Try Ruby!

Posted in Programming on Friday, the 27th of October, 2006.

I'm intrigued, perhaps even impressed by Why's Try Ruby!, an interactive, in-browser Ruby tutorial. It really is quite a fascinating collision of technologies.

It's almost painfully Web 2.0 - I'm pretty sure most of the buzzwords are there - Ruby, Ajax, that sort of thing. All sat on top of the ubiquitous Json and Prototype libraries.

It's a neat idea, and a useful tool in learning what is a very interesting programming language, but it displays something which is has become alarmingly common in the Web 2.0 landgrab - a complete disregard for the usability conventions and metaphors that have made the web such a success in the first place. Want to bookmark a particularly useful page of the tutorial? Oops, no, sorry - you can't do that, best start again. Want to hit your 'back' button and run over that tricky last section again? No such luck.

I don't want to sound like a miserable old bugger (well, maybe just a little), but I'm starting to fear for the future of HTTP. I'm nostalgic for TBL's original design.

Still, everyone has the sense that we're in a fascinating and exciting phase in the Web's development - even I can't deny that. It will be interesting to see how this pans out.


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