Lager'd Statistics on language migration

Carlos Ribeiro carribeiro at
Mon Sep 6 20:27:06 CEST 2004

On Mon, 6 Sep 2004 17:40:44 +0200, Alex Martelli <aleaxit at> wrote:
> Can you point out some specific behavior, some language-design choice,
> where Ruby is farther away from Perl than Python is?

Ok, I deserve it :-) Short answer -- I think Ruby's object-oriented
structure is closer to Python's than Perl's. I don't know many
programmers that start writing Perl's code in object-oriented terms; a
lot of stuff is just thrown out as simple (unreadable) scripts. On the
other hand, it seems to be easier to write object oriented code in
Python, even for simple scripts.

Long answer: I evaluated Ruby a few years ago. All that I can say is
the impression left by the language after a short review. I think that
Ruby benefited, in historical terms, to start with a lot of features
that were relatively late additions to both Perl and Python.

Perl started as a hack. I'm not saying that in any derrogatory sense -
it's just the way it is (or was). For example, object orientation was
a late addition to the language. Python started as a careful and well
structured approach to language design, adding new features one by
one. Ruby's approach is (not surprisingly) an attempt at a mid-term --
starting with a well defined and clean framework, but still trying to
make things as concise as possible. Many of the first published Ruby
examples were written to show how concise some things could be
implemented -- I remember seeing examples such as sending email, or
loading a URL as samples of concise Ruby code. But all examples, and a
lot of Ruby documentation, enforces its object-oriented nature above
all. So in this sense I think Ruby is closer to Python than it is to

I hope it sounded convincing ;-)

Carlos Ribeiro
Consultoria em Projetos
mail: carribeiro at
mail: carribeiro at

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