[OPINION] - does language really matter if they all do the samething?

John Roth newsgroups at jhrothjr.com
Fri Jan 23 20:43:58 CET 2004

"Python Baby" <python at hitmedia.com> wrote in message
news:mailman.707.1074882690.12720.python-list at python.org...
> Are programming languages like spoken languages, in the sense
> that they all say the same things, just using different words?
> Like many PHP people, I was never a "real" programmer, but just
> picked up PHP as my HTML websites started to mature.  Now that
> even my PHP sites have grown, (50,000 lines of PHP!), I got
> interested in object-oriented approach.  Since my old website
> needed an overhaul anyway, I thought it'd be a good time to learn.
> I start learning Ruby.  Then Python.  Wondering if, since I'm
> about to re-write my entire website anyway, if I should use
> Ruby or Python instead of PHP.
> As I've fretted over this for way too many hours, I started wondering:
> Can Ruby do something (important) that Python can't?
> Can Python do something (important) that PHP can't?
> Can PHP do something (important) that Ruby or Python can't?
> Are they all just the same, and it's just a matter of taste?
> Should I stick with PHP for the same reason that pop singers
> worldwide sing in English for maximum compatibility with the medium?
> Though PHP wasn't design for OOP should I use it that way anyway?
> Any opinions on the subject, from people that know and use many
> languages, would be appreciated.

In one sense, they all do the same thing, but that's a very trivial
sense. Different languages have different things they focus on,
so they make some things easier and some things harder.

Python tries to maintain a balance between clarity, ease of
learning, and usability. Of the major scripting languages, it's
probably the easiest to write maintainable code.

A lot of people think that Ruby's blocks and pervasive
use of the visitor pattern provide a very productive setting;
to me there's nothing there that Python can't do.

Both of them are object oriented from the ground up: if
being object oriented is important to you, PHP, Perl and
TCL aren't in the ball game. Their OO features are bolted
on afterthoughts. Some of them are quite nice afterthoughts,
but the kludge shows.

John Roth


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