What is going on?
All around me I see people relating Python and Ruby. The communities seem somehow intertwined with their users, usages, and publicity. It seems like you can never find a blog that talks about one without the other, or a new frontier being tested by one of the "new" languages and not being explored by its counterpart. Where do people see this distorted similarity between two languages that are as different as night and day?
To Rubyist out there, don't take offense. I have far more experience with Python, than with Ruby, so I might sound biased. Please, take this as an honestly unbiased opinion. I'm just talking from the middle in this case.
Python stands out from most of the other languages around. Largely it is understood as "the language without brackets", but it is not entirely alone there. Ruby almost appears like a language extremist. Their core types have fifty million methods each, because if you expect it to be there, it should be there. Python is important, because it explores the methods a language can encourage good coding practices onto developers. Ruby is vital, because it explores interesting constructs like continuations and compact code forms utilizing their quirky syntaxes. Both might have their place, but they are far different places. Python is unassuming. It will take nothing for granted, such as not taking for granted that you wanted a method call, not a call to a function in some method. Ruby is assuming. It understands the difference between objects and types, just based on the casing of the name.
Fuzzyman states a similarity between the languages, but can this be taken as anything more than common usage? We can see an assumption of similarity across both communities, but nothing really ties them together anymore than any languages are connected by virtue of all being languages.
I've been known at times to seem like a Python zealot and anti-PHP/Perl/Ruby, but in this case I'm setting that aside and I want to state very clearly: these two languages are not similar. They are very different beasts, with more differences than anything else. The illusion of a relation between Ruby and Python only harms both of them. We have people asking for continuations in Python constantly, when they are a great idea in Ruby, but would not likely work well in this very different environment. Rubyist get attacked by a barrage of Rails killing Python projects, trying to take their steam.
Shouldn't we go our separate ways?
I write here about programming, how to program better, things I think are neat and are related to programming. I might write other things at my personal website.
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