What do you use Ruby for?

Discussion in 'Ruby' started by Glenn, May 3, 2004.

  1. Glenn

    Glenn Guest

    OK, the more I read about Ruby (currently on page 29 of the FAQ,
    having read Matz' (translated) user-guide, the more I like it. The
    funny thing is that Smalltalk is one of those languages I've always
    wanted to learn, but never quite got to grips with. Ruby seems to
    have a lot Smalltalk, but packaged up in nice wrapping paper.

    The downside for me is that generally I can't see myself using Ruby
    day-to-day at work, because it's not ALL that common for me to require
    a scripting language. That said, if I could push myself to find
    reasons, I'd really like to use it more and more. And I'll certainly
    be trying!!

    I guess it's primary use would be for dynamic web pages, just like
    Perl etc. but as I don't get involved in that kind of thing, that's
    no good to me.

    So what do YOU use Ruby for? What kinds of development are you using
    it for (I'm not asking for trade secrets or anything!).
     
    Glenn, May 3, 2004
    #1
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  2. Glenn

    Ara.T.Howard Guest

    On 3 May 2004, Glenn wrote:

    > OK, the more I read about Ruby (currently on page 29 of the FAQ,
    > having read Matz' (translated) user-guide, the more I like it. The
    > funny thing is that Smalltalk is one of those languages I've always
    > wanted to learn, but never quite got to grips with. Ruby seems to
    > have a lot Smalltalk, but packaged up in nice wrapping paper.
    >
    > The downside for me is that generally I can't see myself using Ruby
    > day-to-day at work, because it's not ALL that common for me to require
    > a scripting language. That said, if I could push myself to find
    > reasons, I'd really like to use it more and more. And I'll certainly
    > be trying!!
    >
    > I guess it's primary use would be for dynamic web pages, just like
    > Perl etc. but as I don't get involved in that kind of thing, that's
    > no good to me.
    >
    > So what do YOU use Ruby for? What kinds of development are you using
    > it for (I'm not asking for trade secrets or anything!).



    - image processing using classes wrapping mmap and narray

    - any app where i need a little database, but don't need a database server
    (YAML::Store, PStore, Madeline, etc.)

    - any app where i need to interface to an rdbms - i use postgresql

    - any web code

    - static html generation

    - code generators - config files, C programs, fortran programs, etc.

    - wrapping arcane C and idl programs with a command line interface that makes
    sense (we have a lot of code that __requires__ 30 or 40 arguments to run!)

    - gui programs, just shippped a gui last week

    - data munging, ascii and binary. i use mmap for binary munging...

    - distributed applications, drb, nfslocked PStore, etc.

    - general 'scripting' tasks


    actually, i guess i use ruby for __everything__. let me ask you this, what
    kind of programming do you do and what makes you think it cannot be done in
    ruby? i'm not saying it can't, just wondering.

    -a
    --
    ===============================================================================
    | EMAIL :: Ara [dot] T [dot] Howard [at] noaa [dot] gov
    | PHONE :: 303.497.6469
    | ADDRESS :: E/GC2 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80305-3328
    | URL :: http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/stp/
    | TRY :: for l in ruby perl;do $l -e "print \"\x3a\x2d\x29\x0a\"";done
    ===============================================================================
     
    Ara.T.Howard, May 3, 2004
    #2
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  3. Glenn

    Jamey Cribbs Guest

    Glenn wrote:

    >So what do YOU use Ruby for? What kinds of development are you using
    >it for (I'm not asking for trade secrets or anything!).
    >
    >
    >

    Well, lately, I've been using Ruby and FXRuby to write gui database apps
    for work, something I used to use Delphi for. :)

    Jamey

    Confidentiality Notice: This email message, including any attachments, is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and/or privileged information. If you are not the intended recipient(s), you are hereby notified that any dissemination, unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution of this email and any materials contained in any attachments is prohibited. If you receive this message in error, or are not the intended recipient(s), please immediately notify the sender by email and destroy all copies of the original message, including attachments.
     
