Rick Wayne <fewayne / facstaff.wisc.edu> wrote:
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> 1) is ruby just a "toy" language? OK, OK, don't all shout at once --
but
> who's using it for medium-to-large projects, 10K SLOC and up?

My current Ruby C source is 6420 lines, including white space and
comments, and when it is finished, it will probably double in size.  The
corresponding Ruby prototype is 8771 lines, including white space,
comments, and documentation (in rd format).

Probably several things that hinder Ruby from being applied in a
large-scale software development is the same things that affect
other scripting languages: dynamic creation of object instance variable,
and class and method definitions which are always "open", with the result
of possibility of (quiet) name clash, in addition to execution and
memory performance as compared to, say C.  But currently there are some
talks to handle some of these problems, such as using "private variables".
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> 2) how does the language fare compared to other ones?  do you have
> comparative-productivity numbers you'd be willing to share, vis-a-vis C
> (to be brutal) or Perl (to be a little fairer) or Python?

So far it is better and much more fun to use than C, C++, Java, Tcl, Perl,
and Python.  Regarding productivity, probably it suffices to say that the
coding and debugging time is (much) shorter than that writing in C.
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> 3) in your experience, how has the language's novelty affected its
> stability? for comparision, recall the early days of java, and how the
> evolution of the class library made "deprecated" a word that...well,
> let's just say "sounds like something scatalogical" and leave it at
> that, eh?

I have used only two versions (1.6.6 and 1.6.7) and so cannot response
regarding this.
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> 4) where do you use Ruby? headless cruncher programs on servers? as Web
> application glue? GUI end-user programs? fast one-off scripty things?

I use it for communications network protocols and algorithms simulations
(such as Bluetooth link layer, ad hoc network routings, TDMA frequency
hopping pattern generation, and channel blocking probability
calculations).
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> 5) what's your favorite flavor of GUI for Ruby apps? how does using it
> compare with other UI class libraries you've tried (e.g., Swing, MFC,
> OWL, Qt, whatever)?

I have tried only Tk, and did not do too much with it.
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> 6) what development tools do you use all the time for Ruby development?

GNU emacs and all the standard unix/linux development tools.
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> 7) is Ruby just one of the arrows in your programming quiver, or have
> you made the leap and left other languages behind? if he former, is Ruby
> often your first choice for green-field development?

So far Ruby complemented by C is the best.  But as the programming
language technology keeps progressing, we cannot be blind with respect to
new developments.
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> 8) open-ended essay: what drew you to Ruby? what keeps you working with
> it? what bugs you about it?

Plus  : pure object-orientation, consistency, simplicity, power, etc. (too
numerous to list all)
Keeper: community
Bugs  :
* Some of the syntax, which is not as short or as minimum as
in Python.  But I have written my own syntax for Ruby.
* The current Ruby garbage collector (gc), which is a simple
"mark-and-sweep" type, which may result in performance penalty (for my
specific application).  I am waiting for the next "generational" type.  I
may modify the gc myself when (and if) I have the time.
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> note that in order to quote you, i will need a real name, address, and
> contact info. if you so request, i will not reveal that information, but
> good journalism (not to mention Attila the Editor) requires that *i*
> know who you are before i publish what you say. otherwise, i have to
> treat what you say as "background" only.

William D. Tjokroaminata
Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742