On Thu, 2005-09-22 at 05:30 +0900, Warren Seltzer wrote:
> I am coming to Ruby having used the usual list of scripting and C*  languages.  Since Ruby
> has such powerful programming features, I think it may be used for some really large
> system.  My decades long observation of software is that small programs that succeed
> become large programs.
> 
> But I am concerned about Ruby's suitability for programming in the large.  First off, the
> lack of the requirement to declare variables sounds like an invitation to programming
> bugs.  It's just too easy to assign something to a misspelling of a variable name.  Make
> the same spelling mistake again and you won't even get a warning about an undefined
> variable.

I've only been developing in Ruby for a few months, and in a very limited problem domain.  Some years ago I wrote most of a fairly large Perl and Java system, over the course of maybe five years.  It was written without any kind of automated testing.  That code always made me nervous, although at the time I didn't really understand that there was a way to avoid that.

My recent coding experience with Ruby, written with full
unit/integration/acceptance tests, feels far more solid.  At this point
I only have 16K lines of ruby files (meaning of course far less actual
code), but with good testing I do not feel that sense of impending doom
that I have felt before.

The biggest issue it seems to me is tools.  I've been writing a lot of
infrastructure tools that aren't available in Ruby, or are only
available in lightweight forms.  That can really slow you down!

    Gary

> For example this 1-line program issues no error:
> 
> puts @whatever
> 
> This is a code bug that a statically typed compiler would scream about.
> 
> -------------------
> 
> Also: Is anybody doing a port to 64-bit systems?
> 
> -------------------
> 
> Also, a history question.  With Ruby coming out of Japan, why wasn't Unicode support done
> earlier?  You'd think it would be insulated mono-lingual Americans who would delay that...
> 
> 
> Warren Seltzer
> 
> 
>