Hello --

On Wed, 31 Jul 2002, Justin Johnson wrote:

>
> > 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.
>
> That is a very good question.  I think Matz's implementation is Ruby with
> lots of practical and script-useful add-ons.  It's an incredibly pragmatic
> tool.  A lot of this is owed to the language concepts.

But that just takes us back to the question: what is "Ruby"?  In other
words: what is this antecedent, pure, Ur-Thing onto which Matz has
added all these other things?  I can't identify this thing, so I tend
to look at the distribution as definitively "Ruby" -- not atomic (when
it comes to library stuff and extensions), but definitive in language
features.

> Point is, because there's only one implementation, there isn't an
> official(?) language standard yet.  Ruby is not an academic ideal, it's a
> tangible tool.

Or: the standard could be defined as drop-in replaceability (in both
directions) for current stable Ruby.  (Mind you, that's unofficial :-)
Or maybe passing the Rubicon test suite.

> I'm hoping to implement a pure language version. No perlisms, no FileIO, no
> SAFE, no threads, just classes, modules, arrays, strings...enough for the
> language itself to be complete.

It all depends how you define "the language itself" :-)  Again, I tend
to define it as "this thing that Matz wrote and calls 'Ruby'".
Anyway, in case it's not clear in the midst of all my ostensible
philosophizing, I do look forward to seeing the project.


David

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