> 4) where do you use Ruby? headless cruncher programs on servers? as Web
> application glue? GUI end-user programs? fast one-off scripty things?

Anything that doesn't need C/C++ speed or linkage, or where the
Project manager doesn't force everyone to use Java or Perl.
  
> 6) what development tools do you use all the time for Ruby development?

Emacs, and RDE; I've been waiting for FreeRide.
 
> 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?

I left Python for Ruby, for green development I use the target
language and prototype on paper.  To be fair, Python is a fantastic
tool, and Guido is an inspiring technologist with great ideas.  Python
used to be my favorite language until Python `users' started following
me around to various groups and publicly faming me, and filling my
inbox with seriously offensive mail.  I disassociated myself from the
Python community permanently.  It won't be long before Ruby surpasses
Python on this merit alone. (ooops, the Python thought police will
probably send me hate mail for this, and a flame war is sure in
ensue--beware)
 
> 8) open-ended essay: what drew you to Ruby? what keeps you working with
> it? what bugs you about it?

When I was flamed off the Python group for asking what I felt were
legitimate questions about Python's obvious weaknesses (every language
has at least one weakness..let's be honest) and I began to ask simular
questions about Ruby and wasn't flamed but welcomed; I knew I had
found a language that was destined for greatness and long life.

The Ruby community is the best community you will find anywhere on the
net.  You can ask the toughest questions, smear the language, even
make fun of somebody's mother, and the community will respond
positively.

There are many great technologies to be found, but without great
support, they will all die.  Technology, unlike art, must be
maintained to remain a masterpiece.  In fact, it's `in the
maintenance' that a masterpiece is found.  Time is harsh on
technology.  Technology, any piece of it, is only as strong as it's
user base.  Ruby's userbase is one of a kind that you won't find
anywhere.  My only guess is that Ruby attracts developers that already
know several languages and have years of experience under their belts.
 Not that Ruby couldn't be a great first language, but Ruby isn't the
first language employers are likely to be hiring for.  Begininers
probably gravitate to more mainstream tools.

Post off topic here and chances are you'll recieve an acceptible
response.  There is a great depth of knowledge on the Ruby list, and
the community has developed a protocal that is benevolent and humble. 
You won't find the criticisms for being a newbe that you find on other
lists.  The group welcomes everybody no matter how silly their
questions.
 
What bugs me about Ruby, or what keeps me `searching' for the ideal
contemporary language is that Ruby doesn't have a complier to either
native code or even byte code like Python, Ocaml, Java, and Lisp.  If
Ruby had a native compiler, and this is a tall order given the dynamic
nature of Ruby, I don't think I would voluntarily use anything else. 
Once you write your first Ruby program, you'll need a baby sitter for
your wife.

> 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.

I'm confident you'll recieve greater responses than mine, feel free to
e-mail me.


//ed