Hi --

On Sat, 28 Sep 2002, William Djaja Tjokroaminata wrote:

> Hi,
>
> In general I agree with you that *contract* is really a good idea (I think
> it is one of the Eiffel's pillar strengths).
>
> However, for now, I am just thinking from the business case point of
> view.  When I first learned Ruby, I did it the procedural way (as it is my
> background as an engineer), and later to OO way, and finally I got the
> very nice surprise that I actually have programmed in OO since the
> beginning (since I was actually programming in the Object class.)
>
> I think the same is true for people who are used to code in
> C/C++/Java.  If the first time they see
>
>     def func (a, b, c)
>
> I think they will be scared to death (or at least, feel rather
> uneasy).  Now, if their first program is
>
>     def func (Float a, String b, Fixnum c)
>
> I think it will be much more natural to them.  Only later, we will reveal
> to them that all those "static type" are actually optional, and then they
> can really start programming in "the Ruby Way". :)

But they won't, because they'll never have incentive to.  And, even if
this is just providing a shortcut, it's a shortcut for something that
is generally considered poor style and unidiomatic Ruby.  (That's why
it's very different from the attr_* shortcuts, which you mention I
think in your next post.)

I'm completely supportive of the idea of getting programmers in other
languages to learn and (hopefully) use Ruby.  But at some point, it's
important to affirm that there's such a thing as a Ruby idiom, a Ruby
object model, even a Ruby programmer... and that it is no more
incumbent on Ruby to mold itself, here and there, to the shape of
other languages than it is incumbent on them to borrow language-level
characteristics from Ruby.  I say this in the full knowledge that
Ruby's design borrows things from other languages.  I feel nonetheless
that Ruby should be "allowed" to occupy a solid place among those
languages.

> Also, to sell Ruby to the corporate world, probably "staticly/strongly
> typed" has more a buzzword quality (ala Java).

Isn't that a flat-out misrepresentation, though?

> I don't expect everyone to agree with this, but I think it will be
> beneficial to all of us if finally Ruby can really make it to the
> corporate/business world.  To be able to achieve this, we need the right
> approach, the right buzzwords, the right selling points, to steal the
> hearts and minds of first the programmers, and then their bosses. :)

Except... you've hit on an area where, from what I've seen, Ruby has
the fewest problems of any programming language: namely, appeal.  Ruby
has stolen the hearts and minds of thousands of programmers, often at
first sight.  I've never seen or even heard of people taking to a
language so readily and happily.  Ruby is probably #1 on the list of
languages *not* in need of any kind of dressing-up, or watering down,
to appeal to people.


David

-- 
David Alan Black                      | Register for RubyConf 2002!
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