I’m interested in building a database for my company so that we can
store information on accounts, work orders, production records,
experimental data, etc. My programming experience started with
Mathematica, was followed by LaTeX, then by Matlab, then Maple, then
Labview and most recently, I’ve started learning Ruby. I really like
Ruby as a functional language, though I haven’t gotten my feet too wet
with languages of that sort of ilk yet. I haven’t been programming with
it (or any of the other) for very long, but I’ve found that with my
mathematics background I’ve been able to pick up all of these languages
very quickly, and feel quite confident that (with some work, to be sure)
I can build a database and GUI which will meet our companies needs for
an easy to use and highly flexible database.
Having not had much experience in the sort of languages which would be
suitable for such an endeavor, I don’t know what the pros vs. cons of
using Ruby to develop such a program would be. My impression is that
with Ruby’s rich class structure and flexibility it would be a good
language to use. What I don’t know is if there are things that I need to
consider before getting too far down along this path. For instance, I’ve
read that the linguistic structure of Ruby was created with the
programmer in mind, not the computer. Does that mean that a ruby program
of the sort in question might be too fricken slow to deal with all the
info? I know that MATLAB is famed for it’s array handling - is there a
way that embedded C compilations of matlab programs may be able to drive
an array based storage and retrieval scheme with more speed than Ruby
alone? Are there other problems that I haven’t thought about? Have
others made programs like this with Ruby? Were they successful?
The other concern of mine is making the GUI. Labview has a pretty simple
drag and drop style GUI development structure - that’s all I’ve used on
that front. I tried working with visual basic once, but didn’t get very
far, mostly because for what we were doing Labview was easier and
someone at my work was able to teach it to me (Incidentally, I’ve ben
learning Ruby for fun on my own time). As I understand it, there are a
few options for getting a Ruby-GUI. Ideally, this would be runnable on
either windows or mac (at work we use win but I run a mac on my
computer). I’ve downloaded Shoes, but haven’t really used it at all yet.
It doesn’t seem to be tailored for designing complex GUIs. As I
understand Cocoa is a great way to go if you want to run on macs - is
there a way to get a Cocoa script to run on PCs? How do programs like
iTunes work on PCs? In general, what would the best (or at least some
good) multi-platform language(s) be for embedding Ruby within a GUI?
Any and all help/comments/suggestions are welcome! Thanks.