Forum: Ruby Don't let this happen to Ruby, pleeeeease?

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Glenn S. (Guest)
on 2006-02-16 23:49
(Received via mailing list)
This is quite a good article I just read via a link on artima (I think).

http://www.pyrasun.com/mike/mt/archives/2005/01/09/20.57.06/

I was just thinking as I read it that it has some parallels with how I
see
"the ruby community" from the perspective of an "outsider".

I won't elaborate too much, needless to say I just love Ruby, and wish I
could use it in my day-to-day job (right now, any bl**dy programming
would
be good!!).  I've read quite a bit recently that "Ruby is the next
Java",
Java is dying etc. etc.  Well good on it.  And I think there are some
exceptional people, many on this list, who do a damned good job for
selfless
reasons to make it available to others.

It's just that, well, the actual Ruby exposure on the net is a bit weak,
to
somebody like me who doesn't have the time to read every mail on the
mailing
list.  Just simple things like a roadmap of what to expect from Ruby -
what's in the latest release for example, when's the next one, and
what's
planned for 1.9? When exactly IS Rite going to be available.  Is the new
super-duper website ever going to be finished?

Sorry, bit of a late night rant from somebody who cares...


--

All the best
Glenn
James B. (Guest)
on 2006-02-17 00:13
(Received via mailing list)
Glenn S. wrote:
> This is quite a good article I just read via a link on artima (I think).
>
> http://www.pyrasun.com/mike/mt/archives/2005/01/09/20.57.06/
>
> I was just thinking as I read it that it has some parallels with how I see
> "the ruby community" from the perspective of an "outsider".

I tried reading it, but it went on and on, and seemed basically to
bemoan the Death by Committee of Groovy, a topic of only passing
interest to me.

What is the "this" you fear for Ruby?


>
> I won't elaborate too much, needless to say I just love Ruby, and wish I
> could use it in my day-to-day job (right now, any bl**dy programming would
> be good!!).  I've read quite a bit recently that "Ruby is the next Java",
> Java is dying etc. etc.  Well good on it.  And I think there are some
> exceptional people, many on this list, who do a damned good job for selfless
> reasons to make it available to others.

Quite true.

>
> It's just that, well, the actual Ruby exposure on the net is a bit weak, to
> somebody like me who doesn't have the time to read every mail on the mailing
> list.  Just simple things like a roadmap of what to expect from Ruby -

"What to expect"? Why?  Seriously.  Why not focus on what Ruby does
right now?   Unlike Groovy, it's been around for over 12 years.

People interested in the future of Ruby should join the ruby-core
mailing list.  Ruby's direction is not a spectator sport.


> what's in the latest release for example, when's the next one, and what's
> planned for 1.9? When exactly IS Rite going to be available.  Is the new
> super-duper website ever going to be finished?

Most of this info is available on ruby-lang.org, and in the release
notes and change logs.  As for the "super-duper website", well, it will
be done when it's done.  Same for Rite.

Ruby work gets done on a Ruby-time schedule.  Many devoted volunteers
giving up their time when they can.

"Drivers wanted", as they say.

--
James B.

http://www.ruby-doc.org       - Ruby Help & Documentation
http://www.artima.com/rubycs/ - The Journal By & For Rubyists
http://www.rubystuff.com      - The Ruby Store for Ruby Stuff
http://www.jamesbritt.com     - Playing with Better Toys
http://www.30secondrule.com   - Building Better Tools
Alex C. (Guest)
on 2006-02-17 00:53
(Received via mailing list)
On 2/16/06, Glenn S. <removed_email_address@domain.invalid> wrote:
> Sorry, bit of a late night rant from somebody who cares...
>

I agree, road maps are nice. Are they necessary? I dont think so.

I would prefer developers working on code and bug fixes as opposed to
writing documentation and to my way of thinking a road map falls
under documentation.

As long as the system is working, and the senior developers have matters
in hand then it doesn't matter to me if they write status reports and
road maps.

Road maps tend to happen in very large and very well organized projects,
I think
of ones such as FireFox, Openoffice and Eclipse (all of which have
governing bodys) or
with very small projects where goals are easily defined and reached.

However  road maps are not always nessisary, I believe the Linux
Kernel does not have any road map and afaik no opensource programming
language has a published road map.
Except maybe perl, but lets not talk about broken promises.

What ruby really needs is better documentation! (imo).
I believe we currently have tones of docs, and more should always be
welcome,
but I think we need to work on the quality of our existing docs a lot
more.

Something I would like to see is an easy way to give back to ruby
highlighted
in our docs and websites and more unification among all Rubys access
points
on the web.

The only thing I've been able to think of so far for someone such
as myself to do is to contribute to the rubygarden.org wiki and help
keep it clean
and up to date, that's my personal goal :) ...as well as perhaps
joining a project
and contributing code, of course.

