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RubyGems' Module Count Soon To Surpass CPAN's

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  • Real use (Score:5, Interesting)

    by isorox (205688) on Monday December 20, 2010 @07:38AM (#34614264) Homepage Journal

    Obviously there's some real projects out there using Ruby, is it mainly internal stuff? There's some big contenders for things like PHP (wikipedia probably being the biggest). Does Ruby factor in to any public-facing websites of note? Or is it mainly used in the corporate space in the area where you often find tomcat?

  • by cerberusss (660701) on Monday December 20, 2010 @07:42AM (#34614280) Homepage Journal

    Big numbers, but you have to be very careful what you pick. Do you want to go with community-based support? Pick the most-used module. Want to maintain it yourself? Pick the one with the best code quality. Do you need specific performance? Test them all. Et cetera.

    Besides, it's pretty obvious that Perl usage is slowly declining. The idiosyncrasies of Perl 5 get very annoying. And Perl 6 has been 10 years in development and is still not very popular in production and everybody is switching to more modern languages like Python and Ruby. At my job (a scientific institute), we're ditching Perl 5 for Python.

  • by Aladrin (926209) on Monday December 20, 2010 @08:07AM (#34614354)

    Even as an amateur, this is something I worry about. I realized pretty quickly how dangerous monkey patching is, but others seem to think it's the answer to everything. Need a special string manipulation function? Name it something generic and slap it on String. UGH.

    I even saw where Rails had added a function to String that rewrote the request string. Then others started using it, because it was so useful. And then Rails changed the function. All those people using it for unintended functionality were now broken because the change they made wasn't something you'd expect a function named that to do.

    That function was 'camelize' and is aliased to 'camelcase'. Here's the issue: It also converts '/' to '::'. This is completely unexpected from the name.

    Now, I get that upgraded to a different version of a library will have some unexpected effects, but you shouldn't have to worry about something so basic as this.

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@@@gmail...com> on Monday December 20, 2010 @08:07AM (#34614356) Journal

    Obviously there's some real projects out there using Ruby, is it mainly internal stuff? There's some big contenders for things like PHP (wikipedia probably being the biggest). Does Ruby factor in to any public-facing websites of note? Or is it mainly used in the corporate space in the area where you often find tomcat?

    What we use it for at my company is quick prototyping. Especially with Rails. But it's important to note that Ruby is the language and Rails is the framework. These modules could just be a niche field like academia finding it easy to write and share these modules through this site. I'd say that's unlikely given the number and you're most certainly seeing businesses promote some of this. I will say that we actively use hundreds of gems and I'm not sure what the average module:gem ratio would be in these projects -- as far as I can tell, I think it's 1:1 on a lot of the major ones we depend on.

    Here's a list of some websites you might know using Ruby [storecrowd.com]. The most notable is Twitter who I think is starting to componentize its pieces and move the high load intensive pieces to Scala [theregister.co.uk]. That's not to say they're completely off of Ruby but I think it's a sign that Rails needs a little more maturity before it is going to be seen on a website the size of Facebook. You'll see small to medium efforts excel at Ruby on Rails but the very very giant beasts are still too big for it at the moment. That means that you have a high number of websites using it but the representation is skewed against it since your big sites that everyone use aren't going to trust its maturity yet.

    great language. It's simple, elegant, clean and it is versatile. Rails muddies that up a bit but Rails is great for prototyping web applications. In my opinion, the increase in the number of modules shows how versatile the language is and how wildly people want to extend it. It really does have a lot of metaprogramming facets that I've been impressed with and I think that we're going to see a rise of languages like Ruby and Clojure that allow you to do interesting things like write a domain specific language (DST). But will they ever usurp the big old giant languages that command a presence? I guess only time will tell. For web programming, I prefer Ruby to Java when prototyping or writing anything for less than thousands of users. That's where it stands right now but Ruby usage has grown by leaps and bounds and I don't think this module tracking story is a fluke. I think we'll see a steady rise in Ruby modules as people explore its potential. The quality, the performance, the diversity, the revenue can all be questioned but the number of modules is most likely there.

  • by Chapter80 (926879) on Monday December 20, 2010 @08:37AM (#34614468)

    Besides, it's pretty obvious that Perl usage is slowly declining.

    I can't comment on the trend (declining or ascending?), but it sure looks like perl is still pretty popular, on this comment from last month [slashdot.org].

    It says:

    Dice has a lot more programming listings than Monster.

    Java - 14824 .Net OR C# - 10496
    C++ - 5789
    Perl - 4664
    PHP - 2499
    Python - 2196
    Objective C - 1267
    Ruby - 1169
    Cobol - 638

    (bolding emphasis mine)

  • by e70838 (976799) on Monday December 20, 2010 @08:56AM (#34614544)
    I fully agree. I am a Perl programmer. I like very much the syntax of ruby. At first, it seems to be as expressive as Perl without the need of cabalistics symbols ($ @ %). But when I discovered the libraries with all the inconsistent names and all the silly aliases, I felt I can wait until they fix all that.
    It is normal that people writes their own modules: the default libraries are too crappy.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 20, 2010 @09:10AM (#34614596)

    In general, quality and correctness have never been major concerns of the Ruby, and especially Rails, communities. Their goal is to produce large amounts of software quickly, even if it's shitty, doesn't do what it's supposed to, and even if it outright fucks up. It doesn't surprise me at all that they'd produce a blatantly incorrect graph like that.

    The Ruby and Rails communities consider things like monkey patching and duck typing to be acceptable in large-scale applications. Anyone with any experience developing significant software systems knows that those are among the stupidest things you can do, and they do adversely affect the quality of the software system.

    The mere concept of monkey patching should throw up red flags immediately. It's a horrible idea to change code at runtime, especially when that code is part of widely-used standard classes like String or even Object. Not only does it reduce the quality of your own code, but it can easily affect completely independent libraries your app may be using.

    Then there are the ActiveRecord shenanigans. It makes Ruby developers think they don't need even a basic understanding of relational databases, so they have no idea what it's actually doing under the hood. Then they wonder why their app's performance is absolutely horrible. Well, that'll happen when your ORM fucks up and pulls in 1.5 million records into memory just to do some filtering that could have easily been done in the database.

    I'd rather have CPAN's thousands of modules, most of which are extremely high quality and reliable, versus a larger number of shitty Ruby "gems".

  • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Monday December 20, 2010 @10:12AM (#34614982) Homepage Journal

    Folks with a few spare cycles/resources who are growing tired of these 'module' measuring contests might want to throw a bone to Parrot VM [parrot.org]. Write a module in ruby, use it from perl6, python, lua, tcl, whatever, or pick any combination above.

    I won't wave the red flag explicitly, but suffice it to say I look forward to good ruby performance on parrot.

  • Re:After 10 years? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) on Monday December 20, 2010 @11:44AM (#34615768) Journal

    Ok, so we can cancel all Math classes after 10 years right? Because anything logical should take less time to completely learn and understand. Lets face it: Math professors are lazy bastards that don't deserve their research grants. /sarcasm

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