Ruby is exploding onto the scene as Java did at the end of 1990s

Java is no longer the answer to every software development problem.
Ruby is exploding onto the scene, just as Java did at the end of 1990s.
Developers are driving the revolution, and the amazing productivity of
Ruby on Rails is fueling it. So who better to talk about Ruby and Rails
than the strongest proponent of Ruby, Bruce Tate.
http://www.puneruby.com/blog/?p=62

Java was never the answer to every software development problem, thank God.

···

On 8/16/06, zoat <enogrob@hotmail.com> wrote:

Java is no longer the answer to every software development problem.

Yes. Do you remember the hype? Statements like "In a few years, 95
percent of all programs will be written in Java" and "There is no reason
now for schools to teach any programming language but Java." Before that
it was C++ (although the purple prose didn't approach Java's hysterical
level).

As it turned out, Java was just another language - good or bad, depending
on your opinion. Now I don't know enough about Ruby yet to even form an
opinion other than it is a lot of fun at the moment, and I know even less
about Rails, but I do know that it is only one of over a hundred useable
languages and it will be several years before we know if it will be one of
the top half dozen, or just another neat language that never went
anywhere.

reqards
krf

···

On Wed, 16 Aug 2006 06:40:31 -0700, zoat wrote:

Java is no longer the answer to every software development problem. Ruby
is exploding onto the scene, just as Java did at the end of 1990s.

"krf" <krf@Vega.com> wrote in message
news:pan.2006.08.16.20.25.51.294863@Vega.com...

Java is no longer the answer to every software development problem. Ruby
is exploding onto the scene, just as Java did at the end of 1990s.

Yes. Do you remember the hype? Statements like "In a few years, 95
percent of all programs will be written in Java"

I remember the hype very well. I was covering the 'Java phenomenon' at
Comdex in Las Vegas that year. We would, it seemed, all be using Java 'thin
clients' instead of PCs and Windows would be a thing of the past within a
year or two. I've seen some hype in my time but nothing to compare with
Java. The plain truth is that while Java has been *quite* successful, it has
yet to come anywhere close to its own hype.

The 'hype' around Ruby, at present, is nowhere near to that. This may be due
to the fact that Ruby does not have a big company (Sun) pushing it. This
quickly brought into the Java fold many other big companies (e.g. Sybase,
Corel, IBM/Lotus, Borland - even, yes, Microsoft).

Personally I think it's much healthier for Ruby to progress at its own
pace - with developers moving things forward rather than PR departments.

best wishes
Huw Collingbourne

http://www.sapphiresteel.com
Ruby Programming In Visual Studio 2005

···

On Wed, 16 Aug 2006 06:40:31 -0700, zoat wrote:

"Matthew Moss" <matthew.moss.coder@gmail.com> writes:

···

On 8/16/06, zoat <enogrob@hotmail.com> wrote:

Java is no longer the answer to every software development problem.

Java was never the answer to every software development problem, thank God.

However, it is the reason for a lot of software development problems. :wink:

--
Christian Neukirchen <chneukirchen@gmail.com> http://chneukirchen.org

It may well be that the absurd level of hype was intentionally well out
of proportion with any realistic expectation of the future of the
technology: when there is hype (which is what all marketing aims to be),
reality will fall short. That's an almost indisputable truism. The
more hype you can create, however, the more that will get done in that
direction (at least in the short term). If you claim that Java will
replace even operating systems and hardware to a nontrivial degree,
you're far more likely to end up with Java replacing other programming
languages in a lot of cases where it really shouldn't, again to a
nontrivial degree. Thus, by creating absurd, effectively impossible
levels of hype, Sun and friends managed to ensure that Java achieved
absurd, highly improbable levels of success, where "success" is defined
as market share and mindshare.

Thus, for several years, the number of Java jobs, books, and classes
outnumbered the number of jobs, books, and classes for all other
languages in at least most mainstream contexts.

···

On Thu, Aug 17, 2006 at 06:35:04PM +0900, Huw Collingbourne wrote:

I remember the hype very well. I was covering the 'Java phenomenon' at
Comdex in Las Vegas that year. We would, it seemed, all be using Java 'thin
clients' instead of PCs and Windows would be a thing of the past within a
year or two. I've seen some hype in my time but nothing to compare with
Java. The plain truth is that while Java has been *quite* successful, it has
yet to come anywhere close to its own hype.