MY PERSONAL GRIPE!
Please turn this into a wiki so that we can clean it up:
http://www.rubygarden.org/faq/main/
The ruby FAQ really really needs some love.
Yes, I'm talking to you dblack :)
David V. (Guest)
on 2006-02-17 01:02
(Received via mailing list)
DÅ?a Å tvrtok 16 Február 2006 22:48 Glenn S. napísal:
> This is quite a good article I just read via a link on artima (I think).
>
> http://www.pyrasun.com/mike/mt/archives/2005/01/09/20.57.06/
>
> I was just thinking as I read it that it has some parallels with how I see
> "the ruby community" from the perspective of an "outsider".
>

Not really. Different language. I took a brief look at Groovy hoping it
could
ease up a job at a Java house, and the fact it's "almost Ruby except not
in
subtle important points the authors didn't like" pretty much scared me
away
instantly.

Also a different phase of development. Ruby has been more or less
syntactically and otherwise stable for ages, and despite being
criticised for
lack of library availabilty, is already good enough to roll out
production-quality applications.

Groovy is completely, utterly unrelated to Ruby as far as the "life
story" and
the future is concerned.

> (snip)
> It's just that, well, the actual Ruby exposure on the net is a bit weak, to
> somebody like me who doesn't have the time to read every mail on the
> mailing list.  Just simple things like a roadmap of what to expect from
> Ruby - what's in the latest release for example, when's the next one, and
> what's planned for 1.9? When exactly IS Rite going to be available.  Is the
> new super-duper website ever going to be finished?
>

Reading every mail on the ML is a) unnecessary, and probably also b)
unhelpful
for the sort of questions you're asking.  Nobody does that.

What's in the latest release? Read the release changelogs. Or look at
_why's
"What's Shiny and New in Ruby 1.8.0" for a subjective pick for the
attention
impaired at http://whytheluckystiff.net/articles/rubyOneEightOh.html

When's the next release? When it's done. Maybe it's more of a question
to ask
on ruby-dev; maybe not. Ruby doesn't have a regular release cycle - live
with
it.

http://eigenclass.org/hiki.rb?Changes+in+Ruby+1.9 is the first thing
google
spits out for "ruby 1.9 changes". Nuff said. 2.0 isn't supposed to be as
groundbreaking a change as for example Perl6 will be to Perl5, so don't
expect to see the programming language to end all programming languages
if
you don't see it now.

It's very likely in my opinion that YARV will be Rite when it's done.
Follow
up on that one, it's not really a regular topic on ruby-talk though.

Mind you, considering the fact Ruby isn't to my knowledge actually
supported
by any major industrial players, or at least the fact isn't strutted
about
any. This also means there's no marketing going on a scale comparable to
let's say .NET that's being spoonfed to you and forced down your every
pore.
And even despite the above, it still managed to gain a following and
presence, but it means you have to take matters into your own hands if
you
want to stay informed.

David V.
James B. (Guest)
on 2006-02-17 01:08
(Received via mailing list)
Alex C. wrote:
...
>
> I would prefer developers working on code and bug fixes as opposed to
> writing documentation ...

...

> What ruby really needs is better documentation! (imo).


Who should write the docs, if not the people writing the code?



--
James B.

http://www.ruby-doc.org       - Ruby Help & Documentation
http://www.artima.com/rubycs/ - The Journal By & For Rubyists
Alex C. (Guest)
on 2006-02-17 01:41
(Received via mailing list)
On 2/16/06, James B. <removed_email_address@domain.invalid> wrote:
>
> Who should write the docs, if not the people writing the code?
>
>

Linus has not written any documentation. Ok, bad example.

Developers are not always the best writers. Maybe Matz is a
Shakespear, I dunno, but it doesn't matter, what I'm trying to say is
that writing is a skill not all developers are good at
so I would prefer them to spend their time doing (A) things they are
good at, or (B) things
I am not good at.

So who writes the code? Newbies learning ruby systems. Writing will help
them
to learn, and it will further help other newbies because most likely
many of them will stumble
over similar areas and so sharing experience is very beneficial.

I'm not trying to say this should be the law, I actually think ruby
has a good working documentation system the way it is now. I think it
could do with a lot of cleaning though,
not by developers who everything already makes perfect sense for, but
by newbies who
have a fresh view and can see where things are not being presented
clearly enough.


just my $0.02
anne001 (Guest)
on 2006-02-17 14:06
(Received via mailing list)
I think the key of this text is that groovy had a big community making
suggestions, but lacked leadership in terms of structure:

exemple of problems: "The big problem of course was ambiguities -
feature interactions could lead to very confusing errors"

Suggestion for what was needed: "pair up James with someone who is good
at writing specs"
"It's time for someone to take leadership, produce a clear document
showing a
clear vision for Groovy, with a list of features that will be
implemented
and others that will be dropped.  With a clear roadmap and precise
deliverables that future users can judge Groovy by and decide whether
it's a
solid project they can rely on or just another aborted open-source
project
they can safely ignore....it takes a real "tech lead" to do this.
Someone who understands the issues but also has a clear vision, sees
the "big picture" and is not afraid to bark a few orders and do things
himself if they don't get done."

As far as I can tell, there has not been this kind of problems with
Ruby. Ruby's center is fairly small and "unambiguous" and the growth
has been lead by libraries based on the core. As James has said, the
language has been around for years even in the US, so I think it is
well past the "immaturity stage" talked about in the article.
unknown (Guest)
on 2006-02-17 15:34
(Received via mailing list)
Hi --

On Fri, 17 Feb 2006, Alex C. wrote:

> MY PERSONAL GRIPE!
> Please turn this into a wiki so that we can clean it up:
> http://www.rubygarden.org/faq/main/
> The ruby FAQ really really needs some love.
> Yes, I'm talking to you dblack :)

I don't think turning something into a wiki is a way to clean it up --
rather the contrary.  But a FAQ-updating effort would not be amiss.  I
haven't yet thought through exactly how one would organize it.


