On Fri, Dec 3, 2010 at 9:49 AM, Mike Stephens <rubfor / recitel.net> wrote:
> I was thinking about this last night and it's part of a belief I have
> that you reuse powerful facilities available to you rather than imitate
> them or bodge them into Ruby. That's how scripting languages started -
> simple programming interfaces to applications, operating systems etc.

While Ruby is a scripting language, too, it does not follow that it
has the same origin as the first scripting language that evolved
(which would that be, anyway? sh? Something even older?).

> If you want to script a web site then don't struggle with Ruby-like
> libraries, run Internet Explorer and script its model.

I want, nay, need, a Ruby-like interface to IE, though. Nothing is as
annoying as mixing a dozen paradigms across the board.

Also: I'd script WebKit with V8 support. It's fast, and cross-platform.

> Nothing you can
> download from rubyforge is ever going to be as big, sophisticated and
> tested.

There is one good thing about the UNIX culture: "Programs should do
one thing, and do it well." The Ruby community soaked that up, and
applied it to libraries.

And with TDD/BDD/testing in general, your point about testing becomes
moot. Not to mention that, if a gem is open source, I can always fork
it and keep it going, instead of being beholden to one single entity.
Ain't that right, Oracle?

> Similarly with spreadsheets - Excel is on your computer, why
> mess with anything less? Fire up win32ole and the World is your oyster.

You are serious, I'm afraid. So: Excel is good, for a spreadsheet
program. But can it solve linear equations? Inverse a matrix (for the
curious: It can, but boy it ain't pretty)?

Not to mention that you have to rely on Excel being correct when, say,
importing CSV, or exporting TSV. Which you can't.

Also: Excel isn't necessarily installed on a computer, just like IE.

Last but not least: Excel only was possible because VisiCalc was
first, and because Lotus 1-2-3 kept the competition going. IOW:
Applying your "DRM" "principle" to Excel: Don't Repeat VisiCorp.

Wake up, and smell the world beyond what Dell sold you, Mike.

-- 
Phillip Gawlowski

Though the folk I have met,
(Ah, how soon!) they forget
When I've moved on to some other place,
There may be one or two,
When I've played and passed through,
Who'll remember my song or my face.