Python and Ruby: a comparison

Conrad Schneiker schneiker at
Sat Dec 29 15:47:05 EST 2001

"Ron Stephens" <rdsteph at> wrote:

> I initiated a thread over on comp.lang.python which has turned into
> somewhat of a comparison between Ruby and Python, their relative
> strengths and weaknesses. The thread is titled Python Popularity:
> Questions and Comments.
> By teh way, I admire Ruby. Although I am a Python hacker at heart, I
> enjoy this newsgroup, the Ruby community, and I think Matz is doing an
> outstanding job. I do believe though, that Python and Ruby are aimed at
> a very similar problem domains with similar philosophies; and that is
> what I began to talk about on comp.lang.python and that got the thread
> going.

[In this and other somewhat related threads] Some people have (in different
words) lamented the "language fork" (as it were) with respect to providing
the major dynamic OO alternative to Perl (and Java and C++). Others have
pointed out that Python and Ruby appeal to somewhat different tastes and
that they draw newcomers from only partially overlapping pools of people.
Nevertheless, there is some inevitable division of potential resources and
mind share.

Othes have pointed out various relatively moderate but nagging problems in
Ruby and Python which persist due to backwards compatibility, which won't be
fixed until the (highly speculative) advent of major overhalls where full
backwards compatibility is not completely manditory--i.e. and
Python 3000.

So my question is: at such a presently entirely hypothetical future
juncture, is there any practical and desirable middle ground for a common
single successor language to the current generations of Python and Ruby?


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