[Note to Pythoners, I like Python (I prefer Ruby), but I do sometimes
still use Python.  This post is not directed against Python, just one
mans article.]

I don't know when Eckel made this comparison, so if the subject matter
is a little dated I'm sorry, but I'm new to Ruby (coming from 2 years
Python use as a matter of fact), so I only just saw this.

Bruce Eckel's article:
http://www.mindview.net/Etc/notes.html#Ruby

(from herein, paragraphs beginning with "##" are taken directly from
the above link)

## Note that the author says "If you like Perl, you will like Ruby." I
liked Perl for about 3 months, before discovering Perl objects and
references and trying to read my own Perl code. I haven't looked back.

Redesigning those perl objects and references are one of the key
reasons Ruby exists, so I'm at a loss as to his point.

## Again I ask "why"? If you're not going to double your productivity
over using Python, what is your motivation for using this language?

Since when did "doubling your productivity", become the golden
standard?  I would think that any language which could increase your
productivity by even 10% if you're a professional programmer would be
worth very serious consideration as to the benefits gained versus the
time required to learn it.  Also, he seems to assume that everybody is
coming from Python, so this fanciful distortion crumbles even further
when you consider people with no intellectual investment in either who
have a need for a programming language of this type.

## "Writing Ruby extensions in C are a joy compared to Python" [ I
believe it. I usually find that languages have some kind of
improvements here and there, but not enough to say that you will, for
example, double your productivity over using Python ]

Again he sets the bar: "double your productivity".
I'm glad to see he at least believes one truth: Ruby extensions really
are a joy by comparison.

## ...and was snagged by the fact that Ruby is new, and perhaps thinks
that it's going to be the next great thing like Java.

My god, I certainly hope not.  Clarifying a bit, I hope it gets the
success, but you can keep the rest.  ;-)
[note to would-be flamers, Java has its uses, I even utilize them
occasionally]

## Ruby requires more typing for no particular reason, and has an
uninspired choice of syntax in many cases (there were some minor
interesting features like static class methods, but this is a tiny
amount of syntactic sugar and won't solve any problems Python
doesn't).

"More typing for no particular reason"??  I'd like to see him back
that one up.  And not with some carefully contrived, well-engineered
snippet (which he did not- or could not- even provide).  Since when is
a fundamental difference in the OO system (static class methods) a
"tiny amount of syntactic sugar", btw?
He feels python is more terse?  I'm surprised he would say this given
the fact that he has already demonstrated that he thinks Ruby's OO is
analagous to Perl's.  If he believes this, then why not make the next
wild assumption (which would actually be true, Ruby does share many
syntactic similarities) of the language, then it seems even more
surprising, given the fact that most other authors seemed to think
that Python gives up a small amount of terseness to Perl (from lack of
magic cases/context dependancies) for a much cleaner, less
idiosyncratic implementation.

## So far I keep coming to the conclusion that Ruby is just a bad
ripoff of Python, just like C# is a bad ripoff of C++ and to some
degree Java (I'm willing to be convinced otherwise about C#, but so
far the only compelling reason seems to be "blessed by M$." There's
certainly nothing compelling about the syntax or power of C# compared
to C++).

I could care less about C#, but since his article's put me in a
belligerent mood.  How is C# more like C++ than Java??  Garbage
collection, references...
Microsoft is putting out tools to automate the process of converting
VJ++ code to C#, can he say the same is true for C++?  I remember
reading an article in Dr. Dobbs Dev. Journal.  I forget the author,
and the issue, but the conclusion he reached was that C# was just Java
with a little sugar sprinkled on top and just enough renaming done to
prevent another lawsuit from Sun.

## ...a nice number of good books and more on the way

ditto
I've already preordered my copy of Matz's book from bn.com, and might
I add that I thoroughly enjoyed Dave Thomas' book.  What is it they
say, "quality over quantity"?

## The author also notes that, as a Python programmer, Ruby hasn't won
him over (yet).

This is when Eckel refers to
http://dev.rubycentral.com/faq/rubyfaq-2.html
A very fair and balanced comparison, unlike Eckel's.
What a shame he only seems to have read the second to last sentence of
that entire article.

## so I like to think I know what I'm looking for

People, please, read the link at the top of the page.  I would like
your opinions on just what this thing is he's looking for.   ;-)

On a side note:
http://www.python.org/doc/Comparisons.html#ruby

As of this date, Eckels', "evaluation" is the only comparison to Ruby
on Pythons homepage.  Why don't more step up to the plate?  I also saw
that Matz had to remove the language comparisons link from
www.ruby-lang.org.  Hit a nerve?  ;-).