Why not Ruby?

sln at netherlands.com sln at netherlands.com
Thu Jan 1 06:23:52 CET 2009

On Wed, 31 Dec 2008 23:16:41 -0500, Kenneth Tilton <kentilton at gmail.com> wrote:

>Xah Lee wrote:
>> Just spent 3 hours looking into Ruby today. Here's my short impression
>> for those interested.
>> * Why Not Ruby?
>>   http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/writ/why_not_Ruby.html
>> plain text version follows:
>> --------------------------------------
>> Why Not Ruby?
>> Xah Lee, 2008-12-31
>> Spent about 3 hours looking into Ruby language today.
>> The articles i read in detail are:
>>     * Wikipedia: Ruby (programming language)¨J. Gives general overview.
>>     * Brief tutorial: "Ruby in Twenty Minutes"
>> http://www.ruby-lang.org/en/documentation/quickstart/
>>     * Personal blog by Stevey Yegge, published in 2004-10.
>> http://steve.yegge.googlepages.com/ruby-tour
>> The Wikipedia gives the best intro and overview in proper context. The
>> "Ruby in Twenty Minutes" is just 4 pages. It give you a very concrete
>> intro to Ruby's syntax and semantics. Stevey Yegge's blog doesn't
>> teach much and rambles, but provide a little personal view. I read it
>> because his opinions i respect.
>> Q: Will you learn Ruby?
>> No. For practical application, the lang is some 100 times less useful
>> than each of Perl, Python, PHP, Javascript. For academic study,
>> functional langs like Mathematica, Haskell, OCaml, erlang, Qz, are far
>> more interesting and powerful in almost all aspects. Further, there's
>> also Perl6, NewLisp, Clojure, Scala... With respect to elegance or
>> power, these modern lang of the past 5 years matches or exceed Ruby.
>> Q: Do you think Ruby lang is elegant?
>> Yes. In my opinion, better than Perl, Python, PHP. As a high level
>> lang, it's far better than Java, C, C++ type of shit. However, i don't
>> think it is any better than emacs lisp, Scheme lisp, javascript,
>> Mathematica. Note that Ruby doesn't have a spec, and nor a formal
>> spec. Javascript has. Ruby's syntax isn't that regular, nor is it
>> based on a system. Mathemtica's is. Ruby's power is probably less than
>> Scheme, and probably same as Javascript.
>> I also didn't like the fact that ruby uses keyword "end" to indicate
>> code block much as Pascal and Visual Basic, Logo, do. I don't like
>> that.
>> Q: Won't Ruby be a interesting learning experience?
>> No. As far as semantics goes, Ruby is basically identical to Perl,
>> Python, PHP. I am a expert in Perl and PHP, and have working knowledge
>> of Python. I already regretted having spent significant amount of time
>> (roughly over a year) on Python. In retrospect, i didn't consider the
>> time invested in Python worthwhile. (as it turns out, i don't like
>> Python and Guido cult, as the lang is going the ways of OOP mumbo-
>> jumbo with its Python 3 "brand new" future.) There is absolutely
>> nothing new in Ruby, as compared to Perl, Python, PHP, or Emacs lisp,
>> Scheme lisp.
>> Q: Do you recommend new programers to learn Ruby then?
>> Not particularly. As i mentioned, if you are interested in practical
>> utility, there's already Perl, PHP, Python, Javascript, which are all
>> heavily used in the computing industry. If you are interested as a
>> academic exercise, there's Scheme lisp, and much of functional langs
>> such as OCaml, Haskell, Mathematica, which will teach you a whole lot
>> more about computer science, features of language semantics, etc.
>> Q: Do you condemn Ruby?
>> No. I think it's reasonably elegant, but today there are too many
>> languages, so Ruby don't particularly standout for me. Many of them,
>> are arguably quite more elegant and powerful than Ruby. See:
>> Proliferation of Computing Languages.
>Kenny Tilton, 2008-12-31
>Q: Why not Xah's review of Ruby?
>>> Spent about 3 hours looking into Ruby language today.
>A. Three hours? I've had belches that lasted longer than that. Of
>course, a true master can tell a lot in just a few hours of coding with
>a new language...
>>> The articles i read in detail are:
>Q: Read?!
>A: That's what he said.

Be carefull what you say. If they pay me I would rip your and Xah's
guts out in a second.


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