Warren Seltzer wrote:

> But I am concerned about Ruby's suitability for programming in the large.

> For example this 1-line program issues no error:
> 
> puts @whatever

It's sometimes thought better style to use method calls to refer even to
private instance variables (for this reason among others). eg.

class Foo
   attr_reader :whatever
   private :whatever # if desired
   def initialize()
     @whatever = "hello"
   end
   def do_something()
     puts whatevah
   end
end

The typo will give you
typo.rb:8:in `do_something': undefined local variable or method 
`whatevah' for #<Foo:0x1cf79c @whatever="hello"> (NameError)

> This is a code bug that a statically typed compiler would scream about.

compilers .... $> make *clunk*whirr* ... *whirr*

I've written a mid-sized (6000+ LOC, excluding tests) end-user Ruby app, 
  and I typo a lot -
but it's very rarely responsible for subtle / long-lived bugs.

> 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...

a couple of guesses:
1) Unicode is hard, and hard to do well.
2) Native encodings have remained popular in Japan generally, for 
example in encoding
monolingual web pages and email attachments.

a