Hi,

Yasushi Shoji wrote:
> 
> At Thu, 14 Dec 2000 18:17:07 +0900,
> Holden Glova wrote:
> 
> > I noticed the other day (I think it was 2 days ago?) that Dave
> > Thomas mentioned on the XP list something about ruby not being
> > suited for gui applications at this time.
> 
> took me ten minutes to find out that post ;) if you are curious and
> not on the list like me, here is the post.
> 
> http://www.egroups.com/message/extremeprogramming/17301

Thanks. Here is the thematic core (tm) of the quote:

    "Right now, I wouldn't use it for a GUI intensive front-end, 
    but it's finding a home just about everywhere else."

Pleading for mercy from the firing squad, Holden Glova wrote:

> I was wondering what are the reasons for that and who else would
> agree/disagree and why?

Well, if you consider Tk to be adequate for the particular task involved, 
then I think the biggest problem with Ruby/Tk is the lack of comprehensive 
English documentation. Chapter 15 of Programming Ruby provides 
instructions for translating Perl/Tk to Ruby/Tk. So maybe some helpful 
soul could take the tolerably good online Perl/Tk documentation and 
semi-automatically  "Ruby-ize" it (maybe by using interactive "press enter 
to accept change" gvim or emacs macros). I think that would probably make 
Ruby/Tk ready for prime time.

For Ruby/GTK+, I think most, but not all, of the widgets are implemented. 
(I think it is very unfortunate that Ruby is not yet listed under the 
Language Bindings on the www.gtk.org homepage.) It used to work fine for 
me on AIX, but since I've moved to Ruby 1.6.2 and recompiled gtk+ and 
glib, I get segfaults. (I haven't had a chance to try redoing this; I 
probably goofed up somewhere.) On Windows, the precompiled stuff doesn't 
work with the latest precompiled GTK+ stuff that you get with the Windows 
version of Gimp. So if Linux/Unix/Windows cross-platform support is a 
major goal (e.g. for a Ruby browser/IDE), things are pretty grim. Plus 
good Ruby/GTK+ English documentation is also lacking. I think another 
major drawback is that Ruby/GTK is not part of the "quasi-standard" Ruby 
tarball and InstallShield distributions, which greatly raises the 
deployment hassle threshold.

Side note: I would really like to see Ruby/GTK+ supported at the same 
level as Ruby/Tk. I am very reluctant to do anything serious in Tk now 
that Ajuba no longer exists and no longer is supporting it. As for GTK+, 
the major Unix vendors all now provide varying levels of direct or 
indirect support for GTK+ (e.g. by Gnome support or by Linux-compatibility 
support), and there is now apparently adeaquate support of GTK+ on Windows 
(via Gimp), plus it's likely to be viable on the latest Mac OS. So I would 
really like to see Ruby/GTK+ in the Ruby tarball and InstallShield 
distributions. I think this would also position Ruby well for a certain 
large and growing class of applications.

(Other alternatives have seemingly fairly major drawbacks of either much 
smaller support communities, or of the increased hassles of dealing with 
C++ and related build issues, or both.)

Conrad Schneiker
(This note is unofficial and subject to improvement without notice.)