    Jamey Cribbs, May 3, 2004
    #3
  4. Glenn

    Phil Tomson Guest

    In article <>,
    Glenn <> wrote:
    >OK, the more I read about Ruby (currently on page 29 of the FAQ,
    >having read Matz' (translated) user-guide, the more I like it. The
    >funny thing is that Smalltalk is one of those languages I've always
    >wanted to learn, but never quite got to grips with.


    Same here. It's on my TODO list.

    >Ruby seems to
    >have a lot Smalltalk, but packaged up in nice wrapping paper.


    Or at least more familiar wrapping paper.

    >
    >The downside for me is that generally I can't see myself using Ruby
    >day-to-day at work, because it's not ALL that common for me to require
    >a scripting language. That said, if I could push myself to find
    >reasons, I'd really like to use it more and more. And I'll certainly
    >be trying!!
    >
    >I guess it's primary use would be for dynamic web pages, just like
    >Perl etc. but as I don't get involved in that kind of thing, that's
    >no good to me.
    >
    >So what do YOU use Ruby for? What kinds of development are you using
    >it for (I'm not asking for trade secrets or anything!).


    First off, have a look at this page on the Rubygarden wiki:
    http://www.rubygarden.org/ruby?RealWorldRuby


    I'm currently using Ruby at work to develop a GUI app using Ruby/FLTK.
    It will be distributed to customers. Can't say much
    else, except that I'm about 4x more productive in Ruby than I am in C++
    (this helped sell management on using Ruby) and for this particular
    application execution speed isn't an issue, but development speed is.

    I'm also working on my Masters degree and I use Ruby for a lot of class
    projects. Currently I'm working on a Quantum Design Language(QDL) for
    representing and simulating Quantum circuits (This is for a class on
    Quantum Computing). Ruby's code blocks make this easy. I'll be
    announcing my first release of QDL in class today. (I suppose I could
    also release it on the RAA, but this a a very specific Domain Specific
    Language and I doubt anyone else would be interested).

    It might be best to turn the question around and ask what kind of
    programming do you do? I'm sure we can suggest somewhere you can use Ruby
    in your day-to-day work.

    Welcome to the Ruby community.

    Phil
     
    Phil Tomson, May 3, 2004
    #4
  5. Glenn wrote:
    8< snipped some lines ...
    >
    > So what do YOU use Ruby for? What kinds of development are you using
    > it for (I'm not asking for trade secrets or anything!).


    There's a whole world of possibilities. Look at

    http://www.rubygarden.org/ruby?RealWorldRuby

    for example.
    I personally use it for pretty much the same purposes mentioned in other
    postings.

    Welcome aboard and happy rubying

    Stephan
     
    Stephan Kämper, May 3, 2004
    #5
  6. Glenn

    Aredridel Guest

    For me, an accounting package, currently web-based, but it will be
    GUI-based as well.

    Also, it runs my mailing lists (using tml), my webmail (home-brewed and
    as yet unreleased), and parts of my ISP login system.

    Ari
     
    Aredridel, May 3, 2004
    #6
  7. Glenn

    Mike Hall Guest

    Glenn wrote:

    >So what do YOU use Ruby for?


    Playing with MIDI files: taking them apart, analyzing music, prototyping
    new chaos and random MIDI generators, prototyping algorithms that
    will be written in assembly language for an 8-bit micro, most text processing
    (although 'awk' is still a great one for that since so much is done automatically).
     
    Mike Hall, May 3, 2004
    #7
  8. Glenn

    James Toomey Guest

    I think you mentioned in an earlier post that you're a VB & VBScript
    programmer. This is also my primary field of work, so I can attest to
    Ruby's usefulness in replacing lots of the applications that I write
    for people. I used to write these apps in VB, but this meant keeping
    all the source code files in a separate directory, then recompiling
    the *.exe file each time, testing, recompliling, etc. With a Ruby
    script, I can just open the script right on the user's computer, make
    a change to the code, and re-run it right there. It's an incredible
    time saver.
    Also, I write lots of SQL Server stored procedures, and use Ruby to
    help me write the code. For example, if I have to type
    Select day01, day02, day03, ... up through 31, instead of manually
    typing all 31 field names, I just use a couple quick lines of Ruby
    code:
    1.upto(9){|x| puts 'day0' + x.to_s + ','}
    10.upto(31){|x| puts 'day' + x.to_s + ','}
    and I have my complete list. There are many areas like this where it's
    useful. I've had people ask me for a list of all the Word documents
    with more than 100 characters in the filename's length. This kind of
    search goes beyond Windows' searching capability, so I have a Ruby
    script to search for this. I used to write these in VBScript, but
    there was no easy way to make a GUI front-end. It's so easy to make a
    GUI for these scripts using the FXRuby examples.
    Like you, I'd love to see Ruby replace VB for rapid application
    development. It has the same readability and clarity as VB which helps
    novices, but also has the power and object-orientedness that VB lacks.
    (Yes, I know that VB.Net adds all that, but that's another story.)
     
    James Toomey, May 4, 2004
    #8
  9. At 02:18 04/05/2004 +0900, you wrote:
    >OK, the more I read about Ruby (currently on page 29 of the FAQ,
    >having read Matz' (translated) user-guide, the more I like it. The
    >funny thing is that Smalltalk is one of those languages I've always
    >wanted to learn, but never quite got to grips with. Ruby seems to
    >have a lot Smalltalk, but packaged up in nice wrapping paper.
    >
    >The downside for me is that generally I can't see myself using Ruby
    >day-to-day at work, because it's not ALL that common for me to require
    >a scripting language. That said, if I could push myself to find
    >reasons, I'd really like to use it more and more. And I'll certainly
    >be trying!!
    >
    >I guess it's primary use would be for dynamic web pages, just like
    >Perl etc. but as I don't get involved in that kind of thing, that's
    >no good to me.
    >
    >So what do YOU use Ruby for? What kinds of development are you using
    >it for (I'm not asking for trade secrets or anything!).


    I personally use it to prototype a RAD telephony framework that should start
    working when it will be about 50 000 lines of code (15 000 as of today).
    I hope that some of the prototype will be production quality and that
    delivering will mainly imply optimizing small portion of the Ruby code. I am
    yet unsure about the exact extend because Ruby is rather slow for some of my
    needs. On the OTOH I think I have never been that much productive in my life.
    So, I am pretty sure that betting on Ruby was a good choice.

    If speed is less an issue, I believe that Ruby can do what Perl can do.
    You may have less libraries but you get a nicer object oriented syntax.
    Give it a try, you'll get hooked. Ruby: The drug language ;-)

    Oh. And it's fun too.

    Yours,

    Jean-Hugues



    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Web: http://hdl.handle.net/1030.37/1.1
    Phone: +33 (0) 4 92 27 74 17
     
    Jean-Hugues ROBERT, May 4, 2004
    #9
  10. Glenn

    Glenn Guest

    My primary work involves data-cleaning/derivation (13 million records
    of 400 fields to be cleaned and extra fields derived from the supplied
    data). For this we use Oracle 9i, and I'm happy using PL/SQL for this,
    and in this I work in a team of two, the other guy a long-term PL/SQL
    guru/fan.

    My other major work is in developing GUI front-ends to a database
    (again, usually Oracle). As with most companies we primarily use
    Windows, and I've not found a better development environment for this
    (well, for me anyway) than Visual Basic. It has it's downsides but
    mostly it's fine, and I've been using it for years.

    If anything I guess it's the GUI development environment I'll need
    another language for (eventually). VB6 is obviously dying now, VB.NET
    or C# are the obvious direction, but I'm not totally happy with .NET.
    They are totally different to VB so either way I've got to learn a new
    language, and Microsoft don't seem to be agreed on the direction of
    their underlying libraries.

    So I thought I might take the opportunity to learn a more
    cross-platform language.

    Ruby might not fit the bill totally, yet, but the core language itself
    seems very well designed and certainly has a lot of community support.
    I imagine that over time it's power will grow - I guess by power it's
    not the language so much that seems to be lacking, more the VB-like
    IDE with screen designer and hooks into the language that I'd miss
    (unless somebody knows something I don't).

    I'm interested in Jamey's comment that he uses Ruby with FXRuby,
    instead of Delphi. I'll take a look at FXRuby, but wonder why you
    prefer to (or so it appears) hand code a GUI instead of draw it. That
    would seem a backward step for me? (no offense meant, I'm interested)

    By the way, this seems a very nice forum with some friendly people!

    All the best
     
    Glenn, May 4, 2004
    #10
  11. -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
    Hash: SHA1

    Glenn wrote:

    | I'm interested in Jamey's comment that he uses Ruby with FXRuby,
    | instead of Delphi. I'll take a look at FXRuby, but wonder why you
    | prefer to (or so it appears) hand code a GUI instead of draw it. That
    | would seem a backward step for me? (no offense meant, I'm interested)

    You should look at fox-tool.rubyforge.org. It is just a preview, but for
    ~ most of my FXRuby projects it has worked a charm.


    - --
    kaspar

    semantics & semiotics
    code manufacture

    www.tua.ch/ruby
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    Comment: Using GnuPG with Thunderbird - http://enigmail.mozdev.org

    iD8DBQFAl3XhFifl4CA0ImQRAiQpAJ96N5Ln9JHEVuBKyt81Ex67DvNIhACgmL1C
    7Oirk+QVvH0APRhNZvRIsoE=
    =5lJj
    -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
     
    Kaspar Schiess, May 4, 2004
    #11
  12. Glenn

    Carlos Guest

    [Glenn <>, 2004-05-03 19.18 CEST]
    [...]
    > So what do YOU use Ruby for? What kinds of development are you using
    > it for (I'm not asking for trade secrets or anything!).


    Sadly, for now, only to generate code in the programming languages I must
    use at work (Java, PHP) :(, and any scripting I must do to build the
    application.

    At least, I don't have to write ugly SWT code; instead I can do something
    like:

    group:)buttonsGrp, [:SHADOW_OUT]) {
    composite {
    gridlayout {
    columnsequal true
    marginh 0; ncolumns 2
    }

    button:)saveBtn, [:pUSH,:FLAT]) {
    image :saveImg
    text res "save"
    griddata { grabh; halign :FILL }
    }
    button:)editBtn, [:pUSH,:FLAT]) {
    image :editImg
    text res "button-edit"
    griddata { grabh; halign :FILL }
    }
    }
    ...

    Still it is a sad situation :-/.
     
    Carlos, May 4, 2004
    #12
  13. Glenn

    Phil Tomson Guest

    In article <>,
    Glenn <> wrote:
    >
    >I'm interested in Jamey's comment that he uses Ruby with FXRuby,
    >instead of Delphi. I'll take a look at FXRuby, but wonder why you
    >prefer to (or so it appears) hand code a GUI instead of draw it. That
    >would seem a backward step for me? (no offense meant, I'm interested)
    >


    I'm not Jamey, but I'll offer my comments...

    I'm using Ruby FLTK (Fast Light ToolKit) for developing a cross-platform
    GUI. I started out using a modified version of FLUID (FLTK's GUI builder)
    that spits out Ruby code instead of C++. I must say that FLUID is a very
    nice GUI-building tool, however, after a while I started 'hand-coding' the
    GUI instead. Why would I do that? Because I prefer the I can hand-craft
    over the code that gets generated by the GUI builder. Actually, it might
    be more accurate to say I prefer the style of hand-coded GUI code over
    thee style that tends to be imposed by the GUI builder. I find that my
    code tends to be much more reusable than the generated code because when
    I'm coding I tend to think more in terms of aggregating various widgets
    into classes that represent some component of the GUI. The GUI builder
    basically put everything into one big class.

