Thursday 10 January 2008

First impressions of Ruby

My first experience with Ruby was the really nice interactive tutorial. This is by far the best way to introduce people to a language that I have seen - it is really slick. My complements to Why for managing to make the first step of learning a new language so painless. However I would be remiss if I failed to mention the damn cursor on the thing - when you are using backspace it always deletes one more character than it looks like. Don't let this put you off though, give it a go! After finishing the interactive tutorial I downloaded the latest installer for windows and began playing around. Exploring Ruby is proving to be lots of fun but I am somewhat spoiled by Visual Studio - the tools and documentation included in the package are simply not as sophisticated and this is hardly surprising. The package comes with a REPL (Read-Eval-Print Loop). If you tried the interactive Ruby tutorial then you already have experience using a REPL - they are quite useful for learning a new programming language, though they are far better suited to interpreted languages than compiled languages. I find the simplicity of a REPL attractive because it makes it convenient to do short experimentation sessions. I can sit down for just 10 minutes and learn a couple of new things. Next post: RRC (Random Ruby Crap) #1

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