Ian Hobson wrote:
> ...
> Curt's recent OnLamp article on rails was seriously weakened when, 5 days 
> after it published, RAILS 0.9.5 was released and the examples refused to run. 
> 
> How many people, like me, have or will play with rails, only to find it did 
> not work. Yet they were reading VERY recent stuff?  How many will conclude 
> that Rails was not yet ready for serious consideration?   
> 
> (I am aware that rails is pre 1.0 - but it was broken by a mixture of changes, 
> mostly in post 1.0 releases). 

While Rails is quite good, and deserving of attention, it may be a 
mistake to try to hype it to the masses, precisely because it has not 
reached version 1.0.  No matter how large the blinking sign shouts, 
"Beta! Beta! Things may change and break!", some people will use it and 
then complain that things changed and things broke.  Go figure.

On the other hand, apparently large, busy sites are being built in Rails 
right now.  And DHH has been very good at alerting people to breakage 
and what to do to alleviate it.  So the issues may not be so bad for so 
many people.

> 
> If new code breaks old apps, people with production code, will not (can not, 
> dare not) trust Ruby - they do not have the time to redevelop their app (in a 
> hurry) every time someone uses gems and updates a library. 
> 
> The issue is not that I should write my code to work on 1.6 and 1.8.0 and 
> 1.8.1 and 1.8.2.  The issue is that my legacy app written in 1.6 should still 
> run properly  when I update to later versions. 

I think most people agree with that as a general goal, with the 
understanding that there arise occasions where some breakage is 
required.   These cases should be well-documented and treated quite 
seriously.

But the OP also appeared distressed that many new applications (e.g., 
Rails) required 1.8, and that new apps not running with old versions of 
Ruby was perhaps a significant problem; opinions vary.

James