I wrote on this newsgroup last weekend about how I was considering using
Ruby as a scripting language.  I thought I'd post the results of that
consideration here.  Though these are my opinions only they may be of more
general interest as an example of why people may not chose Ruby.  (To take
the suspense out of it, I didn't).

The six languages I considered were Javascript, Lua, Perl, Python, Ruby &
Scheme (various flavours of Scheme).

The languages were assessed using five criteria:  (1) whether there were
strings attached to the distribution deal (eg a GNU Public Licence meant my
programs had to be covered by the GPL too and that's a significant string);
(2) whether the interpreter etc compiled readily using Dev Studio on Win98;
(3) whether there was example AI code available, especially examples of
embedded use of scripts; (4) whether the language had a support network
(newsgroups, websites etc) and so by deduction probably also had a user
base; and finally, (5) whether the end product was reasonably small.  NB
'language design' issues, as typically defined in computer science 101,
didn't figure at all.

(1) Lua, Python and Scheme got 1 point each for being freely useable, the
others got 0 points for their GNU licences.

(2) Javascript (in the form of Spider monkey) and Python compiled straight
out of the box for 1 point each, Lua could be made to compile with a lot of
work & the others remained inscrutable. Their Unix support I'm sure is fine,
but their Windows work is perfunctory.  Zero for all of those.

(3) Examples of AI code only existed for Lua, it's used in the game Baldur's
Gate (and other games using the same engine).  1 point for that.

(4) Every language except Lua has copious support, so 1 point for each of
the others.

(5) The Javascript & Perl binaries are enormous & dwarfed the program I want
to script for, so 1 point for each of the others, zero for those two.

So, out of a maximum possible 5 points the results are:

Javascript 2
Lua 3
Perl 1
Python 4
Ruby 2
Scheme 3

Python it is.  Ruby needed very little start up time invested in learning
the language, but there's an enormous amount of time that's needed to
translate the Unix source to Windows & that's time I don't have.

Anyway, have fun - Michael