Charles, I'm going to let you have the last word but before I do, I'd 
just like to ask if you've ever stopped to think what is the common 
thread with technologies that have major-vendor support? In general, 
they are heavy, difficult, full of committee-driven standards, and very 
costly. In other words, no one could love them but a vendor.

Now think about the common thread with technologies that started off 
developed by open communities, like Linux (and Ruby). Well, not all of 
them are full of sweetness, light, and intelligent defacto standards. 
But they all do seem to generate this big question, "what's the business 
model?" The few companies that have come up with a coherent answer to 
this question (RedHat, JBoss) are, I think, exceptions that prove the 
rule.

And your point (expressed repeatedly and forcefully) that Ruby is a more 
productive development technology, is precisely why no major technology 
vendor is interested. Ruby doesn't create an opportunity to lock 
customers into heavyweight commitments in order to force-feed them 
terrifically expensive support and services.

So all your protestations notwithstanding, I'm not holding my breath 
waiting for a major technology vendor to endorse Ruby. Its heavyweight 
backing will have to come some other way.

I think Google can be helpful for the same reason they back Python: it's 
one of the things they use internally and they want the community to 
stay healthy. But if Python is the model, then Google's support will be 
tepid at best. How they build their technology is not where their 
business edge comes from, as much as we technologists want to believe it 
is.

Microsoft's support will be a double-edged sword. Microsoft's goal is to 
enforce their platform lock-in, so they want to make sure they get a 
chance to co-opt any hot technology before someone else does.

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