Julian Fitzell wrote:
> Bil Kleb wrote:
> > Avi Bryant wrote:
> >
> >>"Why I Jumped Ship to Smalltalk, and How Ruby Can Learn From It".
> >
> >
> > You discussed this a bit on the IOWA list and a couple folks thought
> > we should bring the discussion over here.  Are you up to providing
> > a brief summary?
>
> Basic summary:
> - Development tools
> - Ease of iterative development
>
> Avi started rewriting IOWA in Squeak as an excuse to learn Squeak and on
> the theory that the more times it is rewritten the cleaner it will be
> (he's also played with Java, a C base library, and Lisp - none of which
> I worked with directly).  As expected the rewrite was cleaner and as it
> coincided with a job that we decided to use Seaside (the Squeak IOWA)
> for, it got a lot of exercise in that process too.
>
> I was initially reluctant to leave Ruby and wanted to make sure we
> ported everything back to the Ruby version but after using it for a
> period of time, it is less of a priority.  I still think it's a good
> idea and I would probably help someone get going on it and maybe even
> get to it some day if I find enough time just sitting around with
> nothing to do.  But the development environment of Squeak is so much
> more pleasant - I can change a method just by clicking on it and the web
> app is instantly using the new version... no need to find the right
> file, find the method, change it, save the file, reload the app...  And
> I can press a button on a remote web server admin page and it will load
> in the new version.

I commiserate with your dilemma. I found myself facing the same situation
when I discovered Ruby: the language was a step-up in productivity while the
development environment was a step-down in productivity. I, too, know what a
difference a good development environment can make. I have used many of them
over the years (including Smalltalk).

> Anyway, I can still see a use for Ruby for smaller projects where the
> overhead of running squeak is not required and where the code can be in
> CVS, etc.  And maybe when Ruby has an excellent IDE the rest of the
> issues will be resolved as well.

This is precisely why Rich Kilmer and I started the FreeRIDE project
(www.rubyide.org). We want to take some of the best ideas and features of
other IDEs and bring them to Ruby. This won't happen overnight -- the types
of high-end, best-of-breed features we envision will be a lot of work --
but, these features will be incrementally added over time. Not everyone
likes or wants a high-end IDE (many people just like working with the
command line), but there are plenty of others that do. To date, we have had
12 other Ruby developers sign on to help out with FreeRIDE development.

As we progress and start making incremental releases, we will definitely
appreciate and welcome any feedback and testing that you and the Ruby
community is willing to offer.

The day the we win you back to Ruby is the day that I will call FreeRIDE a
success!

> We haven't given up, we're just not
> focusing on Ruby at the moment.  If anyone wants to work on a port, Avi
> and I will certainly be happy to give pointers, answer questions, and
> maybe even some coding time :).  The old IOWA source is on source forge
> and we can easily add anyone who wants to work on a new one to the CVS
> committers.  That said, you should probably have a decent understanding
> of smalltalk or be willing to learn and you should grab a copy of
> Seaside (http://www.beta4.com/seaside/) and play with it and look at the
> code.

Curt