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Mat, your statements are right on the money. To the extent that developers
enjoy using a language, they will use it, when they are at liberty to
choose. But I think it's important not to lose sight of the fact that
programmers in corporate environments are not always free to so choose. The
Ruby community has some way to go in meeting the desiderata of the relevant
decision makers who are not developers and for whom the joy of programming
is a secondary concern. The degree to which we embrace this challenge as a
community will have a lot to say about whether we will be able to use our
favorite language in more and more places.

Many capable Rubyists that I know are of the opinion that nothing matters
but the joy of programming Ruby. True enough as far as it goes, and that
alone will drive significant acceptance of the language. But not as fast or
as far as I would like. I realize I'm throwing down a gauntlet here, but the
Pythonists have been better at this than we have so far.

On 6/5/06, Mat Schaffer <schapht / gmail.com> wrote:
>
> On Jun 4, 2006, at 11:09 PM, Hector wrote:
> > I've been trying to pickup Ruby for a few months now. I've written
> > a few
> > good programs that help me at work with SAN/Unix Administration. I've
> > also run into a few dificult(for me) programming problems. I like to
> > figure things out on my own so I never post questions in forums like
> > this, this probably contributes to my bad programming skill, but
> > that's
> > besides the point.
> >
> > I'm at a point where I'm asking myself if it is worth the trouble
> > for me
> > to learn Ruby. How many people are really writting Ruby? Are there any
> > truly robust, good applications being written in Ruby? How well are
> > Ruby
> > libraries being maintained? I know there is a lot of documentation for
> > Ruby but I find it hard to find very specific docs. Python seems to
> > have
> > a whole lot more doc and many more books exist for Python. Does Python
> > have a greater following. I love Ruby but I don't want to waist my
> > time
> > with a laguage that may not have a future.
> >
> > I don't really care about learning 10 programming languages. My brain
> > wouldn't be able handle it. I want to learn 1 or two languages and
> > learn
> > them well.  I know Pascal very well, I know Perl pretty well, now I
> > would like to get away from Perl and so I started out leaning
> > Python. I
> > think Python is ugly and not very fun to write. I then jumped into
> > Ruby(a whole lot of fun!) but I don't get the warm and fussies about
> > Ruby's lasting power.
>
> The first thing I'd say here is that Ruby just got the cover of both
> Dr. Dobb's and Linux Journal, which is a pretty big statement of how
> far it's reaching.  Can't say the same for many languages.  As for
> materials, it's worth it to note that (1) Python's a little older,
> (2) Ruby started in Japan so there's a lot of Japanese documentation
> out there that hasn't been translated yet.
>
> But I think the most important thing you should note is how much fun
> you have programming in Ruby.  If you're enjoying it, you can trust
> that a lot more other people do too.  And that's a REAL "killer
> app".  (David Heinemeier Hansson of ruby on rails talks about
> happiness a lot in this respect)
>
> -Mat
>
>

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