i'm a python programmer, and I have recently been hearing a lot about
ruby. A lot of python people seem to think ruby is in some way inferior,
but I have yet to find any significant differences between the languages.
The only differences I have found so far have been superficial syntactic
things. The only real significant difference I have detected, is the
absence of a module system in ruby.

I would like to be able to make an objective and educated comparison. Ruby
seems to have a relatively small, but intensely devoted following.
Software that inspires such fervent support from a small community usually
possesses tremendous power that most people are just too dense to discern
(eg: ocaml, and BeOS). Consequently, I figured it would be worth my time
to find out what it is that the fanatics find appealing.

I am looking for:
    - examples of tangible features that ruby has, which python doesnt.
    - examples of scenarios where some facet of, or property specific to
    ruby contributed to the simplification or improvement of a programming
    project.
    - facets of the language which may not necessarily be useful, but are
    notably creative/innovative.

Additionally, I realize that there is more to a language than its syntax
and functionality. As a result, I am also interested in hearing about
facets of the ruby community and ruby ideology, and anything else that
ruby programmers feel contribute to their affinity for the language. 

I have a feeling that most of the things that make ruby worth using can
also be found in python. From the perspective a python programmer who has
taken only a precursory glance at ruby, it looks like ruby suggests a
functional style, while python suggests an imperative style. It also looks
like ruby may be better suited for quick shell scripts, whereas python is
better suited for bigger programs. I realize that I probably suffer from
misconceptions, and i'm looking forward to having them corrected.

I sincerely hope nobody finds any of my comments offensive, I dont mean
them as criticisms of ruby. I intentionally withhold criticisms until I am
better versed in the benefits!

Thanks in advance!
-- SegPhault