Why not Ruby?

Kenneth Tilton kentilton at gmail.com
Thu Jan 1 18:24:16 CET 2009

sln at netherlands.com wrote:
> 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.
>> hth,kzo
> Be carefull what you say. If they pay me I would rip your and Xah's
> guts out in a second.

Sorry, my new President has banned drama so I will only be responding 
pleasantly to civil comments. (This has been a non-responding response.)


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