On Mon, 2002-05-13 at 11:39, Steve Merrick wrote:
> Or even 'Why <insert scripting language of your choice>'? I know it's me
> that's ignorant. I'm hoping this forum can change that! ;-) Allowing for
> my background in C++/C/Assembler/Pascal/Fortran..., can you help me to
> understand what languages like Ruby are for?
> 
> Surely they're not just better versions of the 'language' used for
> writing MSDOS batch files? [No offence intended. ;-)] I know what to use
> C++ for, but I can't visualise a situation where I would look at the
> design problem and think 'No, not C++ - Ruby is what I should use here.'
> 
> I've tried to learn Ruby, and made some very basic progress, but I'm
> stuck in a mental rut. I can't think of what to use it for, so I can't
> see the point in learning any more about it. Help!! :-)

You can probably use it in alot of places where you also can use C++.
We have written a large media management system in perl and it could as
well be written in ruby.  It's really large and used everyday by swedens
largest TV-station in production.  We could have written the whole thing
in c++/java/whatever but using a scripting language made it so much
easier (of cource, we used java and C/C++ where needed)

Things scripting languages are good for in my opinion
* Almost everything that isn't in need of really large speed.
* Cut development time into a fraction of what it would be in C++/java
* GUI-development, Using widget-libraries from scripting languages is
REALLY nice.

Things scripting languages are REALLY good for in my opinion.
* Network related stuff (servers, stuff that needs to comunicate with
other stuff)
* File-related handling
* String-handling
* Database-handling (using perl/ruby instead of C++ for talking to
sql-databases is VERY nice)
* Lot's more (I could go on all day)

Things scripting languages are NOT good at in my opinion
* Encoding/Decoding multimedia-data (such as mpeg)
* Writing low level drivers
* Writing stuff that needs to be REALLY fast
* GUI-development (yes... I have that in two places, sometimes it's
really good but sometimes not, if you need really good integration with
windows for example, I'm sure native C/C++ would be better)

Things java is good at
* Hmmm... thinking... hmm.... thinking... writing applets??

Also, you really need to stop thinking about the "scripting" in
scripting languages.  It gives you a false idea that they cannot be used
in large applications.  Also, remember that it's quite easy to mix
scripting languages with C/C++ for example.

Of course, all IMHO.

/Erik

-- 
Erik BéČfors               | erik / bagfors.nu
Supporter of free software | GSM +46 733 279 273
fingerprint: 6666 A85B 95D3 D26B 296B 6C60 4F32 2C0B 693D 6E32