Python vs. Ruby

David Garamond davegaramond at
Sat Jan 18 05:05:17 CET 2003

John Roth wrote:
> It also has a solution to one of the ugliest warts in Python:
> the fact that the .append(), .sort() and .reverse() methods
> don't return an updated value, so you can't chain them.
> The rest of the differences other people have pointed out
> (other than the size of the library) are, to me, relatively
> minor.

that "ugliest wart" you mentioned is, to me, relatively minor (no, make 
that one _really_ minor issue). in fact, many differences in language 
syntaxes and features have become relatively minor to me.

we all have ideal expectations of what a language should be, and every 
language we encounter will invariably fall short of that ideal. it's 
impossible enough to design a perfect language, much less a perfect 
language for everybody. every language has its warts and 
that-one-feature that we think is just missing. python numbers can't 
take methods, ruby doesn't have keyword arguments, python enforces 
indentation, ruby can't produce compiled bytecodes, ... big deal. in the 
end, it all boils down to "which language makes me more productive".

and to me, it seems that that language is ruby for now. i do love python 
very much, but i was a perl programmer for years and coding in python 
makes me miss things like builtin regex, statement modifiers, assignment 
as expressions, and the many other conveniences that perl provides. ruby 
tries _very hard_ to offer me those conveniences and so i'm pulled in. 
because i was productive in perl, i can become productive quickly too in 
ruby. python makes me productive too, but i guess not as much as ruby. 
everybody's mileage may (and should) vary.

so nowadays i spent the majority of my coding hours in ruby. perl and 
python comes second and third.


More information about the Python-list mailing list