First, let me say that the original posting very clearly represents my
sentiments. Ruby the language rocks, the implementation... not so much.

> Slow: yup, slower than Python, C, Assembly and most other things... not a
> big issue for me most of the time, however.

Me neither, but without even thinking contientiously about it runtime
performance has influence on when I find ruby suitable for a project. If
ruby could be made a faster performer it would make more projects ruby
projects.

> Does not support native threads: not a major issue for me, but maybe for
> some people it is.

On Windows threading is *the* issue, if you ask me. It simply doesn't work.
It is incredibly counter-intuitive, as a thread model, that a *blocked*
thread prevents the other threads from running. Bizarre. Perfectly
comprehensible considering the implementation, but it just makes threading
on windows suck.

> Does not do JIT compilation or bytecode: nope... not a major issue for me

Well who cares how it is implemented, you already addressed your lack of
concern for the runtime speed.

> Needs a better GC: really?  Not for me.

I was not aware of this problem either.

>  ... I'd be curious to see how Ruby 1.8 fares
> against Python 1.8 (if it existed) though.

You know that different projects assign version numbers differently. It is
way more fair to count the number of years a language has existed. In the
end it only matters to you what is a fair comparison because you (and I)
love ruby. To everyone else only one thing matters: what is best for them
now!

> I am curious though.  Regarding Ruby the environment, rather than Ruby the
> language, what is it that people would most want?  Native threads?
> Bytecode compilation?  Speed increases?  More memory-efficient GC?

1) Native threads.
1.1) A thread safe interpreter.
2) Speed (somehow, don't care, bytecode, jit, whatever)

But then again, we can talk all we want, we are getting all this for free
and getting smarter for working with it, and I for one am very grateful for
all of it, even if there are a few blemishes on this particular ruby
(implementation).

Cheers,

Thomas