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I've not yet done anything substantial with Ruby, but I'd say the
performance issue depends radically on what you're doing. For
general purpose code flow, the kind of stuff I mostly do in
scripting langs, it seems to be a bit slower than perl; haven't
compared the I/O. I'd expect it'd only rarely be faster than Lua and
only approach the speed of Lua if the job you wanted to do happened
to spend most of the compute time in C primitives that are better
implemented in Ruby. So, if you wanna make Ruby shine, do arithmetic
that uses gigantic numbers, that's wondrous quick in Ruby. But for
most jobs it's gonna be way slower. And it's way way bigger:

; ls -l /usr/bin/ruby /usr/bin/perl /usr/bin/lua
-rwxr-xr-x    1 root     root        70464 Apr 25 12:57 /usr/bin/lua
-rwxr-xr-x    2 root     root       527856 Feb  2  2000 /usr/bin/perl
-rwxr-xr-x    1 root     root      1332418 Sep 19 14:59 /usr/bin/ruby
;

There's only one interpreted language that I've heard claimed can be
faster than Lua regularly, that's qscheme.

-Bennett

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