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Hi Samuel,
     one point that I don't think has been mentioned, is the ratio of lines
of code
to working results. Its possible for a lot of powerful activities to be
expressed
in Ruby in only a handful of lines of code. This is very important to
beginners,
especially of the Junior variety, as the feedback loop does not close until
working results are achieved. Shortening this cycle accelerates learning and
keeps the activities fun for the juniors.

_why's old essay on this 'The little coders dilemma' made great points on
this
(sadly this article is now gone from the internets). In particular - that
expression
of code, and real world results should be atomic. Atomic in this sense, that
it should be achievable in 1 line of code.

Python would share a lot of properties with Ruby in this respect. Their
power:LOC
ratios are quite similar, and they value readable code. Perl is famous for
its
power:LOC ratio too, but the syntax can be off-putting for class-room age
kids.

Comparing and contrasting Python vs Ruby for teaching juniors to program
would
probably result in a lot of conclusions that would complement both.

regards,
Richard
--
http://richardconroy.blogspot.com

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