On Sun, 6 Feb 2005 06:49:03 +0900, Esteban Manchado VeláÛquez
<zoso / foton.es> wrote:
> On Sat, Feb 05, 2005 at 10:29:11AM +0900, James Britt wrote:
>> Esteban Manchado VeláÛquez wrote:
>>> And, w.r.t. the reply from James Britt, he said:
>>>> Sad, but unless you are paying someone you shouldn't expect
>>>> developers to be too concerned with writing new code that runs
>>>> on older versions of Ruby. (And I expect this is true in most
>>>> developer communities, so nothing scary about Ruby in this
>>>> regard.)
>>> Yes, you're right, you can't "expect" developers to do that, but
>>> I think Ruby would gain acceptance if more developers tried to
>>> remain compatible.
>> That's, um, crazy. Writing new code and checking that it runs in
>> both 1.6 and 1.8? Then you're basically writing to 1.6.
> Yes, that is what I mean. Are there really so much performance-
> boosting features in Ruby 1.8 (the language; I guess the libraries
> should be easy to upgrade.... if they work in Ruby 1.6) that going
> to 1.6 for _some_ important libraries sound crazy? It not telling
> everyone to not use new lenguage features (sorry if it sounded
> like that), I'm simply saying that keeping some important
> libraries/applications compatible with Ruby 1.6 would probably
> make Ruby stronger in the eyes of many bussinesses.

Yes. One of the main features in Ruby 1.8 over 1.6 was the
following:

  h = Hash.new { |h, k| h[k] = [] }
  h[:one] << two

Before this feature, a lot of code would have had to look like:

  ((h ||= {})[:one] ||= []) << :two

Possibly on split lines, but the behaviour is far more easy to
manage now.

Also, the library differences are important because they *do* behave
differently and there are *more* of them. In many ways, I think that
the Ruby 1.6 -> 1.8 upgrade is closer to Perl 4 -> 5 (or perhaps the
numbering from Perl 5.005 -> Perl 5.6) than a smaller upgrade. Matz
has ambitious goals for Ruby 2.0 which limit the version numbering.

-austin
-- 
Austin Ziegler * halostatue / gmail.com
               * Alternate: austin / halostatue.ca