You Win, Ruby
After the last three months, I've come to the conclusion: Ruby is a wonderful language, and I don't want to write code in Perl any more. I like Perl: it's fast, powerful, and has a terrific community around it. If you wanted to run your television through a LEGO USB IR transceiver, yeah, there's probably something in CPAN for that. However, I'm finding that the rocky syntax of Perl gets in the way of my thinking. I don't want to use
to get at at what should be a simple data structure. Using five special characters on a variable makes my code hard to understand, and makes it easier to cause bugs. It's a good language, but Perl has its limits. After spending months writing clean, joyful code, I think that the Ruby language maps more closely to the domains of the problems I'm trying to solve.
There are a lot of things I like very much about Ragnar: it's quite fast, extensively configurable, and compliant with web standards by design. XSLT transforms keep logic and presentation well separated, and the powerful query engine makes node-level logic simple. I plan to preserve the best aspects of this design, but refactor the code into a Ruby platform, separate node data taipus into a more traditional database schema for efficiency, and define a plugin architecture with callbacks for node lifecycle handling. For now, at least, I'll avoid the temptation to use Rails for this project: I prefer XSLT, and working this way is more fun for me. :-)
It'll be nice to have a new project.