Why would I learn Python over other languages?

Michele Simionato michele.simionato at gmail.com
Sat Jul 10 07:35:00 CEST 2004

"Charif Lakchiri" <charif at kuc.biglobe.ne.jp> wrote in message news:<ccldam$a55$1 at bgsv5647.tk.mesh.ad.jp>...
> However, in my "quest" for interpreted oo scripting languages, I also came 
> across a language called Ruby. I know it's a lot to ask, but I would really 
> appreciate a few words, no great detail, comparing Python to Ruby from those 
> of you who have experience with both.

I do not have real esperience with Ruby but I have played a bit with it
and read many comparisons. From an high level perspective is not very different 
from Python. With respect to your original questions:

> > It is easy to learn?

More or less both Python and Ruby as easy to learn (maybe Python is a
bit easier and better documented overall, but Ruby has a beatiful "Pragmatic
programmer" book that you can get for free and it is much better than the
Python tutorial)

> > Does it support GUI programming?

Yes. Probably Python supports more different toolkits and support them better.
Ruby is a younger language.

> > Does it support server-side programming, say for web apps?
> > Does it have extensions and libraries, say for DB connectivity, serial com
> > or network programming...?

Yes and yes. Again, Python libraries are more mature.

> > Can it be used for administrative tasks, say as perl...?

Yes. One may argue that Ruby is a better scripting language than Python
(which I feel a bit weak for scripts under 10 lines of code).

> > Also, can it be compiled to native code?

No, both Ruby and Python are the same in this respect. If you are looking
for speed Python has psyco, I don't know if Ruby has something equivalent.
If you are looking for easy of distribution Python has py2exe and the Mac
Miller installer, Ruby must have something equivalent, ask on comp.lang.ruby.

> > Also much appreciated would be simple comparisons with say JAVA (my other
> > candidate), and pointers to sites and docs where to start.

Both Python and Ruby are much better than Java as programmming languages.
If you want to use Java libraries there is Jython; I don't know if Ruby
has an equivalent.

                Michele Simionato

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