I have often been caught in the cross fire of the ongoing and awfully brutal and emotional language wars. I am a C programmer by choice and a PHP/Perl Developer by trade, so I get some of the most heated and misfortunate of the angry or emotionally charged responses from people who just do not know a god damned thing about what they are talking about. Scarier is when I hear absurdities from people who actually do know something about their topic. For some reason they want to stick their toes into my pool and do not like the temperature of the water so they go into a tirade about how I should change the color of the water with some dye and install a heater, oh and the chlorine content is too low or too high and algae will form; who knows, maybe you should add this algae snake as well to keep it from getting to the bottom! I apologize for the extended analogy here but it stands. It is important that Comp Sci. and Developers alike learn at least one thing about languages before they enter the market and end up coding themselves into a corner – There is no such thing as a language level, Languages Span!
I nearly forgot yesterday that Ruby has a train following it about. It has been growing in popularity over the last few years as it has become more and more well known as the language used behind a growing number of applications, such as campfire for instance. I have no complaints about it though, its actually a very useful language. My problem, as is often the case, falls on ignorance and the terrible practices of fearing languages.
When someone approaches me and asks me if I know Ruby on Rails I have to answer, quite politely the first time, no. I don’t know Ruby on Rails any more than I do QCodo, PHPCake or any other of the dozens of web frameworks. The attachment of “on Rails” to Ruby has really ruined, at least in my mind, the possible momentum that could be enjoyed by Ruby as has been enjoyed by other languages like, Perl or Python. The fact that these later languages names begin with the letter P should not lead anyone to believe that they are P-opular. All of the languages that I have experience with have their place in my heart and a place in my development practices. From my point of view, pinning “on Rails” onto Ruby weakens the message that many of us have already taken to learning.