I have just installed Ruby 1.6.6 under Linux.  I have d/l'd the FAQ
and the hmtl version of the "Programming Ruby" book.  I have not had
time to do more than skim those so far.  From what I saw in the book
Ruby sounds like a very interesting language.  I particularly like the
"multiple platform" capabilities I've seen described, and that is
actually what my primary question concerns.

I have seen Ruby called a "scripting language" and compared, very
favorably, to Python and Perl both.  I have experience with neither of
those, nor with smalltalk, nor Java.  Ruby will be my first venture
into the "Land of OOP" and I am looking forward very much to doing
that.

My biggest question right now is very simple really.  If I design and
code a project using Ruby - under Linux - then how would I go about
getting that application to run under Windows?  Is there some kind of
a "run time" deal like Visual Basic has?  After all, from my
perspective, I can hardly expect every person  that wanted to install
my application to have Ruby already installed and just sitting there
waiting for me. :)

What libraries, etc. would I need to include with my app to be sure
the user had it available on their system?  I saw in the book that
Ruby can be used to "code GUI apps" but that was as far as I got. 
Only so many hours in the day after all. :)  What's needed to do that?
 

Are these questions already answered in the book (or the FAQ)?  If
they are then I would appreciate a pointer to the correct spot please.
 If not then if someone could direct to where I could get them
answered that would be great.  I'm hoping this is the right place. 
Even for "stone Newbies" like me. :)

One final question.  I saw that the Ruby install had included some
"*.el" files to help with writing Ruby code using Emacs.  I was very
pleased to see this as Emacs is my editor of choice.  I modified my
.emacs file to load those up and I guess my next question is how to go
about actually using them.  Is it something that is "automatic" - like
it is with C?  I started just writing a little test thing but when I
loaded Emacs it told me I was in "text mode" and I was thinking that
if I loaded a file with the .rb it should have put me into "ruby-mode"
instead of "text-mode" so I just kind of left it be for the moment
until I could find more time to look into it.  What is it exactly that
"ruby-mode" will do for me?  I did see somewhere a description of how
to do some formatting of the "ruby source" (to show results or
something like that I think it was) but that was all, so far at least.

Thanks...

Bill
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Bill Turner <wildbill / speakeasy.org>