Charles Oliver Nutter wrote:
> I'm curious what native gems/extensions people are typically using. In 
> general it seems like most native extensions fall into two categories:
>
> * They are wrappers around a C API/library, as in zlib, rmagick, nokogiri
> * They are written for performance reasons, to implement a particular 
> algorithm in a native language or call a library for the same reasons
>
> And there's a lot of grey area, with some extensions falling in both 
> categories.
>
> Wrappers can now largely be handled by FFI, and I hope more and more 
> of them will use FFI as needed to access those libraries. But I'm 
> concerned about extensions written for performance, since Ruby 1.9 and 
> JRuby do almost as much to speed Ruby up.
>
> Ultimately, my quest is to eliminate Ruby's dependence on extensions 
> for things FFI or "faster Ruby" could do, since it will improve the 
> future for both the standard and alternative implementations.
>
> So, what native gems or extensions do you use? Why do you use them or 
> why do they exist?
>
> - Charlie
>
>
Charlie,

As someone with a social survey research background, I want to advise 
you that this is an extremely poor way to get your question answered. If 
you're not serious about getting a good answer, your request is very 
close to list-noise. If you are, then you need a decent sample OR all 
the parametric data (i.e., don't sample it - get it all).

I wonder why you don't go after the latter? Is there someway to get 
download counts for various gems? I realize there are hundreds, but THAT 
would be useful data.

Alternatively, you could use the gems themselves as your population. 
Draw a sample of them, as samples of serious Ruby code (and get at least 
35, and preferably much more than that), then scrape from them the gems 
THEY use, and get a frequency distribution from that sample.

In terms of bang for buck, I'd go with the latter alternative, 'cause 
THAT data would actually be something from which you might reasonably 
infer something.

What you're doing with this list-post nonsense is akin to putting a box 
of surveys on the sidewalk, with a sign "please fill one out", then 
taking your results and thinking they actually MEAN something. Believe 
me, they do not.

Hope this helps the "cause".

t.

-- 

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