Is python for me?

Steve Holden steve at
Tue Nov 14 11:55:24 CET 2006

Mark Woodward wrote:
> On Mon, 13 Nov 2006 09:11:13 -0800, lennart wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I'm planning to learn a language for 'client' software. Until now, i
>> 'speak' only some web based languages, like php. As a kid i programmed
>> in Basic (CP/M, good old days :'-) ) Now i want to start to learn a
>> (for me) new computer language.
>> I like Python. Its free, easy to learn and some favorite programs of my
>> are written in Python / can understand Python (like OpenOffice) etc.
>> But I'm not a full-time programmer. I know, that I've only time &
>> possibility to learn one (= 1) language good. So i ask myself is python
>> the language I'm looking for?
> ....
> I've been hesitant to write this in the past but seems like a good time.
> I'm at the same stage, but (and this is NOT a troll) I'm tossing up
> between Python and Ruby. I know this has been discussed numerous times but
> I'd like to come at it from a different angle. 
> I've been 'playing' with both languages and to be honest it's a case of 6
> of one, half a dozen of the other. If I'm using python I 'think' python
> and if I'm using Ruby I 'think' ruby (if that makes sense). Ie I don't
> find I'm more productive in one over the other to any great extent (pretty
> unproductive in both ATM to be honest ;-)) .
> In the foreseeable future I suspect I'll stick with one and just use it
> for things I personally will use/need. But (and here's where I finally get
> to a question) I use Linux, I love the whole idea of open source and
> contributing in some way. So if I ever get to the stage where I can give
> something back is one preferred over the other? I would have thought no
> but I read on the Ubuntu site somewhere that they prefer contributions
> written in Python/ pyGTK?? Is this just a 'preference' or because python
> is installed by default? (whereas Ruby isn't)? Is it just Ubuntu or Linux
> distros in general?
> I hope you can see where I'm coming from here. I don't want to start a
> Python/Ruby flame war. That's not the question. The question is "is one
> preferred over the other when contributing software and is this just a
> particular distros preference"?
Ubuntu is pretty much a Python-oriented distribution. A lot of people 
like it because you always get a fairly up-to-date Python with lots of 
extras available.

I don't know that much about Ruby, but the best approach to software 
development has always been to choose the best language for solving the 
problem, so you seem to be doing OK.

Steve Holden       +44 150 684 7255  +1 800 494 3119
Holden Web LLC/Ltd
Skype: holdenweb
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