On Jul 25, 5:52 pm, Lyle Johnson <lyle.john... / gmail.com> wrote:
> On Jul 25, 2007, at 4:44 PM, al_batuul wrote:
>
> > Could any body explain what distinguishes Ruby from other languages?
>
> http://www.ruby-doc.org/whyruby

Out of a small handful of languages I've worked with I can say the
following:

1) Ruby is _fun_ to work with. Most of the time it doesn't seem like
work.
2) Ruby code is easier to read, at least per the way my brain
operates.
3) The Ruby community is active and helpful. Despite Ruby's gaining
popularity the newsgroups, forums, mailing lists, etc. aren't chock
full of snyde replies to newbie questions.

The downsides I see compared to other languages are:

1) Looking for a large set of libraries involves skulking around
outside of the standard distro. Most libraries you are looking for are
available, but it takes some hunting and guessing. Not all libraries
are well documented and some docs aren't available in English. This is
improving as of late, however.
2) Ruby is still heavily slanted toward Linux-based platforms. Windows
compatability is largely a non-issue, but in specific cases I was left
in the lurch targeting Windows clients.
3) The killer IDE (ala Visual Studio) is still a work in progress.
Although Sapphire in Steel is admirable for pure built-in GUI
development you can't yet find anything as straightforward as dragging
and dropping Visual Studio controls. Porting stuff back and forth
using Glade or Qt Designer is an option, but not as clean as what I've
experienced using things like Visual Studio or various Smalltalk
offerings.

The key point to all of this to me is Ruby is _fun_ and makes sense in
the way my brain works. Most of the time I can intuitively figure out
how to use a particular API. Makes it nice. Less time digging around
docs and less time coding since there's less syntactical hoops. Check
it out. You won't be sorry!