chromatic: "Ruby Code Can't Be Bad" - Fortune

chromatic: "Ruby Code Can't Be Bad"

Why are there so many unmaintainable applications written in PHP and Perl? Because PHP and Perl let undisciplined, inexperienced programmers write useful code. So does Ruby -- but give it the popularity and longevity of PHP and Perl (at least in English-speaking circles) and I bet you'll see plenty of bad code written in Ruby too.

This seems like a variant of the Hackers and Painters fallacy. (Paul Graham is rich. Paul Graham writes Lisp. Therefore everyone who writes Lisp will get rich.) "All of the good, smart programmers I know are using Ruby. They write good code. Therefore you can't write bad code in Ruby!"

It feels like there's another fallacy in there somewhere. I want to call it the Pre-Post-Java Blindspot, where Java was the beginning of Serious Programming Languages and only its successor will unseat it. (Like any good fallacy, you have to ignore history, such as the fact that Ruby's between 10 and 12 years old.)

(I mean, if you really just can't read regular expressions, why not admit it? You could start a twelve-step program or something.)

Author chromatic
Work Blog Post for 17-Novemeber-2005