Jeremy McAnally wrote:

> 
> I think these sorts of things are what sell to people in management
> honestly.  For example, I've been working on selling Ruby/Rails to my
> superiors here on campus.  They're very security and stability
> conscience, so mentioning anything other than PHP for the website and
> Java for application software is pretty much out of the question.  The
> first question out of their mouth was "Who else is using it?  We're
> not going to use it unless it's been proven."  Point blank.

They don't trust their technical people to make assessments of 
development tools?  PHP + security concerns = severe cognitive dissonance.

> 
> Now, if I were a ruby newbie who just learned the language and wanted
> to use it, then I would've been stuck.  

But in such a case you probably *shouldn't* using Ruby for production 
development.


> Fortunately, I'm fairly in
> touch with where Ruby is being used and could provide some example
> that yes, real people use Ruby.  It's not just a Japanese guy and a
> few startups that dont' have a real product.  Ruby has proven/is
> proving itself in a lot of places.  Having this page gives people who
> aren't that plugged into what's going on that same sort of
> information.  I think it's pretty important; I'm just not sure that a
> fat list of links is the best way to present it.
> 
> Even further, some developers might be curious about Ruby, but be
> discouraged if theres no evidence of it actually being used.  I hear
> this a lot from people who are interested in learning laguages like
> Haskell, but don't see any practical value in it since they're not
> going to use it outside of a hobby.


People interested in the craft of software development will learn 
languages for the sake of learning new concepts.   I'd much rather see a 
slower growth of the Ruby community than try to draw people in who will 
only pursue Ruby if they think it offers gainful employment or some 
"non-hobby" use.

Trying to "sell" a language by tossing out showpiece success stories or 
prospects of corporate employment is of limited value.  People so 
persuaded by this are just as likely to jump to the next New Hot Thing 
in a year or so.

Why be concerned over Ruby's popularity?  Or, at least, why be concerned 
with making Ruby popular among people who don't have the wherewithal or 
motivation to properly assess it?  Will it cultivate a strong, lasting 
Ruby community?

Someone choosing Ruby for production development had better be sure of 
the value and risks, which are not apparent from one-page success 
stories.  I'd prefer someone not use Ruby at all rather than use Ruby 
with mistaken expectations, fail, then blame the language.


-- 
James Britt

"I often work by avoidance."
- Brian Eno