Cedric is pessimistic regarding Ruby and its mainstream acceptance: Why Ruby on Rails won’t become mainstream
Interestingly, they might even be right. But by then, it won’t matter because despite its technical excellence, Ruby on Rails will still be a niche technology that only experts know about.
And then he proceeds to make a case for reasons that have already held back amazingly good concepts, like
the BetamaxLISP, Smalltalk and the like.
Oh, I do disagree: the same could have been said of linux, you know, that it is only a thing for a few experts, a niche development.
But both Ruby and RoR have things that the other products lacked when first out: a vocal, convinced and evangelizing community, a low barrier to entry, an amazing product, and a philosophy where the programmers’ ease is at the front. The whole thing is just elegant.
Have you tried using LISP? Expensive, complicated, hard to get – and I am not talking about ten years ago, or twenty, when you had to deal with nonstandard issues (i read it somewhere). I am thinking about right now, where you go to install KPAX and you find that there are no documents, and that your pc wonâ€™t work, and frankly, no. Too much time, and your time is worth money.
Now, simply download ruby, gems, and presto: start working.
Or get the Poignant Guide, or The Pickaxe. What is more, there are a lot of developers that, fascinated with the ease of programming with Ruby can actually make a difference in the acceptance of the language, regardless of the difficulty of the concepts or the relatively newness of it.
And, really, Ruby is not that new: it has been around for 10 years, only that it is only recently that we are getting to see some applications and evangelization process going on.
Let’s make an experiment: we know that the cool kids are all trying this now; so, next foo camp, let’s check how many of the invitees get there spouting ruby dogma, and how fast it goes.