Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Ruby 2.0.0-rc2 is released (ruby-lang.org)
105 points by haven on Feb 8, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 57 comments

Ruby rescued me from a life of non-programming. I'm happy to see 2.0 inching closer.

I graduated Physics in 1995 and my programming experience had been hobbyist on my Apple II at home as a kid or on my Physics course projects, in simple languages. All my friends went into tech in some way or other mostly programming. I looked at C but after a little poking it scared the heck out of me and, intimidated I gave up and did slmethjng else. Only when I had to did I come back to trying programming 15 years later and discovering Ruby I learned that I could, and that I can. I've loved it ever since.

Languages like ruby and python democratize programming. Learning programming with C is like having a 25 years old mother of 2 as your first girlfriend.

OR it is having a mature and charming 35 year-old with lots of experience as your first girlfriend/boyfriend.

The gap is huge at first but with the growing relationship you learn about all the intricate details of being with someone on a daily basis, which can make all subsequent relationships much easier to handle.

C is rough, it's roots, but it doesn't distort the programmer in any way and teaches very sane principles as much as the innards of the machine, which is always a plus for all further endeavours. Just my two cents.

I think one of the issues is how different languages are taught. My first experience with Java was in an awful CS AP class in high school that was an unrewarding grind and I eventually dropped it. My next experience was in an intro CS course at liberal arts school and the assignments were largely start with an empty screen of code and write some interesting computations from scratch.

What I suppose I didn't realize at the time is that those classes weren't designed to teach me to build things with code, which is what I really wanted to do. I don't even want to be overly critical of the college level course because the academic CS stuff really helped me frame some of my thinking about code in the type of real world applications I build now. We also touched on some Haskell, automata theory, circuits, turing machines and assembly in that class. Still it left me feeling like building programs people use was impossible.

When I first started writing a rails app in ruby it was an "aha!" moment about how people actually get things done. Most people learning ruby learn it in the context of trying to build something others will use.

If I fat thumbed a down vote on my iPhone i apologize as I was trying to upvote you as I think you expressed this very well. I could get going with Ruby quickly and achieve a result fast which made me happy and want to do more.

Writing C code on an older machine kind of taught me that programming is mostly about just one thing:

Managing memory in the most efficient way.

Writing PHP or Ruby code spoils you. You completely forget that memory even exists, until you need to do something heavy. It's a good lesson to learn if you want to move beyond just basic web dev personal project stuff. But if all you need is to automate some calculations or store an email list in a db I wouldn't bother.

This sounds a lot like Stockholm Syndrome :P

Not too sure about this. With the explosion of ajax websites and mobile apps the burden has been put on the client. This means less memory.

It's very odd because as far as mobile is concerned, history is repeating itself. You have local apps running code. You can't assume those people running the app have as much memory as you. To build the best working app, run it on a smartphone with horrible specs. If it runs clean there, it will run clean most anywhere.

On the ajax website side it's the same thing. You're pushing the code execution off on the user. You have to be crafty about not assuming anything about the client.

A recent example I encountered was a "suggest as you type" feature for a website. If you try to lookup suggestions everytime a user types a letter in a search it will fail horribly on machines that are even slightly old. However on newer machines it works like a champ. So should we just not worry about those older machines?

Even the recent local sql db stuff (Web SQL DB) for HTML5 is an attempt to solve memory efficiency with current trends of pushing code execution to the client. Desktops (and most smartphones) now can handle large amounts of data, but the older models of ram storage via javascript arrays etc are not the way to maximize this. The local SQL storage stuff solves this issue by using the ROM.

Really this could have been done from the start (and was with cookies on some level), but necessity is the mother of invention.

No dev has a "love" of being trapped by constraints, but learns to utilize those constraints in the best way possible so when better things come along they can go above and beyond.

A real world example would be someone who learns to efficiently use memory can push off audio/video/image editing processes to the client side, while someone who relies on an abundant amount of memory could only push off maybe a few statistic calculations to the client side.

If you're looking for a business benefit to this: Pushing code execution off on the client without interrupting the user experience saves money on servers when dealing with scalability. Cut the processing in half by putting 50% of processing off on the client side and you cut your server cost in half.

