What it comes down to is what it's coming down to for
me... platform maturity.

Python on windows has a broad range of libraries
available for anything you could ever dream of:
Apache, Java, Email, Protocols, GTK, Qt, Tk, OpenGL,
PostgreSQL, MySQL, etc etc etc. As far as Python
library availability for Linux, I really don't know,
as I was only looking for windows stuff last night. My
feeling is that while not being quite as comprehensive
as it's windows offerings it still offers a good
depth.

Ruby, on the other hand, while it has a comprehensive
offering on the Linux platform, is hamstrung on
windows by it's lack in important areas. If libraries
exist, they more often then not are NOT being actively
maintained (my research last night indicated that by
and large more Python libraries are continually
actively maintained). This last point is important
because at one time or another Ruby has HAD libraries
to cover any need, but without active maintenance they
are nearly worthless. I for one will not even look at
a library that hasn't had a release in 2004.

So, this is what it comes down to for me... Which
language offers what I need in terms of libraries? I
decided to go looking after having an excrutiating
time finding just Ruby FastCGI, mod_ruby, and
PostgreSQL libraries which would actually work on
Windows - forget being maintained at all. No luck
though. Even a post to the Ruby-Talk list asking for
help with an attempt to install FastCGI for Ruby
yielded only one reply.

Finally, while the Ruby Gem system is exceptionally
easy to work with and a real boon to Ruby, it doesn't
quite match the ease of installing ANY given Python
library. Every Python windows library for the most
part comes with a windows installer (exe or msi).

Keep in mind that it may be more doable to run Ruby on
windows given substantial C programming/compiling
experience, I don't know. Obviously, if I had the
experience to satisfy that statement I would be able
to answer my own question. : -)

So, for those of us who aren't C gurus and don't run
Linux, Python seems to win out when compared to Ruby.
Which is unfortunate because I really love Ruby, and
don't like a number of Python elements. However,
having the capabilities I need is much more important
than syntax preferences at the moment.

Sadly, in order for Ruby to really take over the world
it will require a more substantial focus on providing
windows compatible libraries and maintaining those
libraries. If Ruby continues to be a Linux-centric
language... I don't know. It just seems to me fairly
obvious that in order to have true dominance you have
to meet the needs of the major platforms. Python does
this moreso then Ruby. And believe me, I wish it were
the other way around.

I'll keep my eye on Ruby, and return when it offers
the essentials I require. But until then I'll be
laboring under a hot Python sun.

Regards, Abe Vionas



		
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