woodyee wrote:
> Hi! I'm interested in getting opinions on Ruby as a first language. For
> example, how it compares to python/perl/basic/etc as a first language.
> My goals are to learn the basics of a language, then delve into network
> programming,  and then learn how to interact with the operating system
> programaticallly. Will Ruby help me achieve this goal? Will Ruby enable
> me to transition to other languages (ex., C/Assembly/etc)? Thanks in
> advance!
> 
> WY

Personally, I think it is a horrible first language.  Let me preface 
this by saying I'm a hardware guy that uses programming as needed, so 
I'm not a *real* programmer.

Here is the problem.  With C or even C++ I can learn a few basic 
conditional statements, variable declarations, etc. and I can write just 
about any program.  Sure, it will be long and inefficient, but at least 
I can write it without knowing any more about the language.  In Ruby, 
you can't do that.  The key to learning Ruby is learning the numerous 
methods that come with each class.

When I first started playing with Ruby, I thought I would do a typical 
programming exercise and write several sort functions in Ruby (bubble, 
selection, quicksort, etc.).  I couldn't figure out how to do it because 
all I needed was Array.sort!  It is tough to find documentation on 
things like for loops in Ruby, and blocks can be confusing.

I think Ruby is best for people that already have some programming 
experience.

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