On Jan 3, 2008, at 10:45 AM, Ben Turner wrote:

> Hi,

Hello.

> I currently work as a freelance Java programmer doing contracts in
> Europe and am very interested in Ruby.

Great.  Glad to have you.

> I have a couple of questions:
>
> a) What is the current corporate distribution of the language? Is the
> language being adopted at all for commercial projects?

I don't have any statistics to give, but I'm pretty confident in  
saying that Ruby's penetration into the world of big business is much  
smaller than Java's.  That's not because Ruby is a less capable  
language per say, but more because it currently lacks a lot of the  
traits the corporations favor (certifications, support contracts,  
etc.).  This is completely my opinion though, not facts.

> b) What is the status of available IDE's/debuggers for platforms such
> as MacOS or Linux? Is there anything comparable to i.e. Eclipse?

Most Rubyists I know tend to favor powerful text editors more than  
IDEs.  I believe that's because Java gets a lot more out of an IDE  
than Ruby typically does, but that's more guesswork on my part.

As text editors go, there are many great choices:  emacs, vi, and  
TextMate (Mac OS X only) are all popular.

The IDEs have started to roll out the Ruby support now though, so you  
can find one.  I believe NetBeans is pretty far along, but I'm passing  
on what I've heard there, not actual experience.

> c) My expertise lies in the telecommunications world - is Ruby at all
> suited for large concurrent network applications in the way other
> languages like Erlang are?

Erlang was built from the ground up with concurrent programming as a  
major focus.  Ruby was not.  Obviously, that gives Erlang some  
advantages.

Do I think you could use Ruby for at least medium size networking  
applications?  Sure. But it won't be Erlang simple, no.

Check out the EventMachine library.  It works well for the networking  
trials I've thrown at it so far and is gaining some Erlang-like  
features.

Welcome to Ruby.

James Edward Gray II