I've been using ruby for the past 6 months and I must say I am extremely
impressed. I find it a joy to write and I even find myself making
excuses to throw together simple scripts at work. I'm also teaching
myself rails and enjoying the experience as well.

At the same time, I'm looking at Python because I think it's also an
important language to know/understand today. However, the more I look at
Python the more I am convinced that ruby is just better. Syntax-wise,
language vision, design philosophy, I like them all from the ruby side
better.

So, I am kind of confused as to why Python is so mainstream and ruby
still seems so fringe. Apps like YouTube are written in Python and
powerful organizations like NASA, Google, etc. are using Python as well.
So basically, here are my questions:

1) I've read that Python is faster than ruby. How is this possible if
they're both interpreted languages written in C? Is it marginally or
substantially faster? Will this change with the release of YARV? Even if
ruby becomes faster with YARV, wouldn't this mean that the underlying
language, before producing the bytecode, is slower than Python?

2) Why are many mainstream organizations using Python rather than ruby?
Is it simply an age issue (Python has been around longer)? Is it a
performance issue? Is this changing currently?

3) Python seems to be quite prevalent within Linux distros as config
scripts...how did they gain this foothold? Why not ruby for standard
Linux config scripts?

Thanks so much for any answers you all have. I can only hope that ruby
will begin to rival Python in the "mainstream" (whatever this means).

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