Hi --

On Fri, 15 Dec 2006, Jason Roelofs wrote:

> To be honest, I found the blog post pretty much right on. Ruby is a great
> language, the best language I've ever used, but it still has serious issues
> to be worked out, #1 being an official language spec and following that
> having a proper VM to take care of speed issues. I have looked through the
> 1.8.x interpreter code and frankly it's stomach-churning, with most of the
> crap in the 3000+ line parser.y file, however the method of writing
> extensions for Ruby 1.8.x is the cleanest and IMO the best designed API
> ever. I'm not sure what's going on with YARV, but I will say that I see lots
> of promise from Rubinius and JRuby promises to be the tipping point of
> massive Ruby adoption across servers and desktops alike.
>
> I'm not worried though, because of posts like this and work like Rubinius.
> People have realized an upcoming problem an are working to solve it before
> it becomes a nightmare.
>
> And at the same time, none of this is really to be blamed on Matz or any of
> the core Ruby developers/maintainers. Ruby was Matz's personal project and
> now that it's become the language of choice for many, many programmers, it's
> time to clean it up into a professional tool.

Ruby is a professional tool, and has been for years.  The 23
(twenty-three) in-print Ruby books that Maki brought to show us at
RubyConf 2002 in Seattle were, I think, not specifically written for
non-professionals.  Also, while Ruby is a personal project of Matz,
that's not to say that there haven't been collaborators on the
language; and Matz has been, as far as I know, working on it full-time
for years.  So "personal project" does not mean "spare-time project"
or "one-man project" (though that wouldn't necessarily preclude any
level of accomplishment).

It's important to examine all the issues surrounding the interpreter,
but we needn't rewrite the history of the language.  Whatever eval.c
and parse.y do or do not look like, Ruby has been used by professional
programmers for serious purposes for quite a while.  And, I might add,
by non-professionals, and non-professionally by professionals, and
just about every other permutation.  That's always been one of the
coolest things about Ruby, to me.

> The future of Ruby is bright!

So is its past -- and present :-)  Happily, it's not a zero-sum game:
JRuby and Rubinius and YARV can be great, and Ruby from 1993 to now
can *also* be great.


David

-- 
Q. What's a good holiday present for the serious Rails developer?
A. RUBY FOR RAILS by David A. Black (http://www.manning.com/black)
    aka The Ruby book for Rails developers!
Q. Where can I get Ruby/Rails on-site training, consulting, coaching?
A. Ruby Power and Light, LLC (http://www.rubypal.com)