In article <y7QIf.39$9r.6 / mencken.net.nih.gov>,
Joe Krahn  <krahn / niehs.nih.gov> wrote:
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>Ruby should be a better fit for the typical Fortran programmer. I am 
>surprised Ruby is not more the standard scripting language for 
>scientists. At least some people who know both say that Ruby is better 
>even though Python is (at least for now) more popular.
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Please help me understand what you're writing here.  I *think* 
you're saying that Ruby is easier for Fortraneers to learn at
the syntactic level than Python.  I can well imagine that.

There's a distinct meaning of "better fit", though, that I want
to highlight.  I propose that Python has established its "fitness"
through the record of successful projects implemented as
Python-Fortran *collaborations*.  There are several aspects to
these realizations of partnerships between a couple of different
languages:
A.  It might well be that two languages need a little
    distance between themselves syntactically to 
    "marry" well; if they're too similar at this level,
    there's no gain to a division of labor between
    them.
B.  Python has a strong tradition of "playing nicely"
    with outside resources.  It was one of Python's
    prominent initial goals, back at its invention in
    the late '80s.  Ruby also aims to do better at 
    this than, for example, Perl, but, as near as I
    can tell, the Ruby community has never emphasized
    cooperation with other languages as much as have
    Pythonistas.
C.  At a technical level, I believe it remains easier
    to bind Python and Fortran than to do so with Ruby
    and Fortran.

My conclusion:  there are valid reasons, beyond "popularity", to
fit Python and Fortran together.