Does anyone here think it’s a good idea for a beginner to learn Ruby
1.8 and then learn Ruby 1.9? If it’s better to just learn 1.9 and not
worry about what 1.8 was like, I would appreciate any and all
responses to this post.
Here is my personal experience: I started to code my first line of ruby
nearly one week ago, I just used what was available on my Debian Lenny,
at that’s 1.8.7 .
I’m parsing text-based script files which are a few MB and I have to
by-character inspect them, I’m not using regex (yet; it’s a straight
C-port for now). Since I’ve heard about 1.9 and saw that 1.9.1 is touted
as stable on ruby-lang I compiled the latest version and wanted to give
it a try, maybe there’s some speed up (current parsing on large file
takes > 15 seconds).
Unfortunately I was not able to test my application: I’m using
CommandLine  and using 1.9.1 it just silently exits.
That is: no exception, no warning, nothing. I discovered the -W switch
and was shown a message:
commandline/optionparser/optionparser.rb:341: warning: shadowing outer
local variable - e
but changing the variable name didn’t fix it.
I tried to get into it with the debugger, but I could not find anything
as I’m not that into ruby yet.
For me, I’m not considered 1.9.1 for now. It’s too hard to work with
libraries I still don’t know well when I just try to learn the language
and try to get my small project going on.
If I would not depend on other libs, I would surely jump on the wagon,
but that’s not possible for me (and especially as a beginner you are
just not capable of writing everything yourself, lacking the skills).