Dear MacRubyist,

> Unfortunately, the very first real-world Ordinary Stupid Problem i
> actually want to solve is  ...

it's always good to work on or towards the solution of real world
problems - that keeps you focused ... there are piles of dust
tossing themselves up on books I wanted to work through from A-Z
to get to know about some topic in a theoretic way -- it never came true.

> Having just run irb so far because am slightly scared of getting into
> compilation and package management without using binaries, (and I tried
> telling Tiger to 'require gems' and it didn't like that, which presumably
> would you advise me to:

I would advise that you put off the idea that you must iterate
through files for, say, one day and try and work through 
Chris Pine's book, which is on the web (see my last post). 
It introduces you to some of the very basic
features of the language, and doesn't take long to go through.
Just try some of his exercises and this will raise your mood,
because everything will work, and it will work much sooner
than for other computing languages.
You don't need to install anything or compile anything for that.

After having completed Chris Pine's book, you will feel strong enough
to kill one the dinosaurs he makes you look at in the last chapter,
then you should follow the advice about how to get hpricot and/or
rio to work on a Mac ( just ask again if it doesn't work),
and try some of the examples on the website tutorials of these
packages.

From the many responses you already got you can see that there are some people around who can and will help you.

So, welcome again, and good luck,

Best regards,

Axel 




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