What's better about Ruby than Python?

Terry Reedy tjreedy at udel.edu
Fri Aug 22 03:30:22 CEST 2003


"Dave Kuhlman" <dkuhlman at rexx.com> wrote in message
news:bi3ibj$4um7m$1 at ID-139865.news.uni-berlin.de...
> See:
>
>     http://www.schemers.org/Documents/Standards/R5RS/HTML/
>
>
http://www.schemers.org/Documents/Standards/R5RS/HTML/r5rs-Z-H-3.html
>
>
http://www.schemers.org/Documents/Standards/R5RS/HTML/r5rs-Z-H-7.html#%_sec_4.3
>
> I have the same worry that some others on this thread have
> expressed, that a macro capability in Python would enable others
> to write code that I would not be able to read or to figure out.

According to the second referenced page ("Background"), not a
completely baseless worry, although the Scheme divergence may have had
nothing to do with macros:

"The first description of Scheme was written in 1975...
Three distinct projects began in 1981 and 1982 to use variants of
Scheme for courses at MIT, Yale, and Indiana University [21, 17,
10]...
As Scheme became more widespread, local dialects began to diverge
until students and researchers occasionally found it difficult to
understand code written at other sites. Fifteen representatives of the
major implementations of Scheme therefore met in October 1984 to work
toward a better and more widely accepted standard for Scheme.
"

Reading the third referenced page on Macros, I notice that the amount
of syntax definition for the macro sublanguage is as large as a
substantial portion (one-third?) of that for core Python (if condensed
to the same density).  So, just by definitional bulk, having it in the
language would not be a free ride.

Terry J. Reedy







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