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RubyGems' Module Count Soon To Surpass CPAN's

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  • Re:Real use (Score:3, Informative)

    by graznar (537071) on Monday December 20, 2010 @08:11AM (#34614598) Homepage
    Here's a quick list just off the top of my head: * YellowPages.com * All of the 37signals apps (Basecamp, Campfire, etc.) * Hulu * Scribd * LivingSocial * Penny Arcade * GitHub * Twitter (backend powered by a ton of stuff but their frontend is mostly Rails) * Chow.com * Oracle.Mix * Shopify * Justin.tv * Crunchbase There are a ton more public facing and even more (as you mention) sort of "behind the firewall" type stuff. Ruby (especially Rails) has stepped up as a pretty major contender in the web development arena. :)
  • by mr_mischief (456295) on Monday December 20, 2010 @08:35AM (#34614730) Journal

    search.cpan.org [cpan.org] states that there are 88,679 modules in 21,580 module distributions. It further says there have been 63,291 uploads by 8659 uploaders (authors).
    Perl also has over 600 modules in the core distribution (as of 5.12.2 anyway).

    On CPAN, a "module" is a module, and that's what it sounds like. A module is a program library that can be used by an application programmer. A module distribution is several related modules in a package. Some packages contain dozens of modules. Some may also contain example applications or helper applications along with the modules. PyPi also has packages which can be collections of modules. I don't mess with Python enough to tell you if that's common.

    So, RubyGems has over 18,00 "gems", but what does that mean?

    On RubyGems, it seems a "gem" can be anything. There are libraries there, sure. There are also applications. One, for example, is "vmail", which is a hack to let you read your GMail account in vim (using lynx for HTML mail viewing). Another is "rake", which is a software build program. You do have big frameworks pushed out as gems like "rack". There are smaller library modules that look useful, too. Then there's some stuff with no docs, no home page, and no apparent use. I found one "gem" that claims to redefined '==' to be more useful than in the standard library, but was all of 4 lines with no documentation.

    RubyGems seems to have no real organization other than new, recently updated, popular, and alphabetical. There is a search.

    CPAN and PyPi both have hierarchies of topics through which one can drill down. They have search, too. PyPi has probably the best combination of search and drill-down features of the three.

    CPAN has some things it's pretty clear RubyGems doesn't. It has an automated build and test system for modules. It has a ticketing system for the modules right there in the public repository. It has a rating system for the packages. It has 228 mirrors worldwide for downloading the packages, too.

  • by happy_place (632005) on Monday December 20, 2010 @08:46AM (#34614802) Homepage

    I think Perl is a fantastic language--in fact it's my favorite language of all time. Heck, I just released a new tool at my work last week using Perl and CGI to help organize about 4 years worth of file changes from an active CVS archive into relevant categories.

    Perl's not a language for the faint-hearted, however. It is not a language you sit down and instantly you have a webpage going--which is what most people want to do these days when it comes to casual programming. For that, PHP and Ruby seem to be a lot more accessible.

    I've been using Perl for over ten years now, and I find that I'm still learning something new about how to use the language in fascinating ways--pretty much every day. Nothing compares to Perl's community. You can talk with experts daily if you like, on sites like http://www.perlmonks.org/ [perlmonks.org] and the documentation is all accessible at http://perldoc.perl.org/ [perl.org] or with every install of perl by just typing perldoc... I love how easy it is to move data about. It really was the first language to fully incorporate hashing as a basic operator and though variable sigils confuse a lot of people used to simpler programming languages, such notation allows for some amazingly flexible operations without the need to create lengthy method calls for every basic operation on your data structures. In Perl every symbol has specific/distinct meaning and interoperates with all others, and those combinations make for some very powerful programs with few lines of code--like how you can load full hashes by acessing them with the array operator as hash slices... and who can compare to Perl's enhanced regular expressions, especially the latest from v. 5.12...

    Anyhow there are languages for the pedantic, there are languages for your project managers and your CS grads, and for your code-generators--or for outsourcing to India, and then there's languages that really get your inner geek going... and Perl definitely reigns supreme for my inner geek. :)

    In fact, Some people call it magic.

  • by Waffle Iron (339739) on Monday December 20, 2010 @09:09AM (#34614958)

    Like what?

    Off the top of my head: How about no visibly defined function parameters; object oriented features are stuck on with duct tape; you have to have a deep understanding of the language to understand what's really going on when someone assigns between variables that have different sidgils; huge numbers of built-in magic 2-character variable names that you can't remember without a cheat sheet.

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats." -- Howard Aiken

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