dug through the numbers and discovered something wonderful:

…in the last twelve weeks, Java book sales are off 4% vs. the same period last year, while C# book sales are up 16%.) While I was looking at the data, though, I noticed something perhaps more newsworthy: in the same period, Ruby book sales surpassed Python book sales for the first time. Python is up 20% vs. the same period last year, but Ruby is up 1552%!

Not bad for the framework extracted from our favorite project management tool. You’ll find some graphs and additional insight on the O’Reilly Radar.

10 comments so far (Jump to latest)

Gary King 07 Dec 05

I’m happy to say that I am one of the proud owners of a “Agile Web Development with Rails” AND ”
Programming Ruby: The Pragmatic Programmers’ Guide” book.

Randy J. Hunt 07 Dec 05

Comes as no surprise.

Purchased both when they were early PDF offerings. Pragmatic has it down. Typography could be better, writing is on-point and accessible.

Mark John 07 Dec 05

With all the buzz that RoR have been receiving, and how its been easily linked to Web 2.0 — it comes as no suprise at all.

A good hype really, since Rails is i think the only thing making Ruby popular nowadays. It would be interesting to see how this will continue and if more websites will adopt the Rails framework. In fact, i’ve seen in a lot of mailing lists that i am on, there’s been about 4 job postings for a RoR developer this week (this is in the Philippines).

Don Wilson 07 Dec 05

Since you’ve made it a place for discussion, do you mind sharing the number of php books that are sold vs. ruby books? Or even Python books? :)

David Heinemeier Hansson 07 Dec 05

We didn’t come up with the data, so you’ll have to ask O’Reilly. They did share the Python numbers, though. Click through and have a look at the post.

Gary King 07 Dec 05

O’Reilly also has a graph that shows the # of books sold for PHP, Visual Basic, C++, Java, etc. Check it out somewhere on their blog.

Spike 08 Dec 05

In response to the previous post about RoR coming out of a limited timeframe: surely it takes longer to develop a programming framework and implement it than to make an app with an existing framework?

Ted 08 Dec 05

I think it’s great that there’s a flavor of koolaid for everyone. Some cool work going on everywhere regardless of platform.

The wildly staggering percentage is interesting if not useful. If they sold 10 Ruby books last year, it’s not so hard to register a 1500% increase.

Matt Baron 08 Dec 05


How would you prefer they compare their growth? Also, I think the point of the post was the ruby books had past python books in terms of units sold. This is an impressive statistic that is made further impressive by the percentage growth. The growth shows how quickly Ruby has made this transition to be side by side with a more established language like python.

Call it the koolaid, or whatever you want, but don’t diminish it because of one number out of context of the rest of the post.

Sherwin Techico 08 Dec 05

@G.King: Likewise. Great books to have. Having this (http://ruby.codezoo.com/) also helps.

Meanwhile, congrats to the RoR team on developing such a monumental achievement in the history of the Web.