On Wed, 20 Aug 2003, Brandon J. Van Every wrote:

>
> Of course, my view is, you *should* worry about whether other people use a
> language.  It affects the monetary value of your skills, the amount of your

More languages improves that monetary value.

> life you spend retraining, the amount of industrial support you get for your

You may not need that support. Where do you buy support for /bin/sh?
As is argued on most lists (python, perl,...) free usenet support is
very good indeed.

> programming efforts, the availability and cost of good tools, etc.  To a lot

The logical consequence of this whole paragraph would be opposition
ot innovation, except within the chosen language.

> of us, disappearing into your own corner to program is not real world.
        [...]
> Pointedly: does Ruby have enough critical mass to survive?  By way of

Current applied temporal physics prevents this question being
answered at this time. :-)  Besides, if you can be effective, you
don't need a large user base.

        [...]
> > And, learning a new language is always beneficial.
>
> No it is not.  Learning a new language is a time sink, and time sinks are
> *never* a priori beneficial.  They have to be justified somehow.

"To be honest I find that a bizarre prejudice.", to quote :-)
People whom I respect would disagree with your viewpoint, from what
I have read from them.  I didn't learn Perl for ages
because of the effort/time-sink aspects, but I regretted not having
done so when I finally did (circa Perl4.3036 I think), and found how
much easier it was than trying to get information between the shell
and awk.

Justification is easy in this case: people don't develop new
langauges without having some good reason for going to that trouble.
These reasons are usually benefits.  I even found something in COBOL
I had not seen elsewhere, when I looked at it briefly.

> Java never interested me as a language.  It was a "web thing."  It didn't

I seem to recall it was designed to be used in small sytems like
set-top boxes, but, yes, it is mostly used for web apps.
> --
> Cheers,                         www.3DProgrammer.com
> Brandon Van Every               Seattle, WA
>
        Hugh