bbense+comp.lang.ruby.Aug.21.03 / telemark.slac.stanford.edu wrote:
> _ I think we should ask everyone that shows up with 
> the Ruby vs. Foo question what their needs are and 
> if they can't answer that then the question should
> be ignored. In general responding to the ruby vs foo

Sounds good to me.  The question is similar to "Which is better, a 
spatula or a chainsaw?"  Unless you have some idea of what you want to 
do with a tool, it's hard to say which is better.

The difficulty, of course, is that programming languages aren't simply 
one-purpose-tools.  C is the obvious choice for writing device drivers, 
but it *could* be used for AI programming.

Ruby has a niche of things it's really good at, and others it can do, 
but not as well.  I think instead of just ignoring someone who doesn't 
know what their needs are, it might be a bit nicer to point to a stock 
answer saying:

   Ruby is a general purpose programming language, and can
   do many things.  It is particularly good at ______ and _______.
   Because it is an interpreted language, it isn't as well suited
   to applications requiring high speed, such as graphics
   programming, however if you're interested in that see _________.

Maybe this already exists in a FAQ somewhere, but if not, it probably 
should, under a name of "Why choose Ruby?" or "What is Ruby good for?"

Ben