Ruby is soooooo 2002
I first heard about Ruby when Matz spoke at LL2 in November, 2002
. I experimented with it on and off over the next few years, and I liked it. I also experimented with C#, Groovy, and a few others, but Ruby reminded me of Smalltalk, a language I used in the 80s and loved, so I stuck with it even though I seemed to be one of three people using Ruby without using Rails.
Lately, the internet echo chamber is souring on Ruby and moving from embracing it to hating it. I suspect that although people are quoting all sorts of technical reasons for their dislike, it comes down to cultural forces. Shrug.
I am reminded of the time I showed up in high school one September on a skateboard. To give you an idea of where skateboards were in those days, my model had clay wheels designed for wood-rink roller-skates, not the polyurethane we have today. Any ways, everyone laughed at me. The next Summer, everyone had one, and they were laughing at the fact that I didn't ride the latest model, even though I was a more accomplished free-styler and slalom rider. Then, the fad passed, and I was the iconoclast again, still riding my board while everyone embraced mopeds.
Guess what? There is no villain in the story. I was happy riding with my friends. The people who jumped on and off fads were happy, and they were learning important life skills about participating in human culture. And the fad was a big win: Early boards really weren’t very good, and the popularity brought money and manufacturing scale to skateboarding that improved the technology.
Paul Graham has said that the real world is nothing like high school. I’m not so sure.
I often use Ruby for code examples. What do you think: Should I continue using Ruby, or should I use another language for examples? If I continue using Ruby, should I try to show idiomatic Ruby or should I try to focus on general ideas that can be applied elsewhere?