On Wed, 23 Aug 2006, Just Another Victim of the Ambient Morality wrote:

>    Personally, I don't see these small "time savings" as a big advantage.
>    Perhaps I shouldn't shrug off "syntactic sugar" so easily but features of
>    a language that save a bit of typing aren't a big deal to me.  I'm a fast
>    typist and software is plagued by so many other issues...

ah.  just to clarify i meant that the reduction in total lines of code is a
huge boon for me, not only when writing code, but more importantly when
__reading__ it later.  no amount of static typing helps with 10,000 line
fortran files, for instance, and i maintain a lot of code.

>    Yeah, I'm not surprised that this might be one of those "what can you do?
>    Life is hard..." problems.  I was just throwing this out there in case it
>    was interesting and that, maybe, someone might have a surprising solution
>    or approach to this issue...
>
>    Incidentally, what inspired all this is that I'm trying to use mechanize
>    and it's totally not working.  Specifically, some sites like slashdot.org
>    work fine but rubyforge.org fails spectacularly.  What happens is that
>    all links at rubyforge.org are nil.  Some debugging suggests that the
>    problem is in htmltools, which mechanize uses to parse the HTML.  So,
>    someone else's code uses someone else's code to do the work.  Now you can
>    see why the term "node" comes up a lot in my example problems.
>    Except for the copyright and license agreement, there's almost no
> documentation...
>    I'm tempted to make another post asking other people who use mechanize
> (and/or htmltools) to go to rubyforge.org and see if they have the same
> problems I do...

this seems like a good fit for ruby-breakpoint.

   gem install ruby-breakpoint

it's great for debugging these kinds of things via introspection - just throw
in a breakpoint and start inspecting live code.

on a related note - curl and wget sure work good ;-)

good luck!

-a
-- 
to foster inner awareness, introspection, and reasoning is more efficient than
meditation and prayer.
- h.h. the 14th dali lama