--
CCD CopyWrite Chad Perrin [ http://ccd.apotheon.org ]
"The ability to quote is a serviceable
substitute for wit." - W. Somerset Maugham

Huw Collingbourne wrote:
> The 'hype' around Ruby, at present, is nowhere near to that. This may
be due

to the fact that Ruby does not have a big company (Sun) pushing it. This
quickly brought into the Java fold many other big companies (e.g. Sybase,
Corel, IBM/Lotus, Borland - even, yes, Microsoft).

Personally I think it's much healthier for Ruby to progress at its own
pace - with developers moving things forward rather than PR departments.

The Java model was a closed-source, proprietary, for-profit model. The
Ruby model is open-source, free as in freedom, and supposedly
profit-agnostic. As was Linux.

Sooner or later (I think probably no later than 2007) someone will do
for Ruby and Rails what Red Hat and others did for Linux -- find a
for-profit way to exploit the power of the language and its "killer app"
Rails and its community.

Curiously enough, Java and Solaris appear to be moving the other way.
Solaris is sort-of open source and Java will also sort-of become open
source, though the details aren't clear yet. Firefox appears to be
following the Linux model, and it wouldn't surprise me in the least if
other major open source projects -- Apache, for one -- followed suit.

My point is that marketing, PR departments, hype, sales skills, the
profit motive and engineering economics are pretty much universal,
except for a few holdout "Communist" nations who "vow their destruction".

I'm not sure I'd call what Ruby is doing an 'explosion' just yet. Lest
we forget, Ruby has been on the scene for a decade now, and while it's
growth in recent years has been quite extraordinary due to the killer
app Rails, there are still a number of stumbling blocks for more
widespread acceptance of Ruby as a platform for application
development.

Personally I love Ruby, and I want to see it continue to flourish.
However, I hate for the hype machine to get geared up and attract a
lot of people who later leave because Ruby wasn't quite what it was
advertised to be.

Part of what is happening to Java and Solaris is that Sun is flailing
as a company. There isn't really a great deal of rationale for Sun to
remain independent, but they're not an attractive acquisition target
because their book of business is primarily replacement, services and
maintenance, not growth. They are trying to find ways to stay
relevant, and perhaps getting a bigger footprint in the software world
will help them. IBM, which faces business problems of a similar nature
but very different in degree, has been helped a great deal by their
(admittedly self-serving) advocacy of selected open-source
initiatives. (Specifically those where they don't have a competitive
commercial offering.)

Ruby currently faces a totally different market dynamic (and set of
opportunities) because its community is perceived as having a
significant anti-business streak to it, as Linux did in its early
days.

SUNW and IBM shareholders: let the flames begin!

···

On 8/17/06, M. Edward (Ed) Borasky <znmeb@cesmail.net> wrote:
> Curiously enough, Java and Solaris appear to be moving the other way.

Solaris is sort-of open source and Java will also sort-of become open
source, though the details aren't clear yet. Firefox appears to be
following the Linux model, and it wouldn't surprise me in the least if
other major open source projects -- Apache, for one -- followed suit.

Really?, I have never picked up an anti-business vibe from the Ruby
community. I get the impression that most people here are professional
programmers who love Ruby and either use it in business or would love
to do so. The Ruby license (unlike the GPL) is very business friendly.

pth

···

On 8/17/06, Francis Cianfrocca <garbagecat10@gmail.com> wrote:

Ruby currently faces a totally different market dynamic (and set of
opportunities) because its community is perceived as having a
significant anti-business streak to it, as Linux did in its early
days.

Part of what is happening to Java and Solaris is that Sun is flailing
as a company. There isn't really a great deal of rationale for Sun to
remain independent, but they're not an attractive acquisition target
because their book of business is primarily replacement, services and
maintenance, not growth. They are trying to find ways to stay
relevant, and perhaps getting a bigger footprint in the software world
will help them. IBM, which faces business problems of a similar nature
but very different in degree, has been helped a great deal by their
(admittedly self-serving) advocacy of selected open-source
initiatives. (Specifically those where they don't have a competitive
commercial offering.)

Personally I think if Sun (or other old-timers) were to realize the value of
Ruby...both as a language in itself and as a major value proposition for
businesses, they could be a major driving force behind Ruby adoption. As far
as the public knows, that hasn't really happened yet for any of these
companies since they have such a vested interest in the status quo. As much
as you might hate the PR world, having a large software/hardware/services
company make a major, public commitment to Ruby would really help validate
it for large-scale, large-investment development work. It could be the
tipping point.

