Ruby aims to be a human friendly programming language that embodies the
principle of least surprise.  However, there is an important feature of
the language that, despite being a glaring exception to this laudable
goal, seems to have crept unquestioned into the Ruby core.  It is a
rebarbative and truly medieval practice which everyone knows causes
endless confusion, countless unnecessary errors, and a great deal of
wasted programming time in all languages that incorporate it, e.g., C,
Java.  In violation of Ruby's ethos, this feature is present purely to
suit the compiler/interpreter at the expense of the person.

The pebble in the Ruby shoe is the counter-intuitive use of indexing of
elements of arrays, strings, etc., from 0 to n-1 instead of the more
natural 1 to n.   Like prisoners who have got used to their chains, the
Ruby community seems to have meekly accepted this impediment to clear
thinking.   It is particularly puzzling that Ruby should hobble its
users in this way, because it is manifestly unnecessary (e.g., Fortran
and Pascal don't do it).

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