James E. Gray has been busily posting a series of articles about the ruby-talk to comp.lang.ruby gateway (The mail to news portion is discussed here). Given the impact that these have on the community, I’d say they should be required reading. Go take a look at them now, I’ll wait.
Done reading? Good. There are two things I think we (the Ruby community) should be doing in response to these posts.
First, we really should be going over James’ ideas, design, and code with a fine tooth comb. Not because he’s a poor coder or designer, but because this is important stuff (and because we just might find ways to make a good thing even better). As James says in his rules: propose “changes to the Gateway by commenting on the code articles.” And, when make suggestions, write code (tested code) and submit it there as well (with tests).
Second, we should be looking at doing the same kind of thing with our code, especially if it involves the community (but even if it doesn’t). Post it, explain it, let people look and play with it. James is a master at guiding people through code, highlighting the important stuff, and explaining it all. The Ruby community would be very well served if we would all follow James’ lead here.