Python -- (just) a successful experiment?

Cliff Wells cliff at
Mon Aug 8 15:29:40 CEST 2005

On Sun, 2005-08-07 at 06:55 -0700, Paul Boddie wrote:
> Eric Pederson wrote:
> > Why is Ruby, and Ruby on Rails, getting such strong play?
> Relentless hype from blogging celebrities?

This is certainly part of it, but I feel it ignores the much deeper
reasons which are the root of this hype.  I recently went to FOSCON (a
free seminar coinciding with OSCON put on by the local Ruby UG here in
Portland) and listened to a few presentations on Ruby and Rails by David
Hansson (the creator of Rails) and others.  By the end it was clear that
Ruby is wonderfully suited to writing domain-specific languages (DSL)
and that Rails is an excellent example of a DSL geared toward writing
database-driven web applications.  A friend of mine is writing a book on
Rails for a large publisher and admitted to me that he barely knows Ruby
(and has used Rails for only around six months).

The second presentation (I don't recall the speaker's name) specifically
covered metaprogramming (writing DSLs) and one of the things I found
interesting was that despite Ruby having far more syntax than Python in
general, the resulting Ruby-based DSLs presented had far *less* syntax
than had they been written in Python.  This is undoubtedly the reason
why Rails is apparently completely usable even if one knows very little


cliff at :: Web applications and hosting :: Linux, PostgreSQL and Python specialists ::

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