Rambling about programming and life as a programmer

Culture shock

Posted by webmat on November 16, 2007

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I had a bit of a culture shock a couple of days ago. I saw a video of the visual designer for IronRuby, named SapphireSteel. The tool looks very nice and polished.

Something unsettled me, however, when I saw it. It has nothing to do with the team or what the narrator says. In the demo, he shows us a couple of features of the designer, and inevitably we end up seeing snippets of code. That’s when the culture shock, uhh, shocked me.

I’ve seen plenty of verbose code in my time. I even work in C# right now, which I find errs on the side of verbosity. So I’m used to seeing verbose code, and I’m certainly used to see WinForms code.

But seeing this WinForms code in Ruby felt very weird.

WinForms in Ruby is Still WinForms

WinForms code in Ruby is still exactly as verbose as in C#. Only the semicolons are missing.

C# colleagues might tell me that this code just satisfies what the API wants to hear, in the way it wants to hear it. But I’m getting used really fast of the Ruby way of doing things. Which consists “sane defaults” for a start, and using DSLs to solve complex problems in a declarative manner rather than in an imperative manner.

WinForms development with Ruby screams for a Rubyish wrapper. Anybody up for that? If it can be done for Java’s Swing (with Profligacy, the Swing reducer), it can certainly be done for WinForms.

For my part, however, I’d be much more interested in exploring XAML with Ruby, but that’s another story.

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