IBM DeveloperWorks on Ruby

Posted 14 Feb 2000 at 18:46 UTC by raph Share This

IBM DeveloperWorks has a detailed article on the Ruby scripting language. Normally I find new scripting languages to be deathly boring, but this one intrigues me.

Maybe it's my strong ML background, but to my eyes Python's lack of true closures is a significant weakness in the language, as much as I appreciate how much cleaner it is than Perl.

Of course, the problem with any new scripting language is the need to build a rich environment. All mature scripting languages have environments built up (or accreted, depending on your biases) over years. Any new language, no matter how cool, is pretty useless for getting your work done unless there's a good base of text, file, system, and net operations.

On the other hand, it looks like Ruby has been attracting quite a following in Japan. Thus, it's possible that it's gaining the rich environment it needs.

Has anyone checked this out? The code samples look interesting.

Python Closures, posted 15 Feb 2000 at 05:31 UTC by fatjim » (Journeyer)

There is an experimental Python which does support closures; it is called "Stackless Python" and information on it is available here.

Other "next generation" languages., posted 16 Feb 2000 at 06:10 UTC by davidw » (Master)

Some other languages that might be broadly categorized as being the next generation of "practical" scripting languages to come after Perl, Python and Tcl are:

Lua, at, and Elastic, at

Ciao, Dave

parenophobia in action, again, posted 24 Feb 2000 at 11:18 UTC by cmm » (Journeyer)

from the article: To avoid complexity and messy syntax, Ruby features only single inheritance.

my translation: we are ready to give up useful features just to save our poor users from evil syntax.

that's the spirit, folks. keep those scripting languages coming, we want as many of them as possible. oh, and don't forget to invent completely new languages with completely new syntaxes for every new feature, too (Rebol, anyone?).

--mike, shaking his head in amazement.

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