----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Brandon J. Van Every" <vanevery / 3DProgrammer.com>
Newsgroups: comp.lang.ruby
To: "ruby-talk ML" <ruby-talk / ruby-lang.org>
Sent: Wednesday, August 20, 2003 12:46 AM
Subject: Re: Why would you abandon Ruby? (was)


> Michael Granger wrote:
> > On Tuesday, August 19, 2003, at 04:05 PM, Brandon J. Van Every wrote:
> > I can't imagine a circumstance in which I'd want to abandon Ruby, but
> > all these damned "Python vs. Ruby" and similar messages have made me
> > want to abandon ruby-talk. Could you tag any future /(Abandon|Switch)
> > (to|from) (Ruby|Python)/ threads you feel compelled to start with
> > '[DROSS]' in the subject or something so I can killfile them more
> > easily? =;)
> 
> Whether I can or not, I won't.
> 
> > Seriously, though -- what are you trying to find out? Just playing
> > Mephisto to a hypothetical Faust?
> 
> You are proving that your Ruby community is not as welcoming compared to
> comp.lang.python as others have claimed.  I just went through a killfile
> debacle in that crowd, which began with people who couldn't tolerate the
> asking of certain legitimate questions.  You are proving my several-years
> held belief that no matter how diplomatically or graciously a contentious
> subject is broached, someone will come out of the woodwork and have a
> problem with it.  And, it seems, on Usenet almost any subject is
> contentious. ;-)

Well, I was chatting privately with a friend of mine
about this thread.

First of all, I don't know how to measure the "welcomingness"
of the community objectively. It will always be a matter of
opinion.

All viewpoints are welcome here, and all discussions of Ruby
are on-topic.

This is JUST MY OPINION.

However, there are certain topics that just make me tired, 
and this is one of them. That's no reflection on you. You're
new here, and you asked a valid question. No problem.

But speaking as someone who has been on the mailing list
nearly four years, I'm just bored with that stuff.

It's like listening to a dull friend tell the tired old joke
about Beethoven decomposing. (When Steve Allen wrote it, it 
was a one-liner. Now it's practically a novel, and I must 
sit through it and pretend it's funny.)

I don't like debates on whether Language XYZ is better/worse
than Ruby. I don't like threads that say "Let's make Ruby
just like Python/Perl/C++/COBOL/BASIC/whatever." I don't like
the endless discussion of ++ and -- (which will NOT be added
to Ruby). I don't like the pie-in-the-sky visions of RAA.succ
which endow it with artificial intelligence and time travel
capabilities, nor its obligatory accompanying subthread about
CPAN ("I don't even watch that channel," said Hal).

Instead I like to discuss Ruby's features and interesting new 
ways to use them. I like to discuss new libraries, new applications,
new articles and books, ideas for improving Ruby in the future, 
bug fixes, puzzles, opinion questions on the best way to code 
something, and on and on. I like to discuss past and future
conferences like <plug> the upcoming Ruby Conference in Austin
in November </plug>. I like to discuss uses of Ruby "in the real
world" and (appropriate) Ruby advocacy.

Now, to address your original question a little: What compelling
reason is there to choose Ruby over Python? (I'm paraphrasing;
forgive me if I distorted your meaning.)

As far as I can tell, this is a largely subjective issue. Perhaps
the answer is "no compelling reason." I can't speak to this issue
in detail, as my knowledge of Python is minimal. I do know that
when I read the code, all I come away with is hanging indentations,
colons, underscores, and self. It hurts my eyes and doesn't fit 
in my head the way I'd like. (For some inexplicable reason, the
colons bother me especially from an aesthetic standpoint.)

On the other hand, Ruby fits my brain almost the way my brain 
fits my skull. It's not perfect. There are things I would change.
(But I am glad Matz is in charge of it, not me, as I often like 
his ideas better than I like my own.)

Other people's experiences will vary, of course.

It's late and I'm tired and I should just be quiet now.

Hal