Made my day

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Made my day

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May 18, 2010, 4:07pm

Found this poking around on the web, from a fella named Zed Shaw:

Here's the URL


When considering in what language to write your next project, remember that your primary goal is not arbitrary technical concerns such as performance or scalability, but rather whether you can maintain a solid stable of smart developers long enough to make the project successful. Ruby's popularity and lovable ways can attract smart, eager people to your firm, even if the project is something boring on which they normally wouldn't want to work.

(Still quoting that website)
Zed A. Shaw is currently a vice president at an investment bank leading a gang of smarties building a cutting-edge document management system, using Ruby on Rails.

May 18, 2010, 5:28pm

I am just too old to keep up with all this!

Back in the late 1980s I was a C++ pioneer, setting up class hierarchies for projects with 50 or 100 developers. Somehow from like 1995-2005 I was just coding in C. Now I am trying to get back into C++. Wow, templates! It sure got complicated!

I started programming in 1970 or so. So many languages that have come and gone! It makes it harder to put in the effort to learn all the ins and outs of a language, realizing how quickly it, too, will be replaced by the next hot language.

May 30, 2010, 10:43am

kukulaj, your argument is just against spending too much time on one language - unless you really enjoy it or someone is paying for it. I have familiarised myself with a number of languages. This means I can usually pick up new languages quickly but of course I couldn't use those languages right out of the bat, I would still take some time to get myself more familiar with them. But I know roughly what they are good for and what their weaknesses are and I know enough syntax to be able to read them.

So if I need to do something I can pick a language that suits the task and I will learn more about the language as I do the task.

Ruby, btw, is a smart looking language. I haven't done more than a few longish scripts with it, nothing too serious, but the OO system looks good and I like that you can use functional programming with it.

May 30, 2010, 11:43am

I've used Ruby to write a Basic compiler ;)

Compilers are on the article's list of things not to do, but I've really had no problem with it. I used racc as the yacc-substitute. It does indeed come without documentation, but I could do without because I've internalized yacc. I used the StringScanner class (and lots of regexps) for lexing.

Ruby's builtin support for symbols, and its ability to represent just about anything as tagged nested lists (a very open and manipulable data structure), makes it a good fit for compilers. At least for the frontend. I used g++ for the backend and I'm thinking of switching to LLVM once there are good Ruby bindings for it.