Hi --

On Mon, 7 Aug 2006, M. Edward (Ed) Borasky wrote:

> Charles Hoffman wrote:
>> That stuff doesn't bother me, it seems normal for users, enthusiasts,
>> and people interested in one programming language to talk about other
>> programming languages.
> Especially the denizens of the main Ruby mailing list, which includes the 
> founder of the language. We are people who use or want to use Ruby, and we 
> want it to have what it needs from other languages. Matz did a pretty good 
> job of that all by himself. :)
>
>
>> Programmers these days usually have to use
>> multiple languages in their work anyway,
> Well ... my personal opinion is that more than two languages is probably 
> overload. You need one general purpose language and whatever domain-specific 
> language fits what you're doing. More than that and you start losing time 
> context switching and spending time looking up things like "how do I parse a 
> date/time string to a date/time object in Ruby when I know how to do it in 
> R?" :)
>
>> I've also noticed that Rubyists seem have a high tendency (at least
>> higher than Javaists and others, I think) to be programming-language
>> geeks, the kind of folks who like to learn about the general concepts of
>> programming languages, learn lots of different ones, and compare them.
>> 
> That may be because of Ruby's youth relative to other general-purpose 
> languages. I remember the same phenomenon when Java was a young language.

I think Ruby is slightly older than Java, isn't it? :-)

> I'm personally a language geek and have been since ... well, let's
> just say that the first code I wrote in my life was for a machine
> built from vacuum tubes that had only an assembler. :)

You may have me beat.  My first was BASIC on a PDP-8, followed by
BASIC and assembler on a PDP-10.  I think at least the '10 had
integrated circuits :-)

As for language geekdom: I feel like I used to be more than I am now,
but it's more because Ruby stuff is keeping me so busy than because
Ruby satisfies all my language interest.  In fact I've never wanted
Ruby to take on Lisp macros, Python whitespace, Java-style typing,
C-style comments, and all the rest of it.  Maybe there should be one
or more kitchen-sink languages out there, but they should be written
from scratch for that purpose.

Here's what I think is a classic and still very relevant post by Dave
Thomas about the design of Ruby and the process of change:
http://blade.nagaokaut.ac.jp/cgi-bin/scat.rb/ruby/ruby-talk/12606


David

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