The Ruby Language

Finding ruby is the final culmination of several long running processes in my life. First we have a fascination with scripting languages that began with Tcl. I was excited to find a way to generate GUI programs using only a few lines of code. (This was in marked contrast to my prior experiences with X programming in C). However this was tainted by some serious misgivings about Tcl as a programming language. Then I discovered Perl, began using Perl/Tk, and in general was much much happier. Perl was a drastic improvement over Tcl as a language, but it is still full of many quirks and idiosyncracies. Then along came Ruby, and I have lived happily ever after.

As a language, Ruby is wonderful. I am amazed at how much code I can write without picking up a manual. It's shortcomings are related to the fact that the language has only been available to the English language speaker for a few short years. At this writing, there is only one book, the "pickaxe" book, but it is a gem, and if there were to be only one ruby book, one could hardly complain. The bindings from Ruby to access GUI building tools have essentially no documentation and require a lot of trial and error fiddling. The situation is changing rapidly.

If you want to do GTK programming using Ruby, take a look at my Ruby GTK notes.

If you want to work with XML in ruby, take a look at REXML.

Ruby Links

Ruby homepage
Ruby garden
Ruby cookbook
Ruby and Glade
The brave may want to look at Ruby-Tk, it encapsulates a Tcl interpreter within ruby, which I find too distateful to contemplate (The horror!). Ruby-Tk FAQ

Feedback? Questions? Drop me a line!

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