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chromatic (983)

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Journal of chromatic (983)

Sunday February 17, 2008
02:56 AM


[ #35677 ]

Something you may not know about chromatic is that he's a Perl 6 core developer. It's something to consider when reading his (now several) opinion pieces on Ruby, Rails and/or its users.

Daniel Berger, comment on "What's a Ruby DSL and what isn't?"

I'm also the guy who argued within O'Reilly for publishing more Ruby books in 2003 and 2004, the editor who took a chance and published Curt Hibbs's seminal tutorial on Rails in January 2005, and someone who watched technology features, trends, and people very carefully as part of my job -- a profession I've been in full-time since 2002.

I don't particularly care if people use Ruby. It's a decent language. I use it myself sometimes.

I don't particularly care if people use Rails. It's a decent framework. I've used it myself a few times. I don't use it anymore, but those reasons are technical, largely immaterial, and highly uninteresting even to me.

I care when people publish untruths. I care when people lie about technical matters. I care when people are so busy giving themselves very vigorous self-handshakes in public that the poison an entire conversation about important issues such as design considerations, software maintainability, and language features.

Maybe this is a hobby horse I shouldn't ride. Maybe I'm not the guy to say "Uh, there's no substance to the code your emperor just wrote." If there's really something to internal DSLs -- if there's really some special magic in Ruby that makes it more possible to write them than in any other language -- I'd like to know. So far, I haven't seen it, and thus I conclude that writing so-called internal DSLs is to Ruby what golf is to Perl -- a stupid fad with a tiny core of interesting truth that gets buried in the silly cooler-than-thou-and-especially-thy-non-Ruby-language posing that passes for conversation in certain parts of the Ruby community these days.

I emphasized the phrase certain parts because some of the smartest, most capable, most humble, and most pleasant people I know consider themselves part of the Ruby community. This includes Chad Fowler, David Black, Dave Thomas, Piers Cawley, and Charles Nutter. That's an extremely non-exhaustive list, by the way.

Yet when Chad Fowler said from the stage that Rubyists have a reputation for being "arrogant bastards", RailsConf 2007 laughed and applauded. I know that none of the people I mentioned in the previous paragraph were amused.

If the fact that I'm a Parrot committer and that I'm on the Perl 6 design team means that no one should listen to my opinions, I think you may have missed the point. You shouldn't listen to my opinions because I'm occasionally bitter, often subtle, usually over the top, and always trying foremost to entertain myself.

That doesn't, in itself, make my opinions wrong. Only facts could do that.

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