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Replying to:

What’s Right With Ruby?

Can Ruby succeed where other languages have failed…?
Sunday 1 April 2007 by Matthew Huntbach
Last month Matthew Huntbach took a sceptical look at the Ruby phenomenon which caused anger and outrage among many dedicated Ruby programmers. Undaunted, Huntbach says that only time will tell if Ruby is capable of realising its full potential… It seemed to be my remark on Why’s Poignant Guide which did it. For a community which makes a big thing about being "cool" and "fun" I was surprised at how hot under the collar and serious Ruby fans got about what was meant to be a (...)

Replying to:

What’s Right With Ruby?

Sunday 1 April 2007


I have found the objective points you have raised about Ruby the language in both of your posts interesting. These points alone make your posts worth careful consideration.

Like the previous post, this one also takes some time to leave the language itself and get into what you think of other people’s behaviour. I am not surprised that some people will get hot under the collar, and I imagine you are not surprised either. After all, you have left the objective truth behind and ventured into your personal likes and dislikes about others.

Is that wrong? Of course not. What makes our world beautiful are the things beyond truth and falsity, the things we like and dislike, the people we admire and the behaviour we appreciate. My own weblog is about passionate programming: you cannot talk about a thing like that without provoking an emotional response.

That being said, I have found that those kinds of Ad Hominem observations have a way of taking over a discussion and obviating any meritorious technical points you make. This seems to have happened with the previous article. I pointed out some places where I agreed with you and was accused of "fanboyism" (I personally feel this word always says more about the speaker than the subject). I also pointed out that I was surprised about your condemnation of the language over Why’s tutorial.

I try to separate the two issues, because the ARE separate: the language works or doesn’t work for a particular application in a particular environment, period.

The "community" is not one buzzing hive but really a seething mass of autonomous agents, some of whom are annoying, some pleasant, some vocal, some quiet, just like any other large group of independent people. I would hope that nobody would ever praise or condemn the Java, Ruby or even Rock Climbing "communities" for something I say or do, and I try to give the Java, Ruby and other "communities" the same leeway.