> «widely used programming languages are modified until they resemble Ruby»
This is an interesting observation, and it has echoes of Greenspun's Tenth Rule. I'm not sure exactly how true the statement is, but I suppose it used to be (or still is?) the case that the same thing could've been said with C in place of Ruby.
Ah, yes. Jerf's CLispScript Principle of Descriptive Programming Linguistics: Any sufficiently popular language contains as many practical features as possible with a C++esque syntax bolted on, and is approximately the same as contemporary sufficiently popular languages.
It should be noted that sufficiently popular languages incorporate as many buzzwords and design patterns as possible, which I suppose can be accounted for as 'features'.
I like it, but I stick with Perl because it adds the OO stuff with Moose and being an older project has made more mistakes that have been fixed. Oh and CPAN of course,
Still telling people to either learn Ruby, if they want to get up to speed quickly. Else I tell them to learn Perl. It's a bit harder to learn, but easier to use. Well for some people (linguists, etc.) Perl is easier to learn too.