Curt Hibbs wrote:
> Yesterday, a co-worker came into my office and saw the shiny, new pickaxe II
> book on my desk and said "What is Ruby?"
> 
> Unfortunately, I really blew the opportunity as I attempted to come up with
> a brilliant one or two sentence description. The best I could muster was
> something like, "Uhh... err... it's kind of like perl or python but much
> better." How lame is that!
> 
> To avoid this in the future, I would a like to have a stock reply ready to
> go. A few short sentences that clearly crystallize what Ruby is and why the
> asker should care. Once I make it past this introduction (in situations
> where there is time and its appropriate) I can talk endlessly in-depth about
> Ruby. But I want to be able to make that good first impression without
> tripping all over myself... An impression good enough to make them want to
> know more.
> 
> So, I wanted to ask all of you, what would your answer be to the question
> "What is Ruby"?
> 
> Thanks,
> Curt
> 
> PS
>   I'll collect the responses and post them on the WhyRuby? site
> (http://whyruby.rubyforge.org).

You're looking for a ruby "elevator speech"!

Ruby is an elegant language in which it's easy and natural to express 
solutions.  It's simple enough that a beginner can start using it 
immediately, yet powerful enough to deal with sophisticated needs.  It's 
so fun that the Puritans would have banned it had they known about it.