Well, at least _some_ people regard Ruby as a better OO Perl than Perl or as
a means of getting anticipated Python 3000 features now. Maybe if you knew
more about Ruby, you might become one of them.

Obviously for a great many people, situations, and applications, Perl or
Python are clearly their best respective choices. (I still use Perl from
time to time and I still sometimes recommend that people check out Python.)

However I suspect there are still a great many other people who generally
like Perl or Python, but who for reasons of need and temperament are not
locked into them, and who also would like something that provides a more
powerful and more uniform and easier to use variation on the same sorts of
themes that made Perl or Python initially attractive and useful power tools.
The purpose of this note is simply to let such people know about Ruby. (I
discovered Ruby in a passing reference I chanced across when perusing
comp.lang.python last year, and I am trying to pass on that inadvertent
favor in this experiment.)

1 About Ruby.

1.1 What is Ruby?

    Ruby is a relatively new, very high level, fully OO language that
    integrated many good ideas from Perl, Python, Smalltalk, Eiffel,
    ADA, Clu, and Lisp. (Ruby is more fully OO than Python.) In
    addition to common OO features, Ruby has threads, singleton
    methods, mix-ins, fully integrated closures and iterators, plus
    proper meta-classes.  Ruby is a relatively easy to learn and easy
    to read language, yet it is very powerful and sophisticated. Ruby
    has a true mark-and-sweep garbage collector, which makes code more
    reliable and simplifies writing extensions. For many of us, Ruby
    is "better Perl than Perl" and a "better Python than Python". You
    could characterize the Ruby philosophy as "there's a better way to
    do it" (TABWTDI).

1.2 Where can I find out more about Ruby?

    Ruby's home web site:

        http://www.ruby-lang.org/en (Ruby English language home page.)

            Follow the links to documentation, downloads, the Ruby
            application archive, the Ruby mail list archives, and lots
            of other interesting information.

        http://www.ruby-lang.org/en/whats.html (Ruby feature list.)

    Ruby FAQ:

        http://www.rubycentral.com/faq/

    Ruby classes, modules, and methods reference:

        http://www.rubycentral.com/ref/

    English language Ruby books:

        Two forthcoming English-language Ruby are planned for
        publication later in Y2K:

            <<Don't know title yet.>> by Yukihiro Matsumoto

            "Pragmatic Ruby" by Dave Thomas and Andrew Hunt

    Ruby newsgroup:

        comp.lang.ruby