In article <b3qdd3-dfr.ln1 / lairds.us>, Cameron Laird <claird / lairds.us> wrote:
>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*.  

This is because Python was there earlier.

> 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.

Maybe so, but I don't see how Ruby is anymore Fortran-like than Python ;-)

>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.

There are lots of tools like the dl library, Inline::C (Inline::Fortran 
coming?) available in Ruby as well.  I forget the details, but didn't someone 
earlier in this thread successfully create a Ruby<->Fortran bridge ?

Phil