Ruby currently faces a totally different market dynamic (and set of

opportunities) because its community is perceived as having a
significant anti-business streak to it, as Linux did in its early
days.

I think perhaps this is more a characteristic of up-and-coming Open Source
projects in general. Raising an OSS project from the ground up without major
corporate backing is fairly anti-establishment. It's important to notice,
however, that the "big name" OSS projects these days--while still driven by
vibrant communities and development teams--also have backing from one or
more large commercial vendors. As much as folks may hate it, if Ruby offers
a compelling business reason to switch from language X, it will start to get
that backing, that PR, and that push into the commercial and enterprise
worlds. You can't keep all the fun for yourselves, no matter how much you
complain about today's more commercialized languages. I say bring it
on...more Ruby means more fun and better software for me and the rest of the
world. If Sun or IBM or Microsoft want to commit real resources to Ruby and
Ruby projects, all the better. They'd be making a very *smart* decision, in
my book.

···

On 8/17/06, Francis Cianfrocca <garbagecat10@gmail.com> wrote:

--
Contribute to RubySpec! @ www.headius.com/rubyspec
Charles Oliver Nutter @ headius.blogspot.com
Ruby User @ ruby.mn
JRuby Developer @ www.jruby.org
Application Architect @ www.ventera.com

a compelling business reason to switch from language X, it will start to get
that backing, that PR, and that push into the commercial and enterprise
worlds.<<<

Do you think Ruby offers that compelling business reason today?

···

On 8/17/06, Charles O Nutter <headius@headius.com> wrote:

if Ruby offers

I would certainly love to program in Ruby professionally, and so would
the few programmers I know personally who know Ruby. Unfortunately
that amounts to about 5. I have also yet to see a single book about
Ruby in a South African book store.

I think the more hype and marketing Ruby get the better - it changes
it from an unknown quantity into something that deserves
investigation. People are SO slow to explore new possibilities, I
really think that if Visual Studio didn't suddenly come with C# as the
primary .NET platform language, and with all the associated Microsoft
hype, few would have bothered. (Look at 'D' for example - great
language, but has anyone heard of it?)

I don't think Ruby has to go one direction or another, or change to
become more attractive, it's already the most programming fun I've
seen in years - it just needs more publicity so more people get to
know it and take it seriously. Teach it in schools!

My own effort is to prototype a lot of new development in Ruby and
showcase it before rewriting it into the mandated languages. The other
developers are noticing how simple and elegant the Ruby solution
always is! Now if the next Visual Studio could include Ruby...

Les

···

On 8/17/06, Patrick Hurley <phurley@gmail.com> wrote:

On 8/17/06, Francis Cianfrocca <garbagecat10@gmail.com> wrote:
> Ruby currently faces a totally different market dynamic (and set of
> opportunities) because its community is perceived as having a
> significant anti-business streak to it, as Linux did in its early
> days.

Really?, I have never picked up an anti-business vibe from the Ruby
community. I get the impression that most people here are professional
programmers who love Ruby and either use it in business or would love
to do so. The Ruby license (unlike the GPL) is very business friendly.

Without question. It needs to gain a little maturity, but that will only
come with larger-scale use and onging research and development. I think now
is the time.

···

On 8/17/06, Francis Cianfrocca <garbagecat10@gmail.com> wrote:

On 8/17/06, Charles O Nutter <headius@headius.com> wrote:
>>> if Ruby offers
a compelling business reason to switch from language X, it will start to
get
that backing, that PR, and that push into the commercial and enterprise
worlds.<<<

Do you think Ruby offers that compelling business reason today?

--
Contribute to RubySpec! @ www.headius.com/rubyspec
Charles Oliver Nutter @ headius.blogspot.com
Ruby User @ ruby.mn
JRuby Developer @ www.jruby.org
Application Architect @ www.ventera.com

I've heard of it, and it sounds nifty, but I'm unlikely to ever pick it
up. It's not simply obscurity that has hurt D: it's also the simple
fact that the creators of D want to maintain strict control over it.
When you don't have the marketing dollars and influence of Sun or
Microsoft, you simply cannot expect your "new" programming language to
take over the world (or even a nontrivial percentage of it) without
making it freely available to anyone who happens by. It's that simple.

The reason D is a marketing failure, for the most part, is simply that
the business model behind it sucks, and the language is inextricably
tied to the business model. Ruby's business model kinda sucks right
now, too, in any sense that it can be said to have a business model
separate from the publishing business. Luckily, Ruby is separate from
its business model because it's open and free, which allows people to do
things like discuss its internals in a more meaningful fashion, create
hype-drivers like Rails, and generally pick up and *fully use* the
language without having to jump through any hoops.

