Unfortunately with Ruby for me it's typically "fun and fast development" 
but when you get to your end releasable, suddenly...it seems a bit too 
slow cpu-wise. 100ms to service a rails request that does "not much"? 
My specs take *how* long to run the full test suite? What?  So 
development is great, end result...tends to be slow.

C-ext's I guess could fix this...I've never tried it.

That being said, I use Ruby successfully for my GUI projects and, as 
long as its' wrapping some other program in C to "do the heavy lifting" 
then it's ok (except for jruby's startup times, but that's unrelated, 
and not too bad).

So basically if you're ok with a "somewhat slow" end product, Ruby is 
still grand, because programming in it is funner.

HTH.
-roger-

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