Friday, December 16, 2005

Inflammatory Ruby Questions

I have some honest questions for Ruby experts to help me understand where I am on this Ruby debate. Not that any Ruby experts, or anyone reads this blog, but it makes me feel good, ok?
I honestly want to understand why and how Ruby is going to be a revolution. I absolutely love Java, but I am deathly afraid I will my love for it will blind me from seeing the next big thing.

I'd like to seperate Ruby and Ruby on Rails for clarification.

Ruby:
What is it about this language that seperates it from the dynamically-typed crowd? Does it hit the sweet spot between loose typing and "true" OO features? Is it fair to Ruby a great dynamically typed language, and short circuit this half of the discussion as the ancient "staticly versus dynamically typed languages" debate? My point is I dont see much of a difference between "Ruby v. Java" and "Static v. Dynamic typing" debates. Is there something novel Ruby adds to that debate? Perhaps Ruby does for dynamically typed languages what Java did for statically typed languages?

Ruby On Rails:
What does Ruby on Rails provide that other language web frameworks cannot? I'm sure "convention over configuration" is a fantastic innovation for small, simple webapps, but what precludes another framework from mimicking this, such as Trails? I understand Ruby ensusiasts' frustration w/ "XML hell", but that's not a function of Java in the least, but in the frameworks they choose.

If these were both true statements:
"Ruby is the best dynamically typed language available"
"Ruby on Rails is an innovative web framework for writing simple webapps with very little work"
I see plenty of room left for Java.

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