Digging Into Ruby

WARNING: Technical post ahead. If you come just for the latest funny stories about the kids, it’s safe to skip this.

Chrismo always seems to be bellwether for my professional programming efforts. He flopped over to doing Java work a while before I did, ranted about Extreme Programming a year or two before it gained momentum, and has been great for conversations on programming (as well as “meaning of life” and “how to live as a believing musician who pays the bills with computers”) topics.

Thus, when he began rumbling about Ruby a while back, I was intrigued, but had lots of other things going on, so didn’t really follow up. Since then, the language has gained considerable momentum and built up a sizable community. After some conversations with Greg and with the drop-dead sexiness of Ruby on Rails (and its super-easy AJAX support), I’ve decided it is time to dig in. (Seth points out that AJAX is also easy to implement in Conversant, the CMS on which this website runs!)

I’m starting with “Programming Ruby (Second Edition)” because it was in the library here, and will move onto Rails-specific stuff once I’ve digested the fundamentals of the language. So far, it’s interesting stuff — the highly-dynamic nature of the language is a bit unsettling after being in Java-land for so long, but it seems well thought-out, flexible, and extensible in very interesting ways. Eventually, inspired a bit by Jason’s speculative reading statistics, I hope to build out at least part of a “what I’m reading” Web 2.0-style application that Zach and I have talked about (and which he actually did some work on for a programming contest a few months back). Should be fun!