Topic: nice compiled language to supplement ruby hacking

Prodded by The Pragmatic Programmer, I have decided to learn a new programming language next year. Not being one to get caught up in frivolous academia, I am looking to learn a language that will be a good supplement to my Ruby/Rails development.

Since I already know the most productive interpreted language ever dreamed up by mortal man, I figure it might be a good time to learn a compiled language. Something I can "drop down to" when Ruby's performance just isn't cutting it.

Now of course, the automatic answer will be "C". After all, MRI is built in C and Ruby has great support for C extensions. But I'm a little freaked out by the prospect of getting that close to the metal. I have a feeling that C would make for a very tedious, unproductive year indeed.

And so, without further ado, my question:

What compiled language would be a good fit as a supplement to Ruby, but still more productive than C?

I currently am scoping out Erlang and D, but I am quite retarted in regards to anything compiled. I saw the Erlang video linked to by a couple of Rails blogs, but couldn't quite tell if it was just supposed to be a joke.

Are these languages viable options? Perhaps there is a better one that I don't know about? Or am I just hopelessly stuck with C?

I thought about how mothers feed their babies with tiny little spoons and forks, so I wondered what do Chinese mothers use. Toothpicks?

Re: nice compiled language to supplement ruby hacking

What OS are you running? If you are on Mac OS X, I highly recommend learning Objective-C with Cocoa. I learned this before Ruby & Rails and it really helped me with regards to object orienged programming. You will also become more familiar with C but keep the object-oriented goodness. On top of this you get to create some fun programs to run locally with a native UI.

If you are running Windows, you can probably say the same thing as the above, but with C# and .NET framework.

Railscasts - Free Ruby on Rails Screencasts

Re: nice compiled language to supplement ruby hacking

ryanb wrote:

What OS are you running? If you are on Mac OS X, I highly recommend learning Objective-C with Cocoa. I learned this before Ruby & Rails and it really helped me with regards to object orienged programming. You will also become more familiar with C but keep the object-oriented goodness. On top of this you get to create some fun programs to run locally with a native UI.

If you are running Windows, you can probably say the same thing as the above, but with C# and .NET framework.

I'm on OS X. I had thought about learning Objective-C. Some of the new tm-dialog stuff in TextMate does look pretty cool. Maybe I'll take a look at it.

I thought about how mothers feed their babies with tiny little spoons and forks, so I wondered what do Chinese mothers use. Toothpicks?

Re: nice compiled language to supplement ruby hacking

If you are learning Cocoa, the CocoaDev wiki is a great resource. I hung around there a lot a couple years back.

Railscasts - Free Ruby on Rails Screencasts

Re: nice compiled language to supplement ruby hacking

I'm considering learning ObjC for a project myself. Cocoa seems different from the GUI programming I'm used to though (a little Visual Basic/C# stuff) but I don't think the learning curve will be too bad neutral

vinnie - rails forum admin

Re: nice compiled language to supplement ruby hacking

I picked up Programming in Objective-C. Should be fun!

I thought about how mothers feed their babies with tiny little spoons and forks, so I wondered what do Chinese mothers use. Toothpicks?

Re: nice compiled language to supplement ruby hacking

D is an excellent language. Walter Bright, its developer, is a very clever chap.

If you want something that gets away from the C-style syntax, try Delphi (Object Pascal). You can download free versions from: http://www.turboexplorer.com/

best wishes

Huw

p.s. Just noticed you're on OSX. Delphi is Windows only. You could try this an an alternative: http://www.freepascal.org/

Last edited by Huw (2007-01-12 16:54:23)