Using Python after a few years of Ruby

Emmanuel Surleau emmanuel.surleau at
Tue Apr 14 20:36:32 CEST 2009

Hi there, Ruby transfuge too.

> Although I'm not 100% new to Python, most of my experience using high-
> level languages is with Ruby. I had a job doing Rails web development
> a little ways back and I really enjoyed it. At my current workplace
> though, we're looking at using Python and I'm trying to get back into
> the Python "groove" as it were.
> I've got plenty of materials to get me up to speed on the mechanics of
> the language, but I was wondering about the equivalent of some tools I
> was used to using in Ruby. If there's not anything that's a one-to-one
> equivalent I totally understand, I'm just looking for some pointers
> here to get me started. :)
> 1) Rake - is there an equivalent of Rake? I've seen a bit about SCons,
> and it looks really nice, but it seems geared towards being a Make
> replacement for C/C++ rather than something that's used to work with
> Python itself. Is there anything like a Python build tool? (Or do I
> even need something like that? I haven't worked with any large Python
> systems, just little things here and there.)

Zed Shaw (of Mongrel fame) apparently created a pythonic rake called 
Vellum. However, the website returns a 404, and the egg doesn't seem to 
work. Shame.

> 2) Gems - I've seen a bit about Eggs, but they don't seem to have
> anywhere near the official status gems do for Ruby. Are there any
> "package management" things like this for Python, or do you usually
> just grab the code you need as-is?

Eggs looks like gems. Except that some of them have actual documentation. 
The Egg index is here: But I'll grant you that 
easy_install doesn't have quite the list of options gem has.

> 3) Web frameworks - yeah, I realize there are tons of these, but are
> TurboGears, Django, and Zope still the big ones? I've seen a lot about
> Pylons, is that a separate framework or is it a ... well, frame that
> other things are built on? (TG seems to be related to Pylons at a
> glance?)

Django is kind of like the Rails of Python, while Pylons is kind of like Merb 
(it integrates different frameworks to get the job done).

> 4) Unit Test frameworks - If there's a behavioral test suite like
> RSpec that's be awesome, but I'd be happy to settle for a good, solid
> unit testing system.

BDD doesn't seem to be a big focus of the Python community. No Cucumber 
either :(. Have a look at Nose, it looks decent.



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