brundlefly76 wrote:

> I have been a production Perl programmer for about 10 years, and am
> looking into tinkering with Ruby, and had a few questions:
> 
> 1. I noticed Ruby was not installed by default on Suse 9.2 (although a
> package was available in Yast). Does anyone have any information on
> what Linux distributions *do* install Ruby by default, and any progress
> on that? Because of the nature of my work, its not too convenient for
> me to go installing interpreters on every machine I need to work on.

I can not say much about this as I'm not a Linux user by myself, but it 
appears to me that installing Ruby via a package manager is still fairly 
easy.

> 2. How fast do Ruby releases move - say in comparison to Perl? I cant
> tell if it moves very slowly or simply has a versioning scheme that
> belies this.

Ruby is usually released to the public on Christmas. See 
http://redhanded.hobix.com/cult/sevenChristmases.html

There was talk about speeding releases up a bit, but the benefit of 
doing it this ways is that Ruby releases usually are very stable. I've 
even used release candidates without trouble via the wonderful one-click 
installer.

> 3. Is anyone here running Ruby in a production environment, and for
> what applications?

Of course. There's lots of usage samples on the RubyGarden Wiki:
http://www.rubygarden.org/ruby?RealWorldRuby

Ruby is because of RubyOnRails nowadays also getting used for running 
websites like basecamphq.com, 43things.com, rubyonrails.org and so on.
See http://wiki.rubyonrails.com/rails/show/DemoApps for a few more samples.

> 4. Any Perl programmers have any comments on their experiences working
> with Ruby?

I've enjoyed the switch a lot. I assumed that Ruby was unlike Perl and I 
suppose that helped with avoiding some of the potential gotchas. With 
Ruby it was also natural to organize my applications in parts that 
easily allowed for refactoring and reusing. The only reason I might have 
today for using Perl over Ruby (I've not done this since quite a few 
months) would be availability.