What's better about Ruby than Python?

Chris Reedy creedy at mitretek.org
Thu Aug 21 00:05:15 CEST 2003

Doug Tolton wrote:
> On Tue, 19 Aug 2003 13:43:11 +0200, Alex Martelli <aleaxit at yahoo.com>
> wrote:
>>Doug Tolton wrote:
>>  ...
>>>abstractions and better programmer productivity.  Why not add Macro's
>>>allowing those of us who know how to use them and like them to use
>>>them.  If you hate macros, or you think they are too slow, just don't
>>>use them.
>>"No programmer is an island"!  It's not sufficient that *I* do not use
>>macros -- I must also somehow ensure that none of my colleagues does,
>>none of my clients which I consult for, nobody who posts code asking
>>for my help to c.l.py or python-help -- how can I possibly ensure all
>>of this except by ensuring that macros ARE NOT IN PYTHON?!  "Slow" has
>>nothing to do with it: I just don't want to find myself trying to debug
>>or provide help on a language which I cannot possibly know because it
>>depends on what macros somebody's defined somewhere out of sight.  Not
>>to mention that I'd have to let somebody else write the second edition
>>of the Nutshell -- if Python had macros, I would have to cover them in
>>"Python in a Nutshell".
> Sadly, I would say that is something that would sway me.  I love my
> Python in a Nutshell book.  I have that baby on my desk and I refer to
> it *daily*.  Although I'd say that's more extortion than a winning
> argument!! :-p
> I just don't see Macros as the huge threat you do.  As someone
> mentioned in a previous post, the option would require to do declare
> explicitly that you are using Macros.  Why is that such a *huge*
> issue?  Why is it that the very *existence* of a Macro in a program
> would offend your sensibilities?

I'm curious. Why do you feel such a need for macros? With metaclasses, 
etc., etc., what significant advantage would macros buy you? Do you have 
any examples where you think you could make a significantly crisper and 
easier to read and understand program with macros than without.


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