I am really puzzled.

I am a scientist and I have been using ruby for years. I like thinking
and programming in ruby, but feel more and more uneasy. I'll try to
express my feelings below (I am not a native English speaker).

The ruby language and the ruby ecosystem (and the wonderful ruby
community) fit perfectly with small applications, scripting, web
frameworks, and so on. When you come to science, it is another story.
Numerical computing, statistics, whatever, cannot be coded in pure ruby
and you have to rely on specialized libraries. There are tentative gems
(generally obsolete and not maintained) to connect ruby to these
librairies.

Take for instance 'linalg' for linear algebra. It is based on LAPACK.
You need a Fortran to c converter, but f2c was deprecated, was replaced
by g2c, and g2c is deprecated but not replaced, waiting for gfortran...
Moreover, the compilation chain uses uncompatible versions of the c
compiler (or even of ruby itself). Whether on Linux (Ubuntu Lucid) or on
Windows, I had to give up. I understand the situation is not different
on OSX.

The situation is quite similar when you try to connect to the R language
for statistics, or whatever similar. The web is full of old posts asking
for help in similar situations with zero answer.

Am I wrong ? Maybe I am too clumsy. But, after all, a programming
environment is a tool to do your job and deliver. My job is to deliver
science and I end spending my time compiling (I mean failing to compile)
libraries.

The advice I usually get is : shift to Python. A very sad perspective
indeed.

More generally, is there a future for ruby outside its present niches ?

_md

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