On Thu, 2003-08-21 at 13:34, Tim Rowe wrote:
> On Thu, 21 Aug 2003 07:15:28 +0900, Gavin Sinclair
> <gsinclair / soyabean.com.au> wrote:
> 
> >Many Pyhonistas (and perhaps others?) say Ruby is too Perlish for
> >their taste.  What they generally mean, I think, is that Ruby has $x
> >variables, and some syntax similarities (if, while, ... modifiers).
> >The judgement is true but:
> > - superficial, because Ruby is deeply elegant, which shouldn't be
> >   ignored among surface comparisons
> 
> Maybe, but when one is struggling to get to grips with a language it's
> the syntax that's most evident, and until one gets past that one can't
> see the more profound issues.
> 
> > - irrelevant, because the "too-Perlish" fears (unreadable code,
> >   different ways of doing things) don't materialise in practice; Ruby
> >   code tends to be elegant, readable, etc. because coders don't abuse
> >   the language
> 
> Wan't somebody here deprecating Python for it's "one way of doing
> things" a while ago?  When I saw my first Python program I understood
> perfectly well what it did, but when I saw my first Ruby program I
> couldn't make sense of it.  Obviously, that's a function of my
> personal history (and in particular, I still believe, that my personal
> history doesn't include Perl), and readability is bound to improve
> when one learns the language!
> 
> >On the contrary, I have always considered Python to be too Perlish for
> >me at a deeper level, because although it tries hard to do OO better
> >than Perl, it's still wasn't part of the original language design.
> >Its OO capabilities are a "feature" in the language, rather than the
> >wellspring of the language.
> 
> That's another reason I like Python (and prefer C++ to Java, FWIW) --
> I don't believe object orientation is the answer to all problems, and
> sometimes it just gets in the way.  Python (and C++) give me the
> choice, Ruby (and Java) don't.  Now I'm getting /really/ confused
> which language has "more than one way to do it" and which has "only
> one way to do it" :-)
> 
> >What attracted me to Ruby, then, was its elegance, which made me
> >believe I could use it for more than 10% of my programming, which
> >makes it more worth learning.
> 
> It's curious.  By all logic, I don't think Python should work.  But my
> productivity is higher -- vastly higher -- with Python than it has
> been with anything else.  By the same logic, Ruby ought to be great,
> but I find myself permanently stuck at first base struggling to get
> the simplest stuff to work.  

This is really interesting because my experience is exactly the
opposite.  I tried to learn Python three times, but never got past the
really trivial stuff to get productive.  It was during my third attempt
that I saw Dave Thomas post about Ruby.  I downloaded Ruby and was using
it productively within a day or so.

Now my background did include Perl (as well as Java, C++, Eiffel and a
little Smalltalk), and I was delibrately looking for a Perl replacment,
something with better OO facilities.  I suspect it was a combination of
the Perl and Smalltalk background that prepared me for Ruby.

What in Ruby do you find yourself struggling with?


-- 
-- Jim Weirich       jweirich / one.net      http://onestepback.org
-----------------------------------------------------------------
"Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, 
not tried it." -- Donald Knuth (in a memo to Peter van Emde Boas)