Ruby is a better Perl and in my opinion is an essential language for system administrators. If you are still writing scripts in Bash, I hope this inspires you to start integrating Ruby in to your shell scripts. I will show you how you can ease in to it and make the transition very smoothly.
The idea with 'enhanced shell scripting' is to create hybrid Ruby/Bash scripts. The reason for this is to take advantage of both worlds. Ruby makes it seamless to pass data back and forth with shell commands.
There are many times when running shell commands is easier or required when there is an external command-line utilities you need to run.
On the other hand, Bash syntax is quite ugly and difficult to remember, and it has very limited features. Ruby offers two tons of object-oriented power, along with tons of libraries and better syntax.
We will look at how to write 'enhanced shell scripts' using Ruby and other tips on taking advantage of both worlds.