Ruby, aging child star

by Michael Ruggiero

Ruby rose quickly. I wonder if that rapid rise makes it resemble an aging child star: anxious to prove it’s maturity, a little too eager to take a role which would not have suited it before it became the “superstar” language. Think: asynch frameworks, large-scale social apps, “enterprise-y” services. That is, applications now associated with current Hacker News faves Scala and Clojure. Or.. Java.

But I love writing Ruby. So maybe that is the secret sauce in any language that catches on, if someone enjoys it, the aspect of play can overcome (or at least compensate for) shortcomings. Did the first C hackers get excited that they could write for different mainframes in the Bell family and not worry (too much) about other tradeoffs? Or is our current surfeit of languages and frameworks blind us to the importance of just getting it done?

I worked with a programmer who insisted that “the only decent language” was C. But he refused to admit that C was fun to write.