David

--
David A. Black (removed_email_address@domain.invalid)
Ruby Power and Light (http://www.rubypowerandlight.com)

"Ruby for Rails" chapters now available
from Manning Early Access Program! http://www.manning.com/books/black
Alex C. (Guest)
on 2006-02-18 01:37
(Received via mailing list)
On 2/17/06, removed_email_address@domain.invalid 
<removed_email_address@domain.invalid> wrote:
> I don't think turning something into a wiki is a way to clean it up --
> rather the contrary.  But a FAQ-updating effort would not be amiss.  I
> haven't yet thought through exactly how one would organize it.
>
>

Well I hate being contradictory, but I think a wiki-faq would be
a great idea. It would require a few key elements, but the good
news is that all of key elements a wiki-faq would require are already
required by a regular faq.

You or whoever is in control of the current faq can give the document
whatever structure you like, and write down as many
Q & A as you want, then open it up to the public, other users
can then contribute by asking or answering further questions
following the general structure you've provided.

Questions that you dont think are very FAQ'ish can be moved
to ruby garden wiki, or just removed altogether.

Then you can export a snapshot every couple months
after a bit of clean up and post it up at ruby-lang in a
prettier format.

Why not at least consider it? It could be sort of like beta-faq.
Glenn S. (Guest)
on 2006-02-18 22:49
(Received via mailing list)
Sorry, posted my rant, then disappeared for two days!

Perhaps the problem is more complex but I'm a simpleton, I just want to
go
somewhere, download Ruby and start running it.  And like most of the
world,
I want to do this on Windows.

No, hold on, let me rephrase that - I HAVE to run it on Windows, I
really
would prefer to run it on Mac OS/X (but the wife won't let me buy a
Mac!)
:o)

So I go to the ruby website and there is the announcement: #Ruby
1.8.4released

Ooh good!  I'm happy, a nice new version of Ruby to look at.  Maybe I'll
use
some of it's new features, maybe I won't, but I'm a "languages fan", I
program for work and play, I like new things. I love Ruby. And so do
many
others, and so COULD many more...

Anyway, underneath it says: "The source is
<URL:ftp://ftp.ruby-lang.org/pub/ruby/ruby-1.8.4.tar.gz><ftp://ftp.ruby-lang.org/pub/ruby/ruby-1.8.4.tar.gz>,
the md5sum is bd8c2e593e1fa4b01fd98eaf016329bb, and filesize is
4,312,965
bytes."

Well, woopy-doo.  I couldn't care less what an md5sum is (I'm only
vaguely
aware of what it means, and I've been using and programming PC's over 20
years).  Anyway, the link is to a tar.gz file.  Which is nice - if I was
on
Unix. OK, I could extract it with Winzip - and I'll get... the source
code.

I want a windows installer.  Somebody else probably wants a Mac
installer.
Maybe an RPM for Linux flavour 1, a .DEB for flavour 2 and so on
(alright,
the Unix people can just run MAKE if they want).  I don't have much
recent
knowledge of hacking C, I just wanna use Ruby.  And more, I wanna know
what's new in this release.

Where's the "what's new"? Embedded in some text file on an ftp-site
somewhere, or perhaps it's in the tar file.  OK, so I know how to go
look,
but there isn't anything even in the announcement that tells me to do
that.
What if I was a relative-newbie? A youngster looking for a fun-new
language
to teach themselves programming?

Am I asking a lot?  Well pop over to python.org (and not python.com like
I
keep making the mistake of going to!) and it's there - new release plus
a
"what's new", same for the previous two releases.  Installers for
Windows
(32 and 64-bit!), and tar.gz's for everybody else (maybe now Mac's are
based
on unix it's easy for them just to run "make"?).

Fair-do's to Curt for his excelent one-click windows installer, but if
that
is to be the only simple method for eejits like me (and a million
others, no
doubt) then surely this warrants at the very least a mention and a
direct-link on the front-page of ruby-lang.org?
James B. (Guest)
on 2006-02-18 23:28
(Received via mailing list)
Glenn S. wrote:
> Sorry, posted my rant, then disappeared for two days!
>
...
<elided amount='scads' />

> direct-link on the front-page of ruby-lang.org?
There is a redesign underway (modulo the time constraints of Real Life)
of the ruby-lang homepage which, if the various comps are indicative,
should clear up some of these issues by making it easier to find stuff.



--
James B.

http://www.ruby-doc.org       - Ruby Help & Documentation
http://www.artima.com/rubycs/ - The Journal By & For Rubyists
http://www.rubystuff.com      - The Ruby Store for Ruby Stuff
http://www.jamesbritt.com     - Playing with Better Toys
http://www.30secondrule.com   - Building Better Tools
Glenn S. (Guest)
on 2006-02-18 23:37
(Received via mailing list)
I have seen the mock-ups of the new website - they sure is purrrdee.