I'm not even sure that Microsoft or Sun could make a language weighed
down by a really bad business model actually work. After all, while the
Java infrastructure developed by Sun has until now always been closed
source, it was still freely available to anyone that was willing to take
it as a black-box whole. In Microsoft's case, the company has never
managed to make a closed source, proprietary, payment-required fully
functional implementation of a language work without embedding it in a
bunch of popular, industry standard applications as a scripting
language. In fact, Microsoft ultimately ended up having to open the
specs for the .NET framework so that open source workalikes could be
developed to help bolster potentially flagging future sales (or, at
least, that's my take on it).

···

On Fri, Aug 18, 2006 at 06:15:12AM +0900, Leslie Viljoen wrote:

I think the more hype and marketing Ruby get the better - it changes
it from an unknown quantity into something that deserves
investigation. People are SO slow to explore new possibilities, I
really think that if Visual Studio didn't suddenly come with C# as the
primary .NET platform language, and with all the associated Microsoft
hype, few would have bothered. (Look at 'D' for example - great
language, but has anyone heard of it?)

--
CCD CopyWrite Chad Perrin [ http://ccd.apotheon.org ]
"The measure on a man's real character is what he would do
if he knew he would never be found out." - Thomas McCauley

And what do you think that compelling business reason is? In Java's
case, Sun used the sudden large-scale acceptance of Java as a
web-development system as a lever to drive an unbelievable amount of
hardware sales, until the bottom fell out in late 2000. (Please note
very carefully that "acceptance of Java for web-development" is far
from saying that the acceptance was justified or that Java is an
appropriate technology for web development. We're talking about
business drivers.)

Microsoft wants to maintain its monopoly platform. IBM is somewhat
confused: they think they want to sell more enterprise services but
that business is stagnant and they are rapidly devolving into a
pre-Gerstner style hodgepodge of product businesses that compete
violently against each other as well as with everyone else. To Oracle,
sales is a blood sport and they want to completely own every bit of
the enterprise computing stack in every company above a certain size.
Sun knows what business they are in, and they also know they need to
find a new business. Google is laser-focused on search, even though to
outside appearances they look like they just want to take over the
world.

How does Ruby help any of these players (or others) achieve their
business goals? (I'm not questioning that there may be a good answer
to this question, nor am I trying to start a flamewar. I do think it
could be helpful if we come up with the answers rather than waiting
for them to come from someone else.)

···

On 8/17/06, Charles O Nutter <headius@headius.com> wrote:
> > Do you think Ruby offers that compelling business reason today?

Without question. It needs to gain a little maturity, but that will only
come with larger-scale use and onging research and development. I think now
is the time.

Sorry to walk on your feet, I have heard from D too, maybe it is a great
language, but it does not look like such to me. I might be wrong, but if
enough people are wrong about it it will die anyway, which would be a pitty
(so maybe I ought taking a second look, promised I will).

This is what I am afraid for Ruby, just that enough people would not like
it.

So my point is, yes I am trying to make a point, although this will never be
the compelling business reason it might be an important one:

* Ruby is just sexier, we love it, if enough people share this POV, business
will come along by itself. If there are not enough folks to use Ruby,
business will not come along.

Too simple to be true?

Robert

···

On 8/17/06, Chad Perrin <perrin@apotheon.com> wrote:

On Fri, Aug 18, 2006 at 06:15:12AM +0900, Leslie Viljoen wrote:
>
> I think the more hype and marketing Ruby get the better - it changes
> it from an unknown quantity into something that deserves
> investigation. People are SO slow to explore new possibilities, I
> really think that if Visual Studio didn't suddenly come with C# as the
> primary .NET platform language, and with all the associated Microsoft
> hype, few would have bothered. (Look at 'D' for example - great
> language, but has anyone heard of it?)

I think there's a short answer that would please almost everyone: Ruby makes
development cheaper, more fun, and more compelling than it has been since
the late 90s.

Folks seem to so quickly forget that before Java came on the scene, most web
development was based on CGI, usually using Perl. The reason Java managed to
almost completely take over that space in a very short time is simple: it
was far, far more consumable than your average large-scale mid-90s
Perl-based web application. I had to maintain a few of those applications,
and man was it a boon to web development and Java (and others like PHP) came
along. Suddenly building web applications wasn't an exercise in pain (or at
least, not as much pain) and the explosion of applications going into 1999
and 2000 demonstrates that others felt the same way.

