Cameron Laird wrote:
> .
> It's not just that "You won't know until you try" ("is it better
> to have children, or join the monastery?"); it's that you won't
> know until you try, *and it's inexpensive to try*!  It's eminently
> feasible to gain experience in either language with a few hours (!)
> of work, as opposed to the weeks that must precede enlightenment
> about, say, J2EE servers.

Of course, those of us who are more into the Complete Waste Of Time [TM]
theory of selecting software components will simply give you the bottom
line:

- If you like Perl, you'll like Ruby.  If you think Perl is a bletcherous
hack, you'll like Python.
- The Python community dwarfs the Ruby community.
- Both languages are slow.
- Python has lotsa libraries but not everything.  Ask here regarding your
specific needs.  Even if Python were the most elegant language in the world,
that's not useful if you must write everything from scratch and don't have
time to do it.

This is the kind of information you get by simply asking people and reading
lotsa archives.  Some people say "Try it yourself!" is the only way to
learn.  They are wrong, and they often don't value people's time.  You
really can rely on other people's reported experiences of the nuclear
mushroom cloud exploding over the horizon.  It is not strictly necessary to
walk into Ground Zero yourself.

Now, if you're going to argue "it's just a little Ruby code..." why don't
you try multiplying that by all the languages in the comp.lang.* hierarchy
that you could potentially be selecting from?  Take a spin by the Language
Shootouts if you want to spin your head some more.
http://www.bagley.org/~doug/shootout/
http://dada.perl.it/shootout/
You need a filter of some kind for cutting down the options.  I suggest
asking people, and seeing what languages actually got used for jobs relevant
to your software problem / industry.

I'm waiting for someone to say that my participation in this thread
constitutes trolling.  I find it amusing that the boundary between
"intelligent language discussion" and "trolling" is mainly a matter of who
likes who, not the content.  And, this is all I have to say on the subject,
so have fun.

-- 
Cheers,                     www.indiegamedesign.com
Brandon Van Every           Seattle, WA

"Troll" - (n.) Anything you don't like.
Usage: "He's just a troll."