I did a google on SCADS - top link is: "*Stamp Collectors against Dodgy
Sellers"

:o)

*


On 18/02/06, James B. <removed_email_address@domain.invalid> wrote:
> > keep making the mistake of going to!) and it's there - new release plus
> others, no
> James B.
>
> http://www.ruby-doc.org       - Ruby Help & Documentation
> http://www.artima.com/rubycs/ - The Journal By & For Rubyists
> http://www.rubystuff.com      - The Ruby Store for Ruby Stuff
> http://www.jamesbritt.com     - Playing with Better Toys
> http://www.30secondrule.com   - Building Better Tools
>
>


--

All the best
Glenn
Aylesbury, UK
David V. (Guest)
on 2006-02-19 14:36
(Received via mailing list)
DÅ?a Sobota 18 Február 2006 21:48 Glenn S. napísal:
> Perhaps the problem is more complex but I'm a simpleton, I just want to go
> somewhere, download Ruby and start running it.  And like most of the world,
> I want to do this on Windows.
>

Noone's stopping you.

> Anyway, underneath it says: "The source is
> <URL:ftp://ftp.ruby-lang.org/pub/ruby/ruby-1.8.4.tar.gz><ftp://ftp.ruby-lan
>g.org/pub/ruby/ruby-1.8.4.tar.gz>, the md5sum is
> bd8c2e593e1fa4b01fd98eaf016329bb, and filesize is 4,312,965 bytes."
>
> Well, woopy-doo.  I couldn't care less what an md5sum is (I'm only vaguely
> aware of what it means, and I've been using and programming PC's over 20
> years).
>

<troll>
Under a fluffy, warm rock?
</troll>



> I want a windows installer.  Somebody else probably wants a Mac installer.
> Maybe an RPM for Linux flavour 1, a .DEB for flavour 2 and so on (alright,
> the Unix people can just run MAKE if they want).  I don't have much recent
> knowledge of hacking C, I just wanna use Ruby.  And more, I wanna know
> what's new in this release.
>

The ruby-lang.org site doesn't maintain binary builds. Big deal. Read
on.

> Where's the "what's new"? Embedded in some text file on an ftp-site
> somewhere, or perhaps it's in the tar file.  OK, so I know how to go look,
> but there isn't anything even in the announcement that tells me to do that.
> What if I was a relative-newbie? A youngster looking for a fun-new language
> to teach themselves programming?
>

Everyone who's ever given more than fifteen minutes to getting an open
source
library to work knows the changelogs are bundled with the download by
convention. And since looking for "what's new" presumes the user has
already
had "old" in hand, that's not an issue.

Said youngster is warmly welcome to post to here, comp.lang.ruby, the
Ruby
Forum, or the irc channel. He'll probably get all the help he asks for
and
then some. Treading forums is a survival ability gained early on in the
programmer's life.

Truth be said, the ruby-lang website could use a minor touchup to
somehow draw
attention to the primary form of support for all things Ruby. I have
this
mild hallucination of one in the works being mentioned in a recent post
*grin*.

> Am I asking a lot?  Well pop over to python.org (and not python.com like I
> keep making the mistake of going to!) and it's there - new release plus a
> "what's new", same for the previous two releases.  Installers for Windows
> (32 and 64-bit!), and tar.gz's for everybody else (maybe now Mac's are
> based on unix it's easy for them just to run "make"?).
>

Ahem. Google for "Ruby Installer'. Unsurprisingly, a site hosting a Ruby
installer for windows comes up as the first result. Case closed.

Bottom line: moan less, do more of everything else. The latter actually
gets
you somewhere, and saves my brain center for flaming some strain.

David V.
Glenn S. (Guest)
on 2006-02-19 15:31
(Received via mailing list)
If I represent half of Ruby's users (other Windows users comfortably
under
the rock) then I'm not alone in my experiences.     I hope similar
attitudes
don't contribute to Ruby's downfall.


And for what it's worth, when was the last time you saw Windows apps say
"hey, you downloaded me, wanna check my md5wassisname?".







On 19/02/06, David V. <removed_email_address@domain.invalid> wrote:
>
> >
> (alright,
> look,
> convention. And since looking for "what's new" presumes the user has
> attention to the primary form of support for all things Ruby. I have this
> > based on unix it's easy for them just to run "make"?).
>
>


--

All the best
Glenn
Aylesbury, UK
Ross B. (Guest)
on 2006-02-19 15:58
(Received via mailing list)
On Sun, 2006-02-19 at 22:28 +0900, Glenn S. wrote:

> And for what it's worth, when was the last time you saw Windows apps say
> "hey, you downloaded me, wanna check my md5wassisname?".
>

<thinking aloud>
Hmm, maybe _that's_ why those guys are always complaining about viruses
and trojans ...
</thinking aloud>

;)
David V. (Guest)
on 2006-02-19 19:17
(Received via mailing list)
DÅ?a Nedeľa 19 Február 2006 14:28 Glenn S. napísal:
> If I represent half of Ruby's users (other Windows users comfortably under
> the rock) then I'm not alone in my experiences.
>

You don't represent any significant majority of Ruby users on any
platform in
my opinion. I'm well aware there are (wannabe) Ruby users that need to
have
their hands held, or that need to be spoonfed. And there's where we see
a
fundamental split in attitude:

Group one: they take the time to find out how to ask for help, they
contact
the community, post their problem. They get their hand held and get
information spoonfed usually as is necessary.

Group two: they bitch, whine, moan, rant, and ramble and drone over and
over
about how things are being Done Fundamentally Wrong, and things should
Be
Changed, lest everything go down in Flaming Hell. They get at best
ignored,
at worst flamed. And possibly helped once they finally get to state
their
problem in a non-insulting way.

> I hope similar attitudes don't contribute to Ruby's downfall.
>

Programming languages and tools are not end-user software. Especially
the
minor ones are -not- a product, and presentation and marketing are
completely
unimportant compared to actually useful features. I could personally
live
without all the prebuilt binaries and installers in the world if it
meant
that for example YARV will be finished (in any sense of the world that
can
apply to an open-source project) sooner; and I -know- I represent at
least
half of Ruby's users in wishing for a faster runtime. People don't use
Python
because they like their website layout / design, most use it because
they
think it's a good programming language. Same for Ruby, and I'm sure it's
the
same for humongous amounts of other quality noncommercial software.

They're intended for people that show at least -some- genuine interest,
and
mostly presume certain skills / common sense - like being able to figure
out
where to get help when stumped instead of relying on being spoonfed
constantly. It takes at most five minutes over a slow connection of
clicking
around to figure that out on the ruby-lang website, hopefully much less
after
the revamp, and at most 30 seconds for anyone with mediocre google
skills to
get the basic points right.

Ruby will not go boom because of failing to attract users incapable /
unwilling of putting as much effort as clicking on "downloads" on the
website
to find out about how to get a distribution of the language.

> And for what it's worth, when was the last time you saw Windows apps say
> "hey, you downloaded me, wanna check my md5wassisname?".
>

Windows convention - whatever the author chooses. A lot of Windows
installer
systems check the integrity of the self-extracting archive on
installation,
by the way. *nix places this at your option by default instead of hiding
what's happening from you. The fact they're provided does NOT say "check
me,
check me, CHECK ME!" or anything along those lines.

Oh yes, and for completeness' sake, MySQL provides MD5 signatures with
its
Windows downloads. I'm sure quite a few other software projects too.

Noone's forcing you to check checksums of files you download, it's
_provided_
for your or anyone's convenience - if you are for example using an
unreliable
network, or are paranoid, or whatever reason people that check download
checksums do so. You don't know what MD5sums are? Ignore them. You don't
think they're useful for you? Ignore them. I think you get the picture.

David V.
James B. (Guest)
on 2006-02-19 19:57
(Received via mailing list)
Glenn S. wrote:
> If I represent half of Ruby's users (other Windows users comfortably under
> the rock) then I'm not alone in my experiences.

I don't think your experiences are representative of that large a group,
but I also don't think the numbers matter all that much.

There *is*  a well-constructed (thanks, Curt!) Windows installer for
Ruby, so the larger issue may be to make it easier to find.

The Ruby home page should have clearly marked links for source code,
docs, pre-built binaries, "What's New", and so on.

That these things may be  lacking in one way or another is not a
reflection of anyone's attitude (indeed, the great strides in Ruby
availability and popularity suggest the overall attitude is quite good),
but more a matter of time and resources.   It's not that anyone is
indifferent or unaware, but just plain *busy*.  (And keep in mind that
the opportunity to effect change is in the hands of everyone reading
this post.  If you don't like the Ruby home page, and are dissatisfied
with waiting for a new one, design one yourself.  Code talks, bullshit
walks.  So to speak.)

Of course, community attitudes can change, and if the people on this
list stop being embracing and helpful, and start belittling people for
being less skilled, less experienced, or less informed, then Ruby *will*
suffer.


--
James B.

"Blanket statements are over-rated"
Glenn S. (Guest)
on 2006-02-19 21:19
(Received via mailing list)
David - we can start a flame war, all rather pointless and doesn't do
you or
I or anybody else any favours.  Or we can simply agree to shake hands
and
have a "virtual" beer.

I prefer the latter.

I'm not a Ruby expert by any means.  Nor am I a Unix expert.  I adore
Ruby
and if I had my way I would program in nothing but.  I also think it's
got a
great community of people who generally are very helpful (they have been
to
me in the past) and long may it continue.
My work life as a programmer often forces me down the path of "what the
company tells me to do", using the tools they dictate.  I'm about to
start a
project using Java (previous experience has been largely VB and PL/SQL).
I
spent quite a while last year developing a website demo in Ruby On Rails
-
it worked really well, the customer was pleased, I thoroughly enjoyed
myself.  And so now we are going to write it for real... in Java.

I think you've taken by initial post on this thread to be a real moan,
when
what I was really trying to do was simply put forward one user's
perspective
(ie. mine) of how Ruby was being presented to potential users.  For what
it's worth, I think your point "Programming languages and tools are not
end-user software." is quite wrong.  Compilers and editors and tools and
so
on are just designed for a different class of "end user".  They still
need
to be marketed, documented, and easy to use.  It's hard enough learning
the
semantics of the language without having to fight the
compiler/interpreter
too.
Anyway, I was just making constructive criticism.  And hell yeh, I'd
love to
spend time helping out the community, but right now I don't have that
time
(anybody with two young children and a demanding wife will
understand!!).