I believe that we're right at the cusp of a renassaince for web application
development. The whole Web 2.0 nonsense is part of it, but has really only
enabled richer UIs on already-available thin clients (i.e. browsers). The
real revolution is on the server side, and that's where Ruby and Rails come
in.

Ruby in general makes all sorts of applications easier to build, maintain,
and evolve. Rails specifically makes web application development far easier
and more consumable than practically anything else, despite naysayer's
claims. Easier development and more powerful abstractions lead to faster and
greater innovation, and innovation will spur another IT boom (hopefully
without such a painful crash this time).

I think the business motivation for these big players to buy into Ruby is
simple: backing Ruby, funding Ruby projects, and building Ruby domain
expertise will help further the language that is (in my opinion) most likely
to increase demand for the software, hardware, and services that come along
with a really smashing development boom. If any one of those companies could
claim expertise in Ruby, support for running Ruby in concert with their
software and hardware solutions, and services for helping advance Ruby,
build Ruby applications, and support Ruby development work...they'd be
betting on a pretty solid horse.

Beyond that, assuming this whole Ruby thing pans out, there's the spoils of
early adoption to be reaped. In 3 years, if Ruby is truly the big ticket
that Java has become, and if (for example) Sun can claim they've been a Ruby
backer all that time, people are going to be much more likely to trust that
Sun software, Sun services, and Sun hardware are the most Ruby-friendly on
the market. Google has captured mindshare these days because of that exact
situation: they figured shit out first, and now everyone else is playing
catch-up. All the other companies you listed are suffering from a serious
"boring" complex, afraid to bank on anything but their tried-and-true
stand-bys. If one of them were to break ranks and bet on Ruby...things would
get seriously interesting.

There's also a business motivation for us Rubyists: big-time backing for
Ruby would help convince employers and development shops that Ruby has
arrived...and the peripheral effects of such a move would make convincing
all those PHBs to use Ruby or Rails for some application far easier.

···

On 8/17/06, Francis Cianfrocca <garbagecat10@gmail.com> wrote:

How does Ruby help any of these players (or others) achieve their
business goals? (I'm not questioning that there may be a good answer
to this question, nor am I trying to start a flamewar. I do think it
could be helpful if we come up with the answers rather than waiting
for them to come from someone else.)

--
Contribute to RubySpec! @ www.headius.com/rubyspec
Charles Oliver Nutter @ headius.blogspot.com
Ruby User @ ruby.mn
JRuby Developer @ www.jruby.org
Application Architect @ www.ventera.com

Francis Cianfrocca wrote:

Microsoft wants to maintain its monopoly platform. IBM is somewhat
confused: they think they want to sell more enterprise services but
that business is stagnant and they are rapidly devolving into a
pre-Gerstner style hodgepodge of product businesses that compete
violently against each other as well as with everyone else. To Oracle,
sales is a blood sport and they want to completely own every bit of
the enterprise computing stack in every company above a certain size.
Sun knows what business they are in, and they also know they need to
find a new business. Google is laser-focused on search, even though to
outside appearances they look like they just want to take over the
world.

How does Ruby help any of these players (or others) achieve their
business goals? (I'm not questioning that there may be a good answer
to this question, nor am I trying to start a flamewar. I do think it
could be helpful if we come up with the answers rather than waiting
for them to come from someone else.)

Andrew Carnegie once said, " The men who have succeeded are men who have chosen one line and stuck to it." Look at the success that Google is experiencing as a result of their "laser focus."

~Nate

> > Do you think Ruby offers that compelling business reason today?

Without question. It needs to gain a little maturity, but that will only
come with larger-scale use and onging research and development. I think now
is the time.

And what do you think that compelling business reason is?

<snip>

Google is laser-focused on search, even though to
outside appearances they look like they just want to take over the
world.

How does Ruby help any of these players (or others) achieve their
business goals? (I'm not questioning that there may be a good answer
to this question, nor am I trying to start a flamewar. I do think it
could be helpful if we come up with the answers rather than waiting
for them to come from someone else.)

Google thinks Python is useful. Ruby is similar to Python, but arguably better. Whatever reason Google uses Python is an answer to your question above.

-- Elliot Temple

···

On Aug 17, 2006, at 1:51 PM, Francis Cianfrocca wrote:

On 8/17/06, Charles O Nutter <headius@headius.com> wrote: