Ted Neward wonders...
Is Ruby the next Lisp? And if so, does that make Ruby a "second chance" for widespread acceptance for Lisp?I would not say Ruby is the next Lisp. Rather, Ruby is one of the most recent Lisp-like languages. Python is a Lisp-like language going back a decade or whatever longer.
Can I learn to be a better Ruby programmer by learning Lisp, or vice versa?Yes. For that matter, one can learn to be a better C programmer by learning Lisp. Or Ruby.
If one of Lisp's strengths is writing programs to write programs, does that make Lisp a natural candidate for building DSLs?Absolutely. And has been in practice for 40 years or more. Literally.
And, again, if the Ruby == modern(Lisp) equation holds true, does that make Ruby a candidate for building DSLs?Ruby would not be *bad* for building DSL's. The difference with Lisp is the syntax and syntactical tools are not as good for doing this in Ruby as they are in Lisp.
DSL's are best built in Lisp and Smalltalk, somewhat less so in Ruby and Python. But Ruby and Python programmers could argue that pretty well with me. I think I know both of them pretty well but not so well as to say I know I know both of them pretty well.