Ruby for JavaLanguage programmers :
- Learn to program with it : http://pine.fm/LearnToProgram/
Cool Things In Ruby
I think this is the first article I've read that makes Ruby sound significantly more interesting than PythonLanguage for me to be jealous.
- more outrageously cool stuff, embedding C in Ruby : http://blog.zenspider.com/archives/2006/08/writingcexten.html
It's like a clean Perl - currently my (AdrianHoward) favourite new language :-)
It's no so much that it's C like, but I do find the TMTOWTDI attitude of Ruby and Perl more expressive. In my opinion a more expressive languages enables a good programmer to write clearer and more concise code (and, of course, a bad developer to write unmaintainable line noise :-)
I personally find Ruby's OO model more cohesive. Python's procedural heritage shows through all the time (just like it does in Perl). The fact that things like iterators and generators have only recently been added to Python means they've not percolated to the standard libraries.
Not that I hate Python or anything - very nice language - just that I find Ruby's implementation cleaner. The syntax isn't really an issue.
Wholeheartedly agree on the TMTOWTDI / expressive thing.
I was lying about the anonymous subroutine / closure stuff. Python does support them and I managed to miss it in the documentation before (maybe an earlier version?). Ooops. Said foolish comments now culled.
has http://www.ruby-doc.org/RubyEyeForThePythonGuy.html has more on various comparisons between the two languages.
Quora Answer : Is Ruby dying?
Ruby has an odd history. It blew up because of Rails. Which was a state of the art web framework about 10 years ago. Many Ruby coders were Rails programmers. And most Ruby work is Rails.
It's still fantastically popular (see other answers here). And there are going to be a lot of legacy Rails sites around for a long time.
BUT ... as Giles Bowkett pointed out a couple of years ago, it's no longer the new hotness.
Python (Ruby's great rival) has found itself a more diverse range of niches : system scripting (replacing Perl), scientific / statistical / data processing (replacing Fortran / complementing R), teaching language (the true successor of BASIC, less hassle than Java) as well as web-sites.
The rise of mobile devices has actually pushed programmers back to compiled "system" programming languages like Java (on Android) and Objective C (on iOS).
Today's cool kids are pushing on into Functional Programming languages like Haskell, Erlang and Clojure. And the cool enterprise kids are starting to make a big bet on Scala. That's also because the "web" is becoming more about juggling huge numbers of streams of notifications being pushed down to "fire-hoses" like Facebook and Twitter rather than serving up custom but static pages.
So, even though Ruby is popular, I think there are structural reasons why it might suffer a collapse almost as sudden as its rise.
OTOH someone may have pioneered a new niche for it that I'm unaware of.
Update Nov 2018 :
Ruby isn't, of course, "dying".
But it's shocking to see how, say, Python has pulled ahead of it in this Github report : The State of the Octoverse: top programming languages of 2018
Obviously that's all about data. But back in 2014 Ruby and Python were still about neck and neck.
But look at them now, only four years later.