Can you please give me some advice?

Bruno Desthuilliers bdesth.quelquechose at free.quelquepart.fr
Sat Sep 29 19:17:43 CEST 2007


cmpython at gmail.com a écrit :
(snip)
> I know nothing of Ruby, but just the fact that in Ruby the Hello World
> program is
> 
> puts 'Hello, World!'
> 
> whereas the Python Hello World program is
> 
> print 'Hello, World!'
> 
> suggests to me that Python is more intuitive because the word "print"
> has a meaning in English that makes sense given what you want to do,
> but "puts" just doesn't.

Hem.... Sorry, but it reminds me of the most clueless comments on Python 
I've seen on c.l.ruby. I really don't think Python is more or less 
"intuitive" than Ruby, and making a judgement on such a pointless detail 
is not even worth the bandswith IMHO. FWIW, 'puts' means 'put string' 
(implied : on stdout), which is certainly much more semantically correct 
than what 'print' implies. When stdout is redirected to a socket that 
send bytes to a client program - like, say, a browser -, you're 
certainly not "printing" anything.

Anyway, at this level, Python and Ruby are surprisingly close to each 
other.

>  And, as someone who has been learning Python
> from almost no knowledge of programming, I've found it is not too bad
> in trying to keep as reasonably close to a natural language like
> English
> as possible.

Here again, Ruby claims (or at least some rubyists do) that Ruby is as 
close as possible to "natural language". With examples like:

5.times do {
    something
    and_something_else
}

which is arguably more "intuitive" than:

for i in range(5):
   do_something()
   and_something_else()


> I also think the mandatory indenting of Python is helpful in forcing
> new programmers to be neat and see code blocks quickly.  Plus I doubt
> the Ruby community has such a large group of helpful people

While perhaps smaller, the Ruby community is (AFAICT) known for being 
very active and helpful.

> and
> libraries
> and such (but I could be wrong about that, just assuming it based on
> the
> fact that Python has been around longer).

On this last point at least, you're probably right !-)

> On the other hand, perhaps because Ruby is newer it has been able to
> freshly start with advantages learned from the difficulties of other
> languages.   Byung-Hee Hwang ought to go the Ruby group and see what
> they are saying.

Indeed. Or even better, try both languages and find out which one he 
likes best. Implementation and 3rd part libs set aside, I could not say 
one is better than the other, so it's mostly a matter of personal taste 
and affinities.

> As far as English goes, Byung-Hee, you have to admit English grammar
> is easy

Would you say French is easy ? Because as far as I'm concerned, I find 
it the easiest language ever. Could it be because I'm french ?-)

(snip)



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