I see quite often articles where it's suggested that Ruby could be the
new
Java.  Great, I hope it happens.  Yet when I scratch the surface I don't
really see how that could happen right now.  If anything I see it as
being
more "the new Perl".  Unless a company really gets behind Ruby in some
way
and markets it, which right now doesn't appear to be the case (shame!).

For what it's worth, I do know what checksums are, I was just making the
point that the fact that it was provided was one of the few useful bits
of
info about the 1.8.4 announcement, and even then it wasn't really useful
to
ME.  Maybe I should start using them - so which tool should I use under
Windows?

On a lighter point, can anybody explain to me how Ruby is being
developed? I
mean, who by? Is it mainly happening in Japan still?

Finally, don't be to harsh on newbies like me.  We all use computers
differently, we all have talents and failings, we all have our skills
and
weaknesses.  Some days I can make Windows do tricks even I can't
believe,
but then I can barely log on to Unix!!

Perhaps I should put on my fire-retardant suit now...




On 19/02/06, David V. <removed_email_address@domain.invalid> wrote:
> have
> about how things are being Done Fundamentally Wrong, and things should Be
> completely
> same for humongous amounts of other quality noncommercial software.
> the revamp, and at most 30 seconds for anyone with mediocre google skills
> >
> Oh yes, and for completeness' sake, MySQL provides MD5 signatures with its
>
> David V.
>
>


--

All the best
Glenn
Aylesbury, UK
James B. (Guest)
on 2006-02-19 21:52
(Received via mailing list)
Glenn S. wrote:
...
> I see quite often articles where it's suggested that Ruby could be the new
> Java.  Great, I hope it happens.

Be careful what you wish for.

:)

--
James B.

"In physics the truth is rarely perfectly clear, and that is certainly
  universally the case in human affairs. Hence, what is not surrounded
by
  uncertainty cannot be the truth."
  - R. Feynman
Dave H. (Guest)
on 2006-02-20 15:49
(Received via mailing list)
On Feb 19, 2006, at 11:17, Glenn S. wrote:

> David - we can start a flame war, all rather pointless and doesn't do
> you or
> I or anybody else any favours.  Or we can simply agree to shake hands
> and
> have a "virtual" beer.

Or you could ignore him. *I* certainly found comments like "It takes at
most five minutes over a slow connection of clicking around to figure
that out on the ruby-lang website, hopefully much less after
the revamp, and at most 30 seconds for anyone with mediocre google
skills to get the basic points right." to be not only annoyingly
condescending, but quite opposite of my experience, which seems to
involve spending a lot of time finding documentation misplaced,
dreadfully obscure, or just plain missing, and discovering new and
different ways for those oh-so-easy installers to fail.

I think he's probably wrong in believing that "You don't represent any
significant majority of Ruby users on any platform in my opinion." You
certainly are representing my opinions pretty accurately. On the other
hand, if he's right, then Ruby might well be going down the
incoherent-and-eventually-irrelevant path. I see there being a danger
of that, but I don't think it's at all inevitable, yet, thank goodness.

> I think you've taken by initial post on this thread to be a real moan,
> when
> what I was really trying to do was simply put forward one user's
> perspective
> (ie. mine) of how Ruby was being presented to potential users.  For
> what
> it's worth, I think your point "Programming languages and tools are not
> end-user software." is quite wrong.

I agree. I have and use Ruby because I want to build programs and tools
for myself...in Ruby. The time I spend having to poop around with
recompiling Ruby, reinstalling Ruby, re-downloading source for Ruby,
debugging Ruby's installers, is wasted time. I wasted something like
three or four hours trying to get readline support working with irb,
IIRC.

The only installer tool I've used for Ruby or Ruby-related material
that has NOT errored out or installed something incorrectly
is...Apple's standard OSX installer. Unfortunately, as far as I can
tell, right now, only Ruby 1.8.2 is available in that installer. OTOH,
it includes Readline, Gems, Rails, TclTk, and the RI documentation (and
not just all using the same installer, but in the same package! Woo
hoo!), so I may just revert backwards to it, since Gem/Rails has not
yet installed correctly in three tries (one of those tries was on a
brand-new freshly installed OSX 10.3, no less), I have to install Ruby
and Readline by downloading and compiling source (the instructions for
using CVS for that failed on the second command), Rails with Gem, and
and I still have no idea why RDoc  has completely failed to document
any of the core material. I've read over the stuff that came with the
source code, and done what it told me, and still, trying to get
information on, say, "Array" just gets me some useless chit-chat about
something called YARV.

I'm sure if I spent more time not trying to actually get work done, I
could get that fixed, by asking questions here. But I have a copy of
Pickaxe, so I just use that. If I have to spend time working on my car
instead of driving to work, then my car isn't very good. If I have to
spend time working on my computer instead of using it to get work done,
then my computer's not very good. And if I have to spend time sending
messages to Ruby-Talk trying to find out how to get Ruby to work
instead of programming, then Ruby's not very good.

