Hello --

On Tue, 30 Jul 2002, Justin Johnson wrote:

> I'd like to hear from any Ruby programmers here what they would change about
> the implementation - the language and it's built-in features rather than any
> support libraries.

I wonder if I could interject a sort of philosophical question as a
preliminary here.  It's something I've never understood, and I want
to, because I think having different implementations of Ruby is a very
cool thing.

The question being... what exactly is an implementation of Ruby?  I
know this has come up before, but I still don't have a handle on it.

For example, if your interpreter lets me use named parameters, it
ceases to be a drop-in replacement for Ruby.  To my way of thinking,
it then by definition ceases to be an implementation of Ruby.

This isn't about the merits of the changes you (or other implementors)
might make.  My concern is what happens when there are various Rubies
around (whether or not they are more/less/equally elegant than/as
Ruby), and people start writing ostensible Ruby code that requires a
certain Ruby implementation.

When I brought this up briefly a while back that Matz didn't seem as
worried about it as I am :-)  I'm only worried in the sense that I
don't yet get how an "implementation of Ruby" is defined, and
therefore don't see how differently behaving Rubies would interact.


David

-- 
David Alan Black
home: dblack / candle.superlink.net
work: blackdav / shu.edu
Web:  http://pirate.shu.edu/~blackdav