>If someone is going to choose a programming language based on what two
>anonymous people say about it on Amazon.com then I really doubt they're
>going very far in the programming world. Programming isn't for everyone --
>if people aren't willing to put a little time and effort into researching a
>new programming language then they need to take up knitting or something :-)

I agree with you basically, but I'll give you myself as an example.
As you say, Ruby has been aroud for quite a while.  If I had not
stumbled across the pickaxe book by chance, I'd probably have never
played with Ruby.  Obviously, as it becomes popular and more books
appear, chance encounters will increase, I guess.

To boost the number of people using it, and hence the amount of useful
sample code, libraries, development tools etc. you do need to get
people to at least look at the language, so they have the opportunity
to fall in love with it.

If I hear nothing but poor reviews of something, it's unlikely I'll go
out of my way to find, install and play with it.  Let's face it, there
are hundreds of programming languages out there, many of which I've
heard and then done absolutely nothing about, and probably hundreds
more I've never heard of.