[Vit-discuss] Top Ruby Projects algorithm?

James Britt james.britt at gmail.com
Fri Aug 25 20:59:39 EDT 2006

why the lucky stiff wrote:
> On Fri, Aug 25, 2006 at 03:39:16PM -0700, James Britt wrote:
>>It isn't clear to me (nor is this a big deal) that this solves an actual 
>>user problem or need.
> Well, libraries are generally considered Ruby's weak point.  That we don't
> have CPAN or that our libraries are shambles.  We want to do all we can to
> counterattack that prevailing notion.  We want to demonstrate that we have a
> wealth of libraries, useful and widespread, with an entire system for
> distributing them and announcing them.  Whoa, Ruby has that!

Quite true, and a concise way to show the wealth of Ruby libraries would 
go a long way towards educating the public.   Displaying the same set of 
  libraries (either the actual top five, or some random set of five of 
the top 30) hides this diversity.

When Dave Thomas was preparing the 2nd ed. of the pick-axe there was, I 
think, some discussion as to whether  a lengthy, yet clearly incomplete, 
back section was a good thing.  After getting my copy, I discovered that 
while each specific entry in the std lib ref was necessarily 
incomplete, as a whole it was remarkable because one could easily browse 
through it and discover forgotten on unknown treasures.  Providing this 
sort of serendipity on ruby-lang.org would be good.  A "Top X" is too 
much of a keyhole to expose the richness of Ruby.

> The presence of good libraries is probably amoung the top five reasons someone
> picks a language, maybe?  For some, it's first even.  Regardless, it can break
> the whole empire.  Let's show off some libraries and let's keep talking about
> how we can really drive the point, you know?

Absolutely.  A downside to having a new, custom description of a 
different library each [:week, :month, :season] is the reliance on 
someone's time and effort, but that personal touch may be quite the draw 
to have people come around to learn more about the "Project of the 

I'm a big fan of automating the mundane; the real trick is knowing when 
the mundane is the very wrong thing.

James Britt

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