I am just looking into Ruby, as my first language to learn. Do you need anything special to use Ruby on the web, are there host for Ruby, and how popular is Ruby amoung web developers? thx for your input
Well, my first language wasn't Ruby, but IMHO it should be as easy as any other to learn. It might be harder once you get beyond the beginner stuff, but that's true for anything. AFAIK there are lots of affordable hosts that have it. But before you buy a host, you should try it on your computer first. Try using the one-click installer and then you can open a browser and go to "localhost" to see the results. If you don't mind working from the command line prompt that will be a big plus.
The one click installer that I think Mittineague refers to can be found here:
There are also tutorials there on how to set up Rails (the most commonly used Ruby web framework) to work with it:
Personally, I'd suggest you start with plain Ruby and then move on to web stuff once you've had a play with Ruby. The pickaxe book is a good place to start. Working through some of the exercises in the original edition is a good start and you can access that for free here: