Here’s a video about threads in Ruby - how do you code them? What are the problems with them?
I’m planning a few more short videos about Ruby concurrency. I don’t think enough people
have a good grasp of the tradeoffs and problems of running more than one chunk of code at
once, in Ruby or in general...
Ruby lets you hook in and see (and change!) a lot of behavior of the core language. Methods, constants, classes, variables… Ruby lets you query them all, and change a lot about them.
These are just hooks – things Ruby calls in response to something happening. That’s different from, say, all the methods you can call to find our what’s defined and how – like instance variables, or method bindings, or…
Here’s summaries and links for all the hooks I could find (thanks to Google and StackOverflow!):
There’s a semi-famous book, The Art of the Metaobject Protocol by Kiczales, des Rivieres and Bobrow. Alan Kay, the guy who invented SmallTalk and the phrase “Object Oriented”, called it the best book in ten years.
But it’s takes some describing.
What is a Metaobject Protocol?
You know how Ruby has a class called “Class”? And how all classes are instances of it? And how Class is a subclass of Module?
The Metaobject protocol asks, “what if there were more subclasses of Class? And you could make classes from them, instead of plain old Class?”
Also, it includes what we’d now call introspection functions – they didn’t usually call it that twenty years ago when this was published.
Five minutes on the Internet will find you somebody who thinks Ruby shouldn’t exist and is clearly inferior (try it!). Or pick a big tech company, especially an “Enterprise” company. Same thing – you’ll find a Ruby-hater in five minutes if you’re actually trying.
If Rubyists keep doing the right thing, this will be true forever. Let me explain.
What Ruby Rocks At
There’s a set of things Ruby is really good at. I’ll list some of them:
Prototyping new ideas
Anything web or HTTP
Stuff that doesn’t need to be fast
Reading other people’s code - Ruby is short and readable.
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