Preston Crawford wrote:
> I'm an outsider to the Ruby community. I've used it a time or two, 
> mostly to get familiar with it. I've read part of the PickAxe, but my 
> job (Java) keeps me in Java-land. I'm wondering what those of you using 
> Ruby feel are Ruby's chances of taking off. At least to the extent that 
> you could begin to see it used in places where J2EE is being used 
> currently. I know this is already happening. But my question is more 
> with regards to the future. Is something like RoR worth learning in the 
> context of being able to actually put it to use in the future?

We are in development for a multi-million dollar system for a Fortune 
1000 company. The backend of this system will utilize RoR heavily. The 
system utilizes a front-end java client, but we scrapped all J2EE / 
Hibernate plans for the backend when we did a small test between 
different backend solutions. The test was a small backend with 
web-functionality, database mapping, data processing, etc... with 
different Java solutions (standalone JSP/Hibernate), (standalone 
JSP/Java-Mysql adapter), (JBoss,J2EE/Hibernate/Tomcat) and then we tried 
Rails. The results were that in the days in took to complete the tests 
in Java, it took under a few hours with Ruby On Rails. From that point 
on we have been moving forward with Ruby, and Ruby on Rails. We will be 
moving into benchmarking and optimization in the next 2-4 weeks, I can 
keep the ML posted with benchmarks.

> I know 
> I'm asking for conjecture. And that's all I expect. But not being 
> actively involved in the community, I get no sense as to how much 
> momentum Ruby has, and thus what the chances of it becoming more 
> commonly used, are.

At work I'm in a lucky position to pick the technology that works for 
our company and our customers. I have been using ruby for the past 2 
years almost. I have used ruby for lots of odds and ends things during 
that time. As I get more verbosed in ruby as a language I find that I 
can do more and more things with ruby. I now...
   - use Ruby On Rails for internal web site development and customer 
web-site development
   - use ActiveRecord for database mapping even when no web interface is 
involved. This is a huge time saver!
   - use net/ssh to handle automating remote administration tasks for me
   - use win32ole to access the WScript (Windows Script Host) object model
   - use wxRuby to write timer/reminder programs for myself which alert 
me in 15 minutes before a meeting, appointment, etc...
   - used the socket library to write a customer's messenging system 
which will be used to allow multiple servers inside of an environment to 
communicate with one another with hardly any overhead.
   - use IRB sooo much, well IRB is the best tool in the world. There is 
no ther like it!
   - used JRuby to communicate ruby code to Java applications
   - write commandline utilities suite for 4D WebSTAR (Mac OSX Application)
   - use rubyscript2exe to make clickable installers, uninstallers, and 
applications

And the list keeps going. Ruby is my #1 tool of choice. As I continue to 
verse myself in Ruby and it's uses I will continue to see different 
arena's where I can use Ruby. This grows almost everyday.

Ruby is also a big time saver for me. I can write ruby code faster then 
any other language. Coworkers, employees and my boss have been pleased 
and surprised with the turnaround time I have for getting things done. 
Am I the best programmer in the world? Probably not (dont tell my 
employees that =), but I know how and when to use Ruby. 75% of our small 
development team now uses ruby on a daily basis, by choice. =)

You can only learn to make good decisions about when and how to use 
Ruby, by using Ruby.

> 
> I know Java has a head start and has the backing of many large 
> corporations, so it's perhaps not an apt comparison to make. 

Java is good for certain things. Java is not good for everything. Ruby 
is the same way. I just find that where these overlap Ruby usually wins 
the war! And yes this is even considering Eclipse and Intellityping!

> But I like And I like the philosophy of Ruby.
> the language.

Me to. =)

>  To what extent this is 
> translating into projects and jobs, however, I have no idea.

I have no idea on this either. A year ago I was the only person I knew 
or could find in a 600,000 people city who knew what Ruby was. In the 
past 2 months I have found 10 people who know Ruby, plus a company which 
is know dictating Ruby On Rails as a doctrinal belief to it's employees, 
and that company is not the one I am at. Ruby is growing, people using 
ruby are what make ruby grow. As ruby usage and awareness grows it will 
provide itself with an environment which will allow itself to strengthen 
it's presence as a viable tool and that will allow it's community of 
users to survive throughout the fiscal year.

The only thing that will stop Ruby from growing is if people don't use 
ruby. If you use ruby, that is a +1 chance that Ruby will be used at a 
company; small, medium, large or huge later this year.

Zach