REPOST: Re: Python and Ruby: a comparison

Conrad Schneiker schneiker at
Sun Dec 30 05:07:06 CET 2001

"Ron Stephens" <rdsteph at> wrote:

> Very interesting idea. Unfortunately, I doubt if it woudl be possible. For
> thing, very few people would be willing to compromise on syntax. Ruby
> would rightfully be loath to give up their end-begin block delimiters, and
> likewise we Python folks would not want o give up our whitespace block
> delimiters.

If that were the most serious problem, their might be some hope after all.
After all, while both language camps admonish newbies to get used to their
respective style and point out respective offsetting advantages that may not
be evident at first, do _most_ people _really_ care that much? I mildly
dislike indendation syntax, but that wouldn't keep me from using a successor
language if indendation syntax proved a simpler and cleaner way overall of
incorporating all Python3000/ features. Hopefully most other people
would feel that way, or vice versa.

I would expect the biggest practical hurdle to be whether Matz and Guido
were interested and could discover/invent something mutually desirable. I
would expect (naively perhaps) that most people would follow their lead.

> Also, backwards portability would be a big problem.

Granted, which was why the anticipated (albeit hypothetical)
Python3000/ syntactic discontinuties was the point of departure for

> However, for what its worth, the PERL 6 implements, whom I met and
> with at the MIT Lightweight Languages conference, are definitely truing,
as a
> goal, to create a PERL 6 runtime environment that can easily and credibly,
> someday later on, run Perl, Ruby, and Python.

I'm looking forward to that. And there are plans to develop tools to deal
with the backwards portability issues between Perl 5 and Perl 6 too.

"Boris Borcic" <borcis at> wrote:

> I guess what I mean to say, exactly, is that the weakest form
> for an analogue to a "middle ground for a single successor language"
> might be not a single successor language, but a pair of parallel
> subsets of each language that can be automatically translated
> source-to-source while preserving a smack of idiomatical expression.

Interesting idea.


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