A half-assed review of Ruby

Monday, 20 December 2010

I finally broke down and went through a Ruby tutorial thinking maybe it really is where I should spending spare cycles given the job boards and the flexibility it would give me. I’ve played with Ruby before but just to mess around. This time I was trying to write some code and maybe even get to a place I felt comfortable putting it on my résumé.

I found it awkward and less elegant than well-written Perl. It comes with similar caveats and you-need-to-know-why-because-it’s-not-intuitive explanations. It seems to want the clarity of ECMAScript while keeping the terse DWIWness of idiomatic Perl and the balance it strikes has a center of gravity that feels too high to me.

I predict Ruby is going to have a very similar backlash to the one Perl felt circa 2002 when all the crummy code written during the previous ten years catches up with maintenance cycles and starts to sting some of those who bought into Ruby’s glitter without buying into good software development practices to go with it.

Strangely enough. I had another recruiter write me out of the blue yesterday for a Perl job. It has tapered off a little. It was only six this year.

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