Much of the criticism, I believe, comes from cultural rather than
technical concerns. Most of the movers-and-shakers in the Ruby
community are using either *nix or OS X and therefore most of the
blogs, articles, tutorials and books come written through that prism
(actually, earlier works were much better in this regard). This can
make it tricky for newcomers to learn Ruby if they're on Windows and
it cements a perception that Ruby on Windows is harder than it should
be, or doesn't work as well. Take the Rails Tutorial for example -
it's very POSIX centric and even advises using Cygwin rather than
native Windows. It's an awesome tutorial, but it would leave the
curious Windows-using dabbler with a sense that Rails, Ruby, Git and
the rest are really designed for Unix and unsatisfactory, hacky
afterthoughts on Windows. The result: people either switch, or turn
away. I know Rails != Ruby, but many (perhaps most) newcomers are
introduced to Ruby through Rails, so I believe this is a good example.

The thing is, Ruby on Windows needn't be a poor experience - with the
right tools and advice, and good quality, disciplined cross-platform
programming on the part of Ruby developers, the beauty of Ruby can be
enjoyed just as well on Windows as it can on OS X or *nix. The Python
community seems to be ahead of Ruby on this point. I believe what we
need are more developers dedicated to improving the experience on
Windows (the RubyInstaller team being a fantastic example) and also a
more concious welcoming of Windows users into the community (as in,
less of the mocking of Windows and Windows users in general - yeah, I
know, boo-hoo, violins, etc. - but for a newcomer, it's not the best
experience to feel like you're some sort of pariah) Now, we all need
to have a sense of humour and have to be able to take a bit of
ribbing, but the joke is kind of old and stale now, and things have
improved tremendously in recent months on Windows, and, well, we're
all just trying to get some work done, no? Can't we all just be
friends, dammit? ;-) But if we can continue this trend of making
Windows feel less of a hostile environment for Ruby, then I'm sure
more Windows developers will be attracted and therefore will pour more
resources into improving Ruby on Windows. So, keep up the good work
and less of the negative stuff, in other words. :-)

(btw, this particular community is actually very welcoming and always
has been; my mild critique is more aimed at the high-profile bloggers,
developers and pundits, particularly in the Rails community.)

Charles
--
Charles Roper
http://twitter.com/charlesroper

On 17 September 2010 11:12, Mohit Sindhwani <mo_mail / onghu.com> wrote:
> On 17/9/2010 6:02 PM, Quintus wrote:
>>
>> -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
>> Hash: SHA1
>>
>> Am 17.09.2010 10:53, schrieb Tom Wardrop:
>>>
>>> I've heard a lot of criticism about developing for Ruby on Windows, but
>>> am yet to see anyone elaborate on this. Can someone enlighten me on why
>>> developing for Ruby on Windows is considered to be painful?
>>>
>>> Cheers
>>
>> My personal opinion about this is that developing on Windows is not as
>> hard as it used to be since the Ruby Installer + DevKit have been
>> released. However, Windows stays Windows, and the thing I personally
>> most miss in Windows is the #fork method and the ability to create
>> multi-process programs easily. When Ruby gets rid of the GIL sometime
>> and Ruby's threads will run truly concurrent, I may not miss it anymore
>> (Ruby 2.0, maybe?).
>> Apart from that, I just dislike non-free (free as in freedom) operating
>> systems ;-)
>
> Barring ideology, there are, in my opinion, two main annoyances in working
> with Windows..
>
> 1. Some times, it can take a while to start the Ruby interpreter - and Ruby
> runs slowly. While an annoyance, most people don't deploy on Windows and a
> bit of extra time in starting a long(er) running program is fine for me.
>
> 2. Some native gems fail to build and you need to find a way around it.
> Luis' work and the DevKit, etc. are changing this situation on a daily
> basis.. so, we will get there.
>
> Barring that, I haven't found any reason to avoid working on Windows using
> Ruby. Some of the things that I do require Windows - for example, Iuse
> Win32Ole to parse Word documents to put into a Radiant CMS site... so, I'm
> happy enough working there.
>
> Best Regards,
> Mohit.
> 17/9/2010 | 6:11 PM.
>
>
>