Python and Ruby

Jonathan Gardner jgardner at
Wed Feb 3 22:32:18 CET 2010

On Feb 2, 9:11 pm, John Bokma <j... at> wrote:
> Jonathan Gardner <jgard... at> writes:
> > I can explain, in an hour, every single feature of the Python language
> > to an experienced programmer, all the way up to metaclasses,
> Either you're a hell of a talker, or I am far, far away from being an
> experienced programmer. It's advocacy like this, IMO, that keeps people
> away from a language, because you can't feel nothing but a failure after
> a statement like this.

I can explain all of Python in an hour; I doubt anyone will understand
all of Python in an hour.

Coming from perl to python, the big "aha!" moment was when I realized
there wasn't anything more than what I saw before me. I kept expecting
something big around the corner, kind of like when I first discovered
refs in perl, or when I realized how hard it truly was to write OO
code in perl that actually does what you think it should do.

Perl has trained me to be fearful of the language, constantly on the
lookout for jabberwockies. If you fall into one of those traps in
perl, it's because you weren't smart enough and aren't worthy of the
language, or so they say. It's never perl's fault. I mean, doesn't
everyone know what the Schwartzian Transform is?

Python is the complete opposite. Go through
. Once you've familiarized yourself with all the operators,
statements, and the special methods, you're done with syntax and the
core language. There is no more.

The next step is to learn the basic objects and functions in builtins.
That's in the first seven chapters of
You can always fall back to the "help" function to remind yourself if
you forget. I do it all the time.

After that, it's merely figuring out which standard libraries do what
and how. The documentation there is complete and awesome, and there
are more than enough people willing to point you in the right
direction here.

There are no dragons in this forest. Heck, this isn't even a forest---
it's a single-room apartment with everything you need right there
where you can see it. The thermostat is set to room temperature, and
no matter what happens outside, you're safe and protected from it all.

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