Hi --

On Tue, 1 Oct 2002, William Djaja Tjokroaminata wrote:

> Hi,
>
> Inferring from people's response, I realize that this subject is rather
> controversial.  But if we can think positively just for a moment, all the
> discussions can also be viewed for the goodness of Ruby itself.
>
> I don't think the intention is ever to cannibalize or destroy Ruby at
> all.  It is more to give Ruby some challenges, and if it is viewed that
> the current Ruby can answer these challenges well, then we just move
> on.

But consider:

1. What about the challenges that Ruby poses to programmers, in the
ways they think about languages?  Is the burden entirely on the
language?

2. What is "well"?  Matz has said over and over that he makes
trade-offs and compromises, quite knowingly.  That means that Ruby
will probably never do certain things "well", in some absolute sense.
But Ruby as a totality does things remarkably well.

> It is good if Ruby stays as the current Ruby.  However, language
> technology also continues to progress.  When I first learned Tcl, I was
> very excited about it.  But then I found Perl was easier and more
> powerful.  And then I found Python was easier and as powerful.  And then I
> found that Ruby was more consistent, as easy, and as powerful.  Based on
> my personal experience, some languages got popular and then faded away,
> while others stay for a long time.  Ruby also has two choices: to remain
> the same or to change with new technologies.

Ontogeny does not recapitulate philogeny in programming languages :-)
In other words, while things may evolve and change, any *particular*
programming language does not have to go through all the phases that
the ambient history is going through.  This is why there's more than
one programming language :-)

> I really do hope that the current Ruby will withstand the test of
> time for many-many years to come, just like the C language.  But I
> also hope that Ruby will not stay the same just for the sake of
> staticity, but because it can always answer new challenges in its
> current form.  However, when the time does come for a new change
> (like Perl to Perl 6?), I hope that Ruby will also.
>
> That's why probably two groups will be good.  comp.lang.ruby discusess on
> exploring the power of Ruby as it is, while comp.lang.ruby.beyond
> discusses on possible future paths that may be taken by Ruby.  I think the
> discussions on private variables and method overloading are really
> appropriate for comp.lang.ruby.beyond.  On the other hand, if it turns
> out that the current Ruby is close to the ultimate language (just like
> C is probably the "ultimate assembly language"), then the discussions on
> comp.lang.ruby.beyond will die by themselves...

I hope you won't mind my saying... I think there are some really
serious problems with that name.  If you're talking about the future
development of Ruby (as opposed to projects taking inspiration from
Ruby), there are already venues for discussion, and "beyond" sounds
wrong anyway (as opposed to "devel" or "future" or whatever).

And if you're talking about non-Ruby projects inspired by Ruby, like
the recent 'R' discussion, then having the name of Ruby hardwired into
the newsgroup name is very misleading.  Years from now, whatever is
going on in such a group may have nothing whatsoever to do with Ruby,
and yet there will be a connection perceived, and/or an endless need
to explain the history of the name and convince people that there is
no connection.

It would be a bit like comp.lang.perl.beyond instead of
comp.lang.ruby....  or something.


David

-- 
David Alan Black                      | Register for RubyConf 2002!
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