Decline and fall of scripting languages ?
dave at pythonapocrypha.com
Mon Aug 8 16:33:54 CEST 2005
Paul Rubin wrote:
> Ruby just doesn't interest me that much though (maybe I'm missing
I don't think you are. My impression is that if you've never used Python or
Ruby, you'll generally end up liking whichever of the two you really discover
first (since the common case is that you're coming from Java/C++/PHP/etc - the
more mainstream languages).
IIRC, the creator of Ruby got really hung up on the fact that Python was not a
pure OO language, so he decided to make a new language that was (this was in the
pre-metaclass, old-style class days of Python).
> I was hoping for a concise explanation of what Rails does
I'd say it's similar to Zope in that
(1) For both, the introductory tutorials make it seem deceptively easy to use,
but they hide a sometimes steep learning curve
(2) For both, it's hard to find clear, concise documentation midway between
introductory tutorials and reading the source code
(3) For both, being frameworks, you have to commit yourself to them almost
entirely and be prepared for some serious lock-in
(4) Oh yeah, they're both web application frameworks :) (ROR has libraries to
aid in building database-centric web applications: it includes an database ORM,
a web templating language, libraries for user sessions, etc.)
> and whether it's feasible to do something like it in (say) Python. I
> did look at the rubyonrails.com site but there were too many marketing
> buzzwords and downloadable videos for me to deal with.
Yes, it's incredibly feasible. I think the Subway project is sort of heading
down a similar path but using Python instead. I've tried a couple of times to
use Ruby on Rails and, I have to admit, I had a tough time cutting through the
hype (also, it seemed like the preferred method of learning about features was
through downloading large videos).
The ActiveRecord library (for handling mapping objects to the database) seems
sort of powerful, but the tutorials and demo videos make a huge deal about how
ROR can generate a web form by inspecting the database table metadata. (Useful?
Probably. Mind-blowingly cool? Hardly.)
Beyond ActiveRecord, there is some additional stuff to help you build
Model-View-Controller web UIs, and then lots of the standard web app components
(user sessions, security, logging, etc.).
I think ROR's big selling point isn't technology-related at all: it's hype
machine has helped build an active community, and it's a single framework as
opposed to Python's bazillions. :)
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