This afternoon I've been reading "Rubyisms in Rails" by Jacob Harris. It's a little PDF download from Addison Wesley about how various aspects of the Ruby language enabled Rails to come into being, and I've been enjoying it quite a bit. I had to stop and laugh when I saw the following quote though:
Because it is not compiled and has no static types, Ruby might seem to be more dangerous to develop in; but in some sense, it can actually be safer to program in: Because developers have no illusions that type checking is a serious defense against bugs, they will not confuse compilation with correctness.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that for the 90% of developers that do a bad job of testing all around, this is not going to be the case.
Also, he makes the statement:
Simple to use and well suited for their purpose, symbols are one of the unique features of Ruby.
I'll just assume that he meant to say, "Simple to use and well suited for their purpose, symbols are one of the great features of Ruby that was taken directly from Smalltalk" and his editor just took it out after he turned in his manuscript.
Overall though, it's a good quick read that does a great job of showing how Ruby makes a lot of the magic in Rails possible. Well worth the bargain price of $9.99.