I have to use C because the hardware I use at my company requires it for a number of reasons (performance is not one of them). C was my first language and it is responsible for a very substantial part of my income. But I find the establishment of C and intel arch the reason you still have to use a keyboard chip to enable 32/64 bit mode in a computer:

https://github.com/eduardordm/sisop/blob/master/sisop.asm (see line 110)

C can be low level, but it is mainly a high level language and it will 'distort' programmers just as any other language. Just because it doesn't have simple features it doesn't mean it is closer to the hardware.

C teaches you how to destroy memory, not manage. malloc+free are most harmful functions of the history of computers. (and I don't think I'm exaggerating) You can actually evaluate how awful a C programmer is by counting the number of mallocs/frees he uses.

Oh, I don't like C, by the way. (but I'm really grateful for knowing how to solve problems using this handicapped tool)

The A20 gate is more like switching from 20 bit mode to 32 bit mode. It predates 64 bits by a long time.

Kind of my point, you still need to enable it, even though it doesn't actually exists.

I couldn't have said it better. C provides a wonderful set of glasses through which other languages make excellent sense.

Learning programming with Ruby is like sex with your 14 year old GF. Neither of you know what to do but it's SO EXCITING! Then you find out she's pregnant and you'll be supporting her for the next 18 years.

To continue the analogy. She will also not work half the time and be messy beyond belief.

As a guy, i'm finding these analogies to be... poorly chosen and highly offensive to the extreme. Do we really need to analogize programming languages this way? You may not like Ruby or Python as first languages but I first learnt qbasic. Do I miss it, somedays yeah, but learning one is just like learning real languages. We can learn more than one. They aren't mutually exclusive.

That and can we move beyond high school analogies like this? It is getting tiring and I'm sure to outside observers it isn't helping a curious woman's impression of our corner of humanity.

Yeah sorta got ugly in a hurry there

Well, that escalated quickly.

Yeah, unlike ruby... That only shows that the analogy doesn't fit.

Ha! So true.

I am currently teaching my 8yo programming, or rather in the process of building a set of teaching tools for her - right now things are very early stage, and she's busy playing VIM Adventures to familiarize herself to the keyboard and keystrokes. I'm trying to decide between Ruby and Python, which has the highly recommended Snake Wrangling For Kids going for it.

There's KidsRuby and Hackety Hack on the Ruby side.

Opinionated advice: go full Python or Javascript! Being exposed to first class functions and higher order functions, without needing to wrap your head around OOP or even simple things like code blocks gives you a clear and "functional ready mind": after Python you can jump into Javascript or just as well into Haskell. From Ruby you have a little "baby wall" to climb when you go out of it to the larger world.

Scratch is another option, much simpler than a ruby-based tool (it's fully visual) but dramatically more accessible. My 5 year old can't get enough of it; tonight we covered the Cartesian plane. Kids will probably outgrow it after a couple years since it has no means of abstraction, but it's superb at grabbing their attention.

Currently been going through HacketyHack with her... she just made a star appear on the screen :-)


There are some small issues with Hackety, including one bug in a tutorial. We're working hard on fixing our big upstream dependency before being able to do another release, but please let me know what you think.

If you do decide to do some Python:


Ruby pulled me out of C# hell and allowed me to see other open source stacks and for that I love it. I'm so happy now that I can work with a clean language with a small difficulty curve.

I look like a wizard to management!

I'm not working on projects with millions of daily users, just simple CRUD enterprisey apps, and Ruby and Rails are my Virgil, guiding me through programming hell. :P

Curious what were the worst pain points of C# for you?

I have to be careful about tendonitis flare ups in my wrist from my musician days. That makes languages like Java and C# literally more painful than languages like ruby that require less typing.

Why is control-space so difficult? Christ, Eclipse auto completes so much you can just bounce on control-space all day. "m" ctrl-space "sysout" ctrl-space... It's so easy.

I'll volunteer a few more:

Amazing ecosystem + package manager.

The problems you get to work on tend to be less soul-crushing.

I do lots of typing, day and night, and have had near-crippling pain. I did two things that seriously helped.

First, I mapped keys at the OS level that reduced awkward movements, the most obvious of which is changing the caps lock to control.

The other major thing is acquiring a kinesis keyboard. After several weeks of using it, the pain gradually subsided, and now I have none.

The other thing i did in conjunction with this keyboard was to remap some of the keys unusually, like putting the escape key close to where my thumb could hit it.

There should be enough keyboard choices and key control to make the choice of language on criteria other than wrist or finger pain.

One of the worst pain points of C# for me was that the open source community is practically non-existant. So many wheels end up being reinvented because nobody has bothered to share their wheel, and Microsoft hasn't released their wheel yet.

Why do we have a post about the release candidate? Is this to raise awareness for the release or something. It doesn't seem to make sense to post about all version. If we did this, Chrome browser would be nuts considering how many versions it goes through!

> It doesn't seem to make sense to post about all version.

2.0.0 is kind of a big deal. It's not just any random version.

Furthermore, projects always have trouble getting people to actually use release candidates. I can't tell you the number of times I've seen a project where two or three RCs get released, issues are fixed, and when final comes out, people complain "omg there's so many bugs." They would have been fixed for final if you'd tried the RC!

Preach it brother! The people who don't care about the RC are the ones who jump on it day 1 of the release because it's "finally ready" and then complain about the bugs.

I guess maybe because a release candidate of Ruby might be the "final" Ruby 2.0.0 and it can make gem mainteners want to check their code compatibility. Web developers have difficulties keeping their website up to date with all browser, so it can be overkill to try to keep up with release candidate of every browser.

sure... but ruby is on a yearly release cycle and i don't know about you but this does get me pretty excited. brings out the fan boy in me ;-)

also it gives me heads up that hey new release of ruby coming out soon, maybe i should go test the gems i maintain and make sure they're going to be compatible. RC2 is pretty close to p0

It seems like it'd be possible to automate gem testing for this scenario. Take the 1000 most popular gems, run the tests that come with the gem in 1.9.3. Run the tests again with the RC and see if any that succeed with the stable version fail with the RC.

Many Rubyists use Travis to do CI with their gems, and have ruby-head testing, often with allow-failures set. Here's one of mine: https://travis-ci.org/drapergem/draper

In theory that would work, but the effort to get all the dependencies working for each gem could be overwhelming.

It's Ruby. Every little fucking thing is front page news, from drama to RC releases to security holes. Welcome to programming by celebrity, where what you write isn't half so important as what you write it in, and how many tweets it generates.

Because Rails is very popular and serves a particularly vital role in the startup world that HN caters to.

I find this less irritating than constant press release spam from commercial products, at least.

you sound bitter.

Quite bitter.

Don't wait to try this out, I've been using this in production and it really flies ... I'm getting results in simple tests right around 60-70% which is right in line with this guy https://gist.github.com/soffes/4478454.

Can't really measure performance boost in production though, since I can't afford to get newrelic just yet

newrelic ruby agent is unusable on ruby 2.0 yet anyway. It breaks the whole app. Pretty much everything else works for me though!

Can't wait to see refinements start getting used in libraries. I guess it'll be some time until people start requiring Ruby 2.0, but there are some seriously excellent new features in the works. See https://speakerdeck.com/a_matsuda/ruby-2-dot-0-on-rails for a good overview.

Note that refinements are an 'experimental' feature only for Ruby 2.0, and many library authors don't want to use refinements. So I wouldn't expect to see a very big uptake in their adoption.

I don't know a lot about this, apart from the fact that the implementation is a bit contentious. Can you elaborate on some of the opposition to refinements?

From the rspec maintainer: http://www.ruby-forum.com/topic/4408519

Brian Ford, one of the heads of Rubinius, has also been very outspoken about refinements, though I can't remember a specific link at this time.

Here's an article from Headius, JRuby developer: http://blog.headius.com/2012/11/refining-ruby.html

Thanks Steve :)

I cannot wait for this to become part of the rbenv install list. Looking forward to giving it a spin, particularly due to the require enhancements. They should improve rails boot time significantly.

Update your ruby-build plugin, it's there.

Anyone here using Ruby for non-web stuff?

Yes, a lot. Chef, puppet and vagrant mostly, but also for a lot of command line script.

Yes, command line and ncurses (rbcurse / highline, ffi-ncurses).

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact