By the time, information was scarce and the internet was just a sea of porn (wait, it still is, but you wouldn't find anything else useful).
Now I wish I learnt to program in Ruby.
My cousin was trying to program in Python. I answered a lot of his questions by IM. Thing is, he got confused by Python's identation.
I think it is a bad thing to new programmers. Also he doesn't speak english (we're brazilian) so there is few free material for him.
Ruby wouldn't solve this problem. But I think it is easier to understand the code in ruby.