    So for me, I found that I prefer not to use the GUI builder because I've
    got more control over the design of the code. YMMV

    Phil
     
    Phil Tomson, May 4, 2004
    #13
  14. Glenn

    Phil Tomson Guest

    In article <>,
    Jean-Hugues ROBERT <> wrote:
    >At 02:18 04/05/2004 +0900, you wrote:
    >
    >I personally use it to prototype a RAD telephony framework that should start
    >working when it will be about 50 000 lines of code (15 000 as of today).
    >I hope that some of the prototype will be production quality and that
    >delivering will mainly imply optimizing small portion of the Ruby code. I am
    >yet unsure about the exact extend because Ruby is rather slow for some of my
    >needs. On the OTOH I think I have never been that much productive in my life.
    >So, I am pretty sure that betting on Ruby was a good choice.
    >
    >If speed is less an issue, I believe that Ruby can do what Perl can do.


    You can also write C-extensions for those methods that need to run faster.
    (Also, I've heard that OO Ruby (which tends to be the default way of doing
    things in Ruby because it's so easy) is faster than OO Perl)

    >You may have less libraries but you get a nicer object oriented syntax.


    Actually, I tend to think that Ruby comes with more libraries (and
    functionality on those libraries) out-of-the-box than Perl does. Sure
    Perl's CPAN is bigger than Ruby's RAA but consider that if you want to do
    a difference on a Perl Array you either need to write a function yourself
    or get something from the CPAN, while in Ruby you just use '-' to get
    the difference between two arrays (also compare String and Hash functions
    between the two languages, I think you'll find that Ruby has a richer set
    of built-in methods).

    >Give it a try, you'll get hooked. Ruby: The drug language ;-)


    Shhhh.... Not so loud, we don't want the DEA to find out. :)

    Phil
     
    Phil Tomson, May 4, 2004
    #14
  15. Glenn

    Jamey Cribbs Guest

    Phil Tomson wrote:

    >I'm not Jamey, but I'll offer my comments...
    >
    >So for me, I found that I prefer not to use the GUI builder because I've
    >got more control over the design of the code. YMMV
    >
    >Phil
    >
    >

    Phil, I couldn't have said it any better myself. :)

    Jamey

    Confidentiality Notice: This email message, including any attachments, is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and/or privileged information. If you are not the intended recipient(s), you are hereby notified that any dissemination, unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution of this email and any materials contained in any attachments is prohibited. If you receive this message in error, or are not the intended recipient(s), please immediately notify the sender by email and destroy all copies of the original message, including attachments.
     
    Jamey Cribbs, May 4, 2004
    #15
  16. Glenn

    Conan Guest

    I used ruby to write a program that plays the stock market(with fake
    money) and displays a portfolio. I also wrote a MUD client that was
    faster than the C++ written one I was using before. Ruby is great at
    all sorts of things. Also, whenever I need to solve some kind of math
    problem or I need a small script to do something ruby is what I use. I
    recently wrote a quick script that takes an archived file(zip, tar, rar)
    full of images and creates an html file displaying all the images.

    Scripting languages are great for day to day work. You can use scripts
    for automating tasks to reduce your workload. After you get used to
    using scripts to speeding up your own work, your fellow employees might
    get jealous of how fast you work ;)

    Conan K Woods

    On Tue, May 04, 2004 at 02:18:59AM +0900, Glenn wrote:
    > OK, the more I read about Ruby (currently on page 29 of the FAQ,
    > having read Matz' (translated) user-guide, the more I like it. The
    > funny thing is that Smalltalk is one of those languages I've always
    > wanted to learn, but never quite got to grips with. Ruby seems to
    > have a lot Smalltalk, but packaged up in nice wrapping paper.
    >
    > The downside for me is that generally I can't see myself using Ruby
    > day-to-day at work, because it's not ALL that common for me to require
    > a scripting language. That said, if I could push myself to find
    > reasons, I'd really like to use it more and more. And I'll certainly
    > be trying!!
    >
    > I guess it's primary use would be for dynamic web pages, just like
    > Perl etc. but as I don't get involved in that kind of thing, that's
    > no good to me.
    >
    > So what do YOU use Ruby for? What kinds of development are you using
    > it for (I'm not asking for trade secrets or anything!).
     
    Conan, May 8, 2004
    #16
  17. Glenn

    Vlad Guest

    Vlad, May 11, 2004
    #17
  18. (Glenn) wrote:
    > funny thing is that Smalltalk is one of those languages I've always
    > wanted to learn, but never quite got to grips with. Ruby seems to
    > have a lot Smalltalk, but packaged up in nice wrapping paper.


    It might be easier to start with if there are no Smalltalkers around
    to help you through the early steps of discovering a totally different
    way of programming culture. If you now Ruby you could become a
    productive Smalltalk programmer very fast because you've probably
    started thinking object oriented ad you are not afraid of strong
    runtime type checking instead of the very common week static types of
    lets say C++ or Java.

    > The downside for me is that generally I can't see myself using Ruby
    > day-to-day at work, because it's not ALL that common for me to require
    > a scripting language. That said, if I could push myself to find
    > reasons, I'd really like to use it more and more. And I'll certainly
    > be trying!!


    Funny! Smalltalk is not a scripting language. If all that prevents you
    from using Ruby is that scripting attitude, either write applications
    in Ruby or give Smalltalk a try.

    I guess many people start to play with scripting languages because
    they are not allowed to choose any main implementation language they
    like in their day by day work. My impression is that many software
    companies try to implement a strategic platform and restrict the
    developer's language decisions. I started to learn Ruby in private
    after some years of Smalltalk while I had a C++ Job. At that time I
    did all the scripting in Awk and Perl because I didn't want to force
    my team members to learn a new language with me. Now I am prepared to
    teach them Ruby if scripting will be an issue again. ;-)

    > So what do YOU use Ruby for? What kinds of development are you using
    > it for (I'm not asking for trade secrets or anything!).


    I write scripts and small script like applications. Basically scripts
    wrapped with a little GUI.

    Cheers
    Sascha
     
    Sascha Doerdelmann, May 12, 2004
    #18
  19. Glenn

    Glenn Guest

    Well in the interest of learning Ruby and keeping up the momentum of
    using it (it really is a nice language IMO), I've decided to write a
    suite of retro-games in Ruby, using RUDL.

    First one will be pacman, followed by something like space invaders
    etc. Just a bit of meaningless fun and a good way to learn.

    I've also ordered the Pragmatic Programmer's book (I know it's
    on-line, but I wanted an old-fashioned printed copy!).

    At work I'm using Ruby for this and that, usual file-processing and
    other scripting requirements.
     
    Glenn, May 12, 2004
    #19
  20. "Glenn" <> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
    news:...
    > Well in the interest of learning Ruby and keeping up the momentum of
    > using it (it really is a nice language IMO), I've decided to write a
    > suite of retro-games in Ruby, using RUDL.
    >
    > First one will be pacman, followed by something like space invaders
    > etc. Just a bit of meaningless fun and a good way to learn.


    I'll wait for space invaders. *g*

    > I've also ordered the Pragmatic Programmer's book (I know it's
    > on-line, but I wanted an old-fashioned printed copy!).


    You share that passion with a lot others in here.

    > At work I'm using Ruby for this and that, usual file-processing and
    > other scripting requirements.


    What has changed? I thought you said you have no use for a scripting
    language. Or did I misread something there?

    Regards

    robert
     
    Robert Klemme, May 12, 2004
    #20
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