An introduction, in about 50 lines of Ruby.


Alexei Broner

Hi, I'm Lex. I've been Rubying for a few months now and can't get

I'm new to the list, so I'll tell a little bit about myself. I'm 23
years old and a high school dropout. I'm a self-taught programmer
starting from the age of 10. I've learned 13 languages (not including
markup languages) and my favorites (depending on the task) are Ruby,
Scheme, JavaScript, Java, C, and assembly. I work as an enterprise Java
developer and love it, but I have aspirations to work with AI and game

I'm a bit of a braggart and apologize for it. My arrogant tendencies
recently led me to writing the attached program. I believe it is a
suitable greeting for this list.

I recently made the mistake of comparing a Ruby "hello world" program to
a Java "hello world" program while at work and it began an office war of
the shortest hello world in various languages (from clipper to klingon).

Well after the artillery died down, I decided to flip the coin and write
a long "Hello World". It's just obfuscated enough to not contain "hello
world" anywhere in it, but should still be pretty easy to follow. My
hope was that it would inspire my office mates to have to learn a little
Ruby just to figure out how it worked, while demonstrating some of the
neat features Ruby has to offer.

Thanks to everybody for a great list and a great language.




Alexei Broner

You guys are no fun. I didn't even get "that's not really recursive,
it's building an external variable.", much less a "Hello, welcome to the

Maybe I should go learn Python...

Lloyd Linklater

Peter said:
There is certainly a decline in the quality of the beginners post, they
are sometimes coming down to the subject line being the whole post and
other bitching about how no one is helping them. I am reminded of Zed's
comments and something DDH said. "We own you nothing" (to paraphrase).
Some of the beginners don't make the effort to ask for help, it is
almost as if they are throwing their cloths in the laundry basket and
expecting their mom to magically clean and fix them.

Outstanding point. This goes along nicely with from another thread.
We want to help because we are helpful and nice people, sometimes to our
misfortune. We do take time to read and answer when we can but it is
not the obligation that some reactions indicate is perceived.

I have gotten wonderful help here on some things and not others. That
is fine. Sometimes you just need to muddle through. I know that there
are posts that I automatically decline to help. When someone posts with
a 'this is more than I want to figure out so I won't even try. Here, do
it FOR me.' are discarded forthwith. People that ask intelligent
questions that say that they tried and are running into walls and just
want to get past those, them I like going the extra mile for when I can.

All that to say, we might do some weeding. James Gray asked an
excellent question:
So I'll go out on a limb here, I respectfully request that an official
"ruby-pro" (or some such name) be created.

James said:
Will you be deciding who is a pro? Will you be preventing new users
from joining?

Well, I suggest that we try letting people decide for themselves which
they are. I have seen many posts where the subject line outright says
that it is a noob question, so they know. I think that it would have
the side benefit of letting those that are a little less of a noob to
help the total noobs. That would let people look and help where they
want to with a pre-filtered list.


Ilan Berci

IMHO, I believe that posting has declined over the last couple of years
due to ruby maturing as a language. It has now become a friendly,
familliar, and reliable tool instead of the rough, cutting edge one it
used to be.

i.e. After writing a 1000 blocks, I still think they are the coolest
thing since sliced bread but they don't keep me up at night like they
used to.. :)


Marc Heiler

It has now become a friendly, familliar, and reliable tool instead of the
rough, cutting edge one it used to be.

I am not sure to what you refer but in my experience the ruby community
was rather friendly even ~4 years ago.

The only difference I seem to have noticed is that there are now a lot
more people using ruby compared to ~4 years ago, and I also mean non-RoR
using ruby guys.

Alexei Broner

Alright! That's more like it!

Well, this thread WAS hijacked, but it seems to have spawned a good
discussion and that's more than it was really worth anyhow.

@Matz and @Peter Hickman
The Python jab was trolling, I'll admit it. I definitely won't say that
I know Python, I know enough to think that the indent-block syntax is
neat and that being required to pass "self" to instance methods is not.

I just wanted to say "hello" to the group. Totally posting my ego and
little more. I found my 'hello' program a little more clever than most
'hello world' programs and was testing the community a little by
trolling it and seeing what would happen.

I will say that I'm impressed that I didn't get any flames and not only
that, but my pretty useless thread became a legitimate discussion. I
applaud you all.

I hope, in time, I will be able to contribute to this community and help
build what we all know is great.

P.S. I'm all for a beginner's list. I feel I fit in between and I
believe that's why it would work. I definitely know enough to help
beginners out, but I don't know enough to consider myself a pro, but
when I need help I would turn to the pro list for my answers. I believe
that there are many 'intermediate' Rubyists, like myself, that would tie
the two lists together and bring a separation-of-concerns to this
growing community.



Peter Hickman

I do not think that a beginners list is a good idea. It smacks of a
crèche, a place where children are put to keep them from bothering the
grown-ups. Although I do not answer many questions and am probably
responsible for upsetting the boat more often than not I will help if I
can but I would not join a list that does nothing for me. Selfish I know
but I have no interest in reading a list that does not interest me. Also
people on the beginners list would miss out on all the conversation that
grown-ups were having.

I used to read Scientific American and Nature as a kid, it took two
years of reading Scientific American before I became literate enough to
learn things (five for Nature). But being over my head was a great
learning experience, you just don't get that in a crèche.

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