From: "Hal E. Fulton" <hal9000 / hypermetrics.com>

> [Hal wants answers to the following quer(y|ies)]
> >
> > I know that Perl is often used by Oracle dbas and
> > webmasters to provide reporting capabilities and
> > provide website forms to put info into a database.
> >
> > Who would benefit most from using Ruby??

Ruby is similar enough to Perl to make it useful in the same domains, but
better enough than Perl to make it more useful.  It is often called "a better
Perl than Perl".

People benefit from Ruby when they want to write proper programs instead of
temporary scripts to solve everyday tasks (among other things).

> > As an OO scripting language, how does it fit with
> > Java and its partner in crime XML?

Ruby is more OO than Java.  Good: more elegant and powerful programs.  Bad:
Ruby does not make the compromises Java makes in order to achieve performance.

Ruby and Java "fit" with XML in the same way: they use libraries to
create/interpret XML documents.  Java libraries are probably more advanced.

> > I guess the question is what does Ruby do and how is
> > it more beneficial than Perl, Python or Java and to
> > what group of programmers, dbas, webmasters or ??

Ruby is useful to programmers of all kinds - no exception.  In some cases, it
may not be the most suitable language to perform their *primary* task, but it
is always useful for secondary tasks: development, prototyping, system
administration.

In many cases, it is suitable for the primary tasks as well.

Ruby will very rarely be less suitable than Perl or Python for any task, and
usually much more suitable.  Java's benefit is its proliferation of libraries -
in some domains (talking to SAP, etc.) Ruby can't compete.  Nevertheless, there
are known instances of people writing large and important applications in Ruby.

Summary: it is a very useful language for most common tasks.

Good luck!

Gavin