Ryan Davis wrote:
> On Aug 9, 2008, at 06:42 , Farrel Lifson wrote:
> 
>> Rubinius and JRuby use a shared RSpec suite which they use to test
>> compatiability. It's not the Official Spec(tm) but I think it's the
>> closest to one.
> 
> that is so far from an actual specification it isn't funny.

I think that substituting a suite of tests (or "expected behaviors") is 
more in keeping with "the Ruby way" than a formal language 
specification. After all, isn't the primary goal of a language spec to 
ensure that your program will run on a given system? Why can't a test 
suite give me that assurance as well as a formal spec?

In fact, Joel Spolsky's bit on "Martian Headsets" 
(http://joelonsoftware.com/items/2008/03/17.html) is rather informative 
for this discussion. If Ruby had a standard, but not a comprehensive 
test suite, we'd probably be _less_ confident of the 
cross-implementation compatibility of our programs. That's not to say 
that a formal specification would be a bad thing, just that between a 
test suite and a formal spec, the spec is less important.
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