I'll tell friends who are programmers about Ruby, but I haven't yet
recommended it to anybody. It's too unstable, too undocumented, too
hard to use. It's too young. I've completely shelved any Rails
development because hours of searching, and an inquiry posted here,
have revealed the absence of critical documentation for database
design. I just don't have the time to join a whole new mailing list and
see if I can coax somebody to document exactly what *all* of Rails'
assumptions about the underlying database are. I've already been much
the same thing with RubyCocoa, and now THAT is actually working as
expected, and I'm getting things out that work, so I'm just going to
stick with the system I've got that's running, and put off projects
that want Rails as long as possible, and hope it's more mature when I
come back around to looking at it.

I think the biggest difference between Ruby and Groovy is that there's
somebody who "owns" Ruby and is still actively (and effectively!)
involved: Matz. I do wish Ruby were a bit more specific. Parentheses
are sometimes but not always optional, and the like. (shudder) But it
seems to be headed in the right direction, and hopefully it won't be
too long before the amount of time one must spend working ON Ruby
instead of working WITH Ruby drops to nearly nothing.

I also agree with you, Glenn, in that I don't think these problems are
fundamental problems with Ruby itself, or its tools, or its community.
The problem is with people who don't recognize or admit that these ARE
problems, and would try to deny or excuse them. These issues can be,
and are being, resolved, but only as long as they're recognized as
issues that NEED to be resolved.

Pointing out weaknesses in something to its fan base doesn't always
make you friends, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth doing. Thanks,
Glenn; hopefully your observations will help Ruby grow even stronger.
James B. (Guest)
on 2006-02-20 17:02
(Received via mailing list)
Dave H. wrote:
>

>
> I'm sure if I spent more time not trying to actually get work done, I
> could get that fixed, by asking questions here. But I have a copy of
> Pickaxe, so I just use that. If I have to spend time working on my car
> instead of driving to work, then my car isn't very good. If I have to
> spend time working on my computer instead of using it to get work done,
> then my computer's not very good. And if I have to spend time sending
> messages to Ruby-Talk trying to find out how to get Ruby to work instead
> of programming, then Ruby's not very good.


To be fair, though, most people have little trouble getting Ruby
installed and running.  I do not mean to belittle or discount your
experiences, but I've not had an issue with any release of Ruby when
packaged up as the "one-click" Windows installer (discounting preview
packages), nor have I had a problem installing final releases of Ruby
from source code on Linux.  I used to have routine errors installing
Rails from gems, but that's no longer an issue.

If you have a problem with getting Ruby up and running, post to this
list.  If asking for help here is not an attractive solution, then
indeed you are on your own.


 > ...
> I also agree with you, Glenn, in that I don't think these problems are
> fundamental problems with Ruby itself, or its tools, or its community.
> The problem is with people who don't recognize or admit that these ARE
> problems, and would try to deny or excuse them. These issues can be, and
> are being, resolved, but only as long as they're recognized as issues
> that NEED to be resolved.

It isn't that people are busy denying that some people still have
problems, it's that people are just *busy*, period.

Drivers wanted.


--
James B.

"You harmonize; then you customize."
  - Wilson Pickett
Tanner B. (Guest)
on 2006-02-20 17:33
(Received via mailing list)
On 2/20/06, Dave H. <removed_email_address@domain.invalid> wrote:
> Or you could ignore him. *I* certainly found comments like "It takes at
> significant majority of Ruby users on any platform in my opinion." You
> > what
> > it's worth, I think your point "Programming languages and tools are not
> > end-user software." is quite wrong.
>
> I agree. I have and use Ruby because I want to build programs and tools
> for myself...in Ruby. The time I spend having to poop around with
> recompiling Ruby, reinstalling Ruby, re-downloading source for Ruby,
> debugging Ruby's installers, is wasted time. I wasted something like
> three or four hours trying to get readline support working with irb,
> IIRC.


Did you document this struggle (for success or failure)?  To complain
about
a lack of documentation is fine.  To be presented with an opportunity to
help the situation, but instead just complain, that I find a bit rude.



And if I have to spend time sending
> messages to Ruby-Talk trying to find out how to get Ruby to work
> instead of programming, then Ruby's not very good.


Actually, then Ruby's documentation would not be very good.  The whole
not
judging a book by its cover and all.  That isn't to say people's
perceptions
of Ruby are not influenced by the quality and availability of its
documentation, but that doesn't make it right either :)


> Pointing out weaknesses in something to its fan base doesn't always
> make you friends, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth doing. Thanks,
> Glenn; hopefully your observations will help Ruby grow even stronger.


Pointing fingers is fine, lending a hand will make you friends.  I don't
mean this is a flame, or a personal attack, as I have been guilty of it
myself but I'm always amazed at the people who complain about the
quality of
documentation specifically in open source software.  I've seen it on a
good
dozen projects, new users spend pages and pages of writing complaining
about
something missing from the documentation, without ever submitting a hard
suggestion to fix.  And especially without providing a bit of
documentation
themselves.

So please, if you find rough spots, places that you spend hours that you
think you should only spend minutes, document the steps you took, the
errors
you received, the problems you hit, and submit them.  At the very least
you'll get a better informed answer, and at the best you'll have helped
produce new documentation.
Gregory B. (Guest)
on 2006-02-20 20:25
(Received via mailing list)
On 2/20/06, Dave H. <removed_email_address@domain.invalid> wrote:

> I'm sure if I spent more time not trying to actually get work done, I
> could get that fixed, by asking questions here. But I have a copy of
> Pickaxe, so I just use that. If I have to spend time working on my car
> instead of driving to work, then my car isn't very good. If I have to
> spend time working on my computer instead of using it to get work done,
> then my computer's not very good. And if I have to spend time sending
> messages to Ruby-Talk trying to find out how to get Ruby to work
> instead of programming, then Ruby's not very good.

Ruby is not about being very good.  It's about world domination.

    (C)M AT Z(S): How are you gentlemen !!
    (C)M AT Z(S): All your base are belong to us.
    (C)M AT Z(S): You are on the way to destruction.
    Captain: What you say !!
    (C)M AT Z(S): You have no chance to survive make your time.
    (C)M AT Z(S): Ha Ha Ha Ha ....

See...  thats matz... er... Cats... laughing at you.  Move Zig!

On a serious note though, for an emerging language that only fairly
recently became popular in english speaking countries, I think Ruby is
great in terms of support.

If talking to people on #ruby-lang or RubyTalk or searching archives
and using a little google fu is not something you can afford right
now, no big deal.  We'll still be here if you decide to come back
later on.

As a library developer (working on relatively small things at that),
I'd love to have some awesome documentation.  Time constraints slow
that process.  I can only imagine what those constraints are like on
the big things.  So... just be patient.  Or whenever you do end up
having to search a little deeper for something, write down what you
did and build a little tutorial.  The community will appreciate it and
it'll help overall.
Glenn S. (Guest)
on 2006-02-21 00:45
(Received via mailing list)
Thanks for your words of support Dave - I was beginning to think I was
in a
minority, but I'm sure I'm not!

One day I really will try to sit down and spend time developing
something
for the community - be it Ruby or some other project.  And in the
meantime
I'm eternally grateful to others for the work they do and the help they
give
to idiots like me!!!


Glenn








On 20/02/06, Dave H. <removed_email_address@domain.invalid> wrote:
> Or you could ignore him. *I* certainly found comments like "It takes at
> most five minutes over a slow connection of clicking around to figure
> that out on the ruby-lang website, hopefully much less after
> the revamp, and at most 30 seconds for anyone with mediocre google
> skills to get the basic points right." to be not only annoyingly
> condescending, but quite opposite of my experience, which seems to
> involve spending a lot of time finding documentation misplaced,
> dreadfully obscure, or just plain missing, and discovering new and
> different ways for those oh-so-easy installers to fail.



etc...
Dave H. (Guest)
on 2006-02-22 23:11
(Received via mailing list)
On Feb 20, 2006, at 6:59, James B. wrote:

> To be fair, though, most people have little trouble getting Ruby
> installed and running.

I know. I cannot believe my setups differ in some fundamental manner
from many other people, so why I suffer installer problems (always
different) remains something of a mystery to me. Sigh. I can't be
*that* stupid . . .

> It isn't that people are busy denying that some people still have
> problems, it's that people are just *busy*, period.

Er, my original post was prompted by a post that I found hard to
interpret as anything other than denying or attempting to excuse some
of the 'opportunities' still available to newbies coming to Ruby.

Happily, such attitudes are unquestionably a small minority.

[see next post...]
Dave H. (Guest)
on 2006-02-22 23:32
(Received via mailing list)
On Feb 20, 2006, at 7:32, Tanner B. wrote:

> about
> a lack of documentation is fine.  To be presented with an opportunity
> to
> help the situation, but instead just complain, that I find a bit rude.

Well, the last time I had a problem with the Ruby core itself, I just
hammered at it for a while until it worked. I think I just wiped my
downloaded source-install folder and started over, since some part of
the Make got bent during the first attempt.

My most recent major frustration was actually with RubyCocoa, and I did
post quite a few messages to the rubycocoa mailing list. Some of them,
er, reflected my frustration at the time more than might be considered
polite, but nobody there threw anything my way except helpful
suggestions. :) I discovered and pointed out that the Rubycocoa
installer choked on an install path with a space in it, which was
quickly fixed.

If you want to see some of my very early problems with installing Ruby,
you might check out
http://www.rubygarden.org/ruby?InstallingElsewhere



> Pointing fingers is fine, lending a hand will make you friends.  I
> don't
> mean this is a flame, or a personal attack,

Nor did I take it as such. :)

> So please, if you find rough spots, places that you spend hours that
> you
> think you should only spend minutes, document the steps you took, the
> errors
> you received, the problems you hit, and submit them.  At the very least
> you'll get a better informed answer, and at the best you'll have helped
> produce new documentation.

I also offer in my defense <grin> my post to the recent thread here
entitled "postgres database"...


"A suggestion to the wider PostgreSQL-using Ruby populace; I was
somewhat confused until I figured out that I had to install at least
part of Postgres (bits of library files, I think) on the machine
running Ruby in order to talk to the database that's running on a
different system.

"If somebody should happen to write/update/expand upon the instructions
for installing Postgres support into Ruby to include the case where the
Ruby code is being installed and/or running on a system without local
Postgres, that'd probably be a good thing . . . :) Maybe some way to
permanently bind the libraries into the gem-installed Ruby bits?"


Plus my contributions (of some unknown value :) to the recent pile of
postings about "What is a symbol?"
This topic is locked and can not be replied to.