But it seems that the backlash is now arriving. Are we approaching what Gartner calls "Trough of Disillusionment"?
On one hand everybody wants to jump on the bandwagon:
- Martin Fowler blogs about Microsoft loosing the Alpha Geeks, which he relates to Ruby. This stirred a lot of waves.
- JRuby brings Ruby to the JVM.
- Microsoft is creating IronRuby.
- C# 3.0 adapts some rubyesque features.
- Not to forget Groovy and Grails...
On the other hand, there are more and more people voicing their rather critical opinion towards the ruby-hype. Here are two interesting articles I stumbled across lately:
- Invasion Of The Dynamic Language Weenies: This is a rather long but well written article that investigates the claims of the ruby-hype.
- What’s Wrong With Ruby?: Another critical look at Ruby as a language which ignited a real flame-war (see comments).
I personally cannot claim, that I have yet fully grasped the implications and consequences of Ruby and dynamic languages in general. I think that Ruby and especially Ruby on Rails brings some fresh air to the 'dusty old' enterprise development, and therefore has a certain pedagogical effect. The biggest value I see there, is the adamant adherence of good design principles like DRY and Convention over Configuration. Another point of value is that successful Ruby projects teach us, that 'lightweight enterprise development' is feasible in reality. But those points are basically language independent. So the insights we gain from the whole ruby-hype can be applied to other environments.
I don't think Ruby is a silver bullet for enterprise development in general. But when you wholeheartedly embrace it, it could well become your personal silver bullet...