Monthly Archives: December 2016

I Want More Ruby

Ruby derailed? Ruby has gained considerable notoriety recently due to a web framework called Rails which makes the deployment of web servers so easy that you hardly need to know the underlying language, Ruby.

But what about Ruby itself? I came to Ruby fairly recently, without knowledge of, or interest in, Rails. I have been surprised and pleased so far with what I’ve found. Ruby is a true “object-oriented” language, where even the Class of an object is itself, an object. You might be surprised to know that operators like “+” and “-” are in fact, methods. It features iterators, code blocks, exception handling, multithreading (even in DOS!), and needs no variable declaration. It was first developed by Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto, in February of 1993, but has seen many changes since then.

The most intriguing aspect of Ruby for me is the community. With its high volume mailing list, its regular “RubyQuiz” challenges, the Gem repository (where libraries and modules and the such can be shared with the community), and exceedingly friendly users (doubtlessly a result of a language that is extremely fun to program in), the enthusiasm can be a little contagious. Ruby was designed to be readable, as well. There are many ways to accomplish something, and even without any particular expertise, many of those ways are immediately clear when looked at. Often, the largest steppingstone for learning a language is the Syntax. Even the word “Syntax” is daunting. You can probably guess what a program (yes, this would be the entire code) like the following does: 3.times { puts “Hello, world!” } Hello, world! Hello, world! Hello, world! Ruby is designed for fun, and for productivity, and people who consider themselves non-programmers, as well as programmers who long for a shorter rope between idea and implementation, will enjoy Ruby.