I think this subject might make for a very nice article in
the faq (maybe to complement
http://www.rubygarden.org/faq/entry/show/14 ), or else
possibly could belong at http://www.ruby-doc.org/docs/ .

If it's too much to post on this list, please let me know
where it might be more appropriate. I'm not asking these
questions because I'm too lazy to look them up (I will,
regardless), but rather, I think this might be a useful
thread.

Anyhow, for someone coming from Python to Ruby looking to
learn the crucial basic differences in a hurry:


- Does Ruby do "everything is a reference to an object"
like Python does? Or does it do like Perl where a variable
*is* the object, and if you want a reference you need to
explicitly take a reference to it?


- Python is strongly typed (every object has a type, and
the system doesn't automatically convert between types)
and dynamically typed (types are figured out at runtime
as much as possible). Is Ruby strongly or weakly typed?
Dynamically or statically typed?


- In Python, everything is an object (including classes
and modules too). Is Ruby that way too?


- Python has the notion of bound and unbound methods
(so that you can call a method like an instance method,
or as what looks like a class method if you include
an instance of its class in the argument list). Then
it also has class methods and static methods too. Does
Ruby have bound/unbound methods like this?


- With Python, strings and tuples are immutable (for
speed, I believe). Does Ruby have immutables like this,
or are most object mutable?


- Python has import where it loads and runs the module
right where it hits that import statement. If the module's
already been imported, subsequent imports don't do anything
special. Is ruby like this?


- Python uses _foo, __bar, and __baz__ underscore notation
loosely for private references. Does Ruby have similar
notions of "privacy"?


- Python has the pydoc command that can read docstrings
right there in your .py file and present them as a man page.
Can ruby's "ri" command do this too? Or must "rdoc" get
involved somehow?


Any other "In Python it's like {this}, but in Ruby you
do {that}" you can think of would most likely be useful
here.

Thanks,
---John
-- 
(remove zeez if demunging email address)