Thomas Luedeke wrote:

> Any hints/suggestions by you Ruby pros for me to expedite my flounder
> through the "suck" stage, and achieve the Nirvana of "Wow"?

I never experienced the "suck" stage...it's been wow all the way.
I think that's because I started off with the Pickaxe book.  Experience
with other programming languages helped some.  Shell scripting
was mainly useful as a motivation.  If you have to maintain a congeries
of shell scripts that call each other, you are powerfully motivated to
seek a better way.

Python also was a motivation.  It was a language that looked great
at first, but grew progressively more annoying as I got into it more
deeply.  By the end of my Python days, I had come to think of Python
as the Pascal of scripting languages.  I was delighted to find that
Ruby did the right thing just about everywhere that Python irked me.
Ruby is beauty and freedom.  Or at least as much beauty and freedom
as you are going to find in a scripting language!

Knowing C was useful when it was time to peer into Ruby's innards, but
knowing C _well_ probably slowed me down.  The big conceptual hurdle
was to start thinking naturally in terms of dynamic OO.  I didn't mind,
though, because my main goal at the time was to learn this way of
thought.

Knowing Lisp was helpful,  as it had kept my mind from sinking into a
procedural rut.

What I remembered of Pascal was not useful at all.  Of course, I've
tried to forget as much as possible of that dreadful B&D language,
which I had only learned because I was forced to teach it. (My
experience with Pascal was mainly with the version that inspired
Brian Kernighan's famous paper _Why Pascal is not my favorite
programming language_.I understand that more modern versions are
not as horrible.)