In article <c6jmhh$cr0r2$1 / ID-207230.news.uni-berlin.de>,
Brandon J. Van Every <try_vanevery_at_mycompanyname / yahoo.com> wrote:
>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.
>

It seems as though he has already done this.  He was interested in Ruby 
and Python (N=2).  From there a couple of people (including myself) 
suggested that he make the determination about which to study indepth by 
actually doing a bit of coding in both languages.  Spending a day or two 
on this exercise doesn't seem excessive if you're serious about selecting 
your 'next language' to learn in depth.

Phil