Tony De wrote:
> Hi all,
> 
> I've recently discovered Ruby/Ruby on Rails.  Or more accurately, I have
> discovered it on an introductory level. I.E. I've read bits and pieces
> on the internet and the initial pages of a book or two killing time at a
> Barnes & Nobles.
> 
> My question is this:  Is ruby for me?  Moreover, can I develop
> traditional as well as database driven "GUI" apps such as I would in
> Delphi or Visual Studio for that matter?  Or is it geared for a
> "Browser" based interface?


Ruby is much more than Rails.  Rails is but one of several Ruby Web 
development frameworks, and Web development is but a part of what Ruby 
can do.

Ruby is a general-purpose programming language. In some ways it is 
similar to Python and Perl, and in other ways it is like Java, Lisp, and 
Smalltalk.

> 
> I am a Delphi programmer on the Windows and Linux platforms.  So I am
> quite acquainted with Object Oriented Programming.  

OOP can mean different things to different people based on experience. 
The OO nature of Ruby is different from that of Delphi; it's nicer and 
far more consistent. :)


> An aspect of which
> Ruby first caught my interest.  And the Model-View-Controller structure
> is quite intriguing to me. 


The use of MVC is entirely up to you and how you decide to design your 
applications.  Ruby will let you pick the architecture that works best 
for your needs.


> Also, Ruby coupled with Rails scaffolding.
> It's been said you can do anything (relatively) in Ruby that you can do
> in other languages, such as Java, C, Basic, etc.  But I haven't found
> any screen captures or code snippets that would actually prove this out.

There is great work being done with JRuby, an implementation of Ruby 
that runs on the JVM and which can make use of Java libs.  This gives 
you full access to all the GUI widgets you would use in Java.

There are also bindings for a few different widget sets.  There is no 
reason not to do traditional desktop apps in Ruby.

> 
> Can anyone comment on this and clear this gray area up for me?  Thank
> you very much.


See also

http://ruby-doc.org/whyruby
http://ruby-doc.org/gettingstarted
http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?RubyLanguage
http://wiki.rubygarden.org/Ruby/page/show/RealWorldRuby
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruby_language

-- 
James Britt

"Every object obscures another object."
    - Luis Bunuel