On Fri, 15 Oct 2004 22:59:06 +0900, Michael DeHaan
<michael.dehaan / gmail.com> wrote:
> If this means we can have supernatural parks where sandwiches turn
> into were-sheep, I'm all for it.   Sometimes people want languages
> that keep themselves from shooting themselves in the foot, and keep
> poor programmers from doing damage.   Ruby is not that language, and
> that's why I like it.

I think Ruby does a very, very good job of making the good stuff easy
and the bad stuff (that's sometimes good in context) possible.

It manage to be very, very mutable while still keeping a lot of
structure.  I love the combination, and I'm afraid of anything that
might endanger it.  At present, Ruby is the best programming language
I've ever used, and fit almost all domains I touch.  I've seen Ruby
being troublesome only for the following five domains:
- Speed critical code
- Systems code (kernel level code)
- Code that needs to run on systems Ruby isn't ported to
- Some code that does heavy integration of Unix commands (shell
scripts are presently better at some parts of that problem domain,
though I suspect a Ruby library could resolve that)
- Code that relies on libraries in legacy languages too much.

Code that is written in Ruby has a very clear "Ruby flavour", and
there is much less variation in style than there is in (for instance)
Perl code - because Ruby has already taken a lot of the fairly
irrelevant choices for the programmer.  Shift arguments off @_ or
access $_[2] or use my ($arg1, $arg2) = @_?  Not an issue - Ruby has
argument handling.  Use a my $var = {} for easy refactoring or my %var
for shorter access?  Not an issue - Ruby only do references.  Etc.

I like this clear dominating flavour without losing flexibility
(because there is still more than one way to do it), and feel the
balance we have as precious.  That's why I'm sceptical of changes that
"give the programmer more flexibility to rewrite the language".

> (now if we could only get something as good as CPAN in the core...but
> that's another story...)

I think we need something BETTER than CPAN for Ruby.  I consider CPAN
to have serious issues with code maintenance, and have never really
been a fan of it (though I *do* like a number of aspects of it).

If you could list up the things you like about CPAN, let's see if we
can replicate them better (hopefully, they're already in the roadmap
for RPA, but if not, let's try to put them there :-)

Eivind.
-- 
Hazzle free packages for Ruby?
RPA is available from http://www.rubyarchive.org/