Python Popularity: Questions and Comments

Dave Thomas Dave at
Thu Dec 27 17:34:38 EST 2001

Ron Stephens <rdsteph at> writes:

> 1. Ruby is an especially interesting competitor to Python. I have been
> monitoring the Ruby newsgroup, and it shows incredible growth and
> vitality. Furthermore, Ruby is aimed right at the heart of Python's
> niche.

Ruby and Python grew up largely in parallel. Matz was aware of Python,
but as far as I know didn't use many of Python's ideas when designing
the Ruby language. It would be wrong to characterize Ruby as "aiming
for Python" in that regard. The Ruby community is not particularly out
to steal folks from the Python world: it's quite happy collecting new
users from all over the place. My guess is we'll see more converts
from Perl than from Python, and that by a large margin.

In the past, I've made statements that Ruby could be bigger than
Python in terms of number of active developers. I still believe that
could happen. However, I don't see that happening at the expense of
the Python community, which I suspect will remain strong and vibrant
for many years. Instead, Ruby will attract folks from outside the
Python world. Ruby and Python differ in philosophy and _feel_. Some
folks like one, some the other. I don't see it as competition. I see
it as choice.


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