Can you please help to make decision?