On Apr 12, 8:30=A0pm, Vincent Manis <vma... / telus.net> wrote:
> OK, so here's another kick at the can.
>
> 1. I would be willing to draft a `Totally New To Programming' page for ru=
by-lang.org, if there's sentiment that this would be a useful thing.
>
> 2. tryruby.org is very meritorious, but doesn't really replace having Rub=
y on one's own machine. It gives you the experience of interacting with Rub=
y, but doesn't show you how to transfer that to writing and running program=
s on your own machine.
>
> 3. An IDE for beginners should be relatively limited, with relatively few=
 dingbats and gizmos to confuse. It should focus on offering basic editing =
facilities, along with the ability to write and run programs. Beginners don=
't need API documentation, though a Ruby reference card would probably be h=
andy.
> Such an IDE should be something that can be included with the installers,=
 and depend upon nothing else. Of course the model here is Python's IDLE, w=
hich IMHO isn't suitable for serious programming, but on the other hand is =
very useful for getting started with Python. I used to use it in all my Pyt=
hon courses, even with programmers who presumably knew other editors well.
>
> And that suggests using Tk as the GUI, because that's included in every R=
uby distribution. So the one-click installers could thus incorporate a basi=
c IDE that was at least useful enough to get people started.
>
> Is there any sentiment that this would all be a worthwhile effort?
>
> -- vincent

Ruby is on my list of things to learn and every once in a while I go
check things out.  I have a programming background, of sorts (midrange
- think RPG/Cobol, Rexx, VB and Perl) although not recent. Most of my
work is done on Windows and I think the closest I came to actually
learning Ruby was when I downloaded Shoes. I liked playing with the
sample programs and thought the environment was nice, if quirky and
hard to modify. But I know some programming and I just thought there
were too many pieces to deal with. Especially gems that should have
been standard.  (IMO and YMMV)

I do like Scite as an editor, though. I don't remember if it's
Autohotkey or Autoit that comes with it installed and also has a help
file with runnable scripts but it's one of the best approaches I've
seen. I might still be using it if all the virus checkers didn't go
nuts with the resulting programs.

What I would like to see is a true portable version of Ruby, packaged
with a way to make your own executables (or some sort of self-
contained way to distribute programs) without too much trouble. I
think if I would have had that, I would have stuck with it long enough
to actually learn it. (If you look at the newbie questions on any
scripting language, creating an executable is usually one of the top
ten FAQs.)

I play around with Portable Python on my flash drive once in a while.
I don't like it that much but I do think learning either Python or
Ruby would be a good thing.

Terry (back to lurking)

p.s. the worst thing about Shoes was the Tricky Blocks section right
after the Intro. There has to be a better way to do that.  I usually
bail right there and go back to playing with the sample apps.