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

> Hugh Sasse Staff Elec Eng wrote:
> > More languages improves that monetary value.
>
> Provided you can find the demand.  What's the Ruby job market like in
> Seattle?  Can you point me at anyone who'd say, "You know Ruby?!  Oh man,
> you are so in!"  Because if you can, in all seriousness, say YES, I will

I can't. But the west has only been aware of it for about 5 years,
give or take.  But I was talking more widely than just learning Ruby.
I think few places use only one language, and ideas are shared
between languages often. Hence the benefits of wider experience.

>
> >> 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.
>
> A hedging answer is not a good answer.  Python people simply say YES.  In

It is entirely untestable at this time. So I cannot in all honesty
say yes. There are excellent people in the Python community, but I
don't believe they have better knowledge of the future than anyone
else.   Can you reframe the question in such a way that a
satisfactory answer can be immediately verified?  What does it prove
anyway: when do you expect COBOL to die?

> >> No it is not.  Learning a new language is a time sink, and time
> >
> > "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.
>
> You erred in failing to assess.  With assessment in hand, you would have
> been justified in learning Perl.

How would one assess it without learning it? I did make the right
decision, but later than ideal.  And I see no difference in this
experience than your refusal to learn ruby unless we can make
certain assertions about it.  Since our assertions may differ
from those you'd make given the same data, in the end you have
to decide.
>
> > Justification is easy in this case: people don't develop new
> > langauges without having some good reason for going to that trouble.
>
> Sure.  Like in Sun's case, a desire to whup on Microsoft, create a
> portability environment, banish memory management problems, and do web
> stuff.  All of which were absolutely uncompelling to me as a 3D graphics

Which is fine. Nobody is obliged to design a language to meet my
needs either.  You are free to avoid learning Ruby.  But my point
was to look at the reasons.  I expect many people would not wish to
learn Var`aq, for example, because the design goals were more about
exploring cultural possibilities than anything else. I didn't learn
it.
        [...]

> never have been bothered with.  I DON'T CARE if someone made a language once
> upon a time for some good reason of *theirs*.  What will it do for *me* ?

I'm with you on this last point, though you can find out if the
goals match what you are looking for. But it seems difficult to find
out what a language will do for you.  Most language advocacy seems to be
Computer Science feature based, all too often: "X has closures", "X
has co-routines" "X has generators", but to find out what domains X
makes *easy* is more difficult.

IMHO, Ruby makes text handling, networking (particularly UDP, I
think), and wrapping of C much easier than many languages. Grabbing
a web page programmatically is very easy.  FXRuby has support for
OpenGL, which I don't fully understand yet. That might be enough for
you to try it. It has good supposrt for unit testing.  Your entitled
to have a different opinion of how strong these strengths are.
>
> --
> Cheers,                         www.3DProgrammer.com
> Brandon Van Every               Seattle, WA
>
        Hugh