On Thursday 18 August 2005 17:07, Joe Van Dyk wrote:
> Which is better, Python or Ruby?

(checks the mailing list)

Um... Ruby?

But seriously, Python and Ruby are so similar that it will be really hard to 
make a really compelling argument.  I'd go with a few things.

1) Are there people there that miss Perl, or have found Python not as well 
suited to what they're doing as Perl was?  Ruby's Perl-like roots may come in 
handy.  I think Ruby is a much more suitable language for certain tasks than 
Python because of its Perl roots.  Tasks like modifying a bunch of files in 
place, anything dealing with regular expressions, etc.  Find the old Perl 
hackers and show them Ruby, see what they think.

2) Do you share code in ways other than code files?  Say on websites, inside 
other files (like say word processor docs), as email snippets, etc?  That's 
one area where indentation-sensitive languages really suffer.  In particular, 
copying and pasting Python code from web sites can be a real exercise in 
frustration.  Getting it there in the first place can be even worse.  HTML 
wants to make whitespace insignificant, Python really cares about 
indentation, the mix causes problems.  That can be a real reason to push for 
Ruby.

3) Rails and Instiki.  You can (I haven't done this, but I've heard), easily 
install instiki on a USB thumb drive.  Having a really portable wiki like 
that can be super valuable, and it's so easy to set up, did you know, 
"there's no step 3"?  If you show the applications, rather than the 
underlying techologies, and convince people that the applications are 
great... they may be more willing to accept the technologies the applications 
use.

Finally, you should show how well Python and Ruby interoperate using things 
like XML-RPC.  If people are scared of a hodge-podge of different languages, 
show how well the two can coexist.

Ben