Kurt M. Dresner wrote:

> I want a Perl CGI script that will run a Ruby CGI script.  The admins of
> the webserver I'm trying to use tell me I can't use Ruby but I can use
> Perl.  I don't really know much Perl. 

Now, doesn't that sound familiar! I've had the very same problem just a 
week ago. The company I work for runs a virtual community ("game"). I'm 
not a coder or technical personnel, but handle community work, policy 
issues, customer service and the like. I do have access to the (Linux) 
server machine that hosts various databases, log files and such, since I 
need those in the course of my job. So after learning Ruby for some 
time, I wanted to automate some processes with the help of Ruby scripts. 
The boss said "Sure!", the sysadmin said "No.". I didn't want this to 
turn into a power struggle with my co-worker, so I tried to reason. His 
point was that he wants all scripts to be written in either bash or 
Perl, so that scripts can be maintained by multiple individuals, not 
only the one who wrote the script. He seriously expected me to learn 
Perl (I'd be okay with sh, but it's not powerful enough for some of the 
tasks I had in mind), to which I responded that he might as well learn 
Ruby. Bad start, I agree! ;) We talked for at least two hours and 
eventually compromised: He agreed to install Ruby, and in return I 
agreed to keep my Ruby scripts in my home directory so that others won't 
be tempted to use them. He also offered to eventually convert them to 
Perl. It's a compromise, nothing more, nothing less.

This kind of situation is really the downside of Ruby's lack of 
wide-spread popularity. If you are a paying customer of the company that 
hosts your site, you might be able to coax them into installing Ruby by 
telling them that you will have to take your business elsewhere if they 
can't do something as simple as offering an additional scripting 
language. It's unlikely to have an immediate impact, but maybe it'll 
make them realise that "Hey, there's money on the table, we should grab 
it!".

M.