Bruce Eckel just published an interesting article about Ruby. He is mostly negative about Ruby (obviously preferring Python), but he does acknowledge some of Ruby’s and Rails’ significant contributions.
David Heinemeier Hansson did a good job rebutting Bruce’s negativity, so I’m not going to repeat any of that other than to say I agree with David.
But I think this article is definitely worth reading because it does contains some valuable insights. Just take the Ruby negativity with a grain of salt (unless you agree with him, then just enjoy it).
Here’s a couple of the good things he had to say about Ruby and Rails:
I’m sure we will find that the Rails approach isn’t the ultimate solution; there will be plenty of other problems that we need to solve on the way to making web development easy. But it represents a fundamental restart in the thinking process.
I think this is one of the most important contributions that Rails has made, that it has forced us to rethink!
Clearly Ruby is making important contributions to the programming world. I think we’re seeing the effects sooner in Python than elsewhere, but I suspect it will have an effect on Java as well, eventually, if only in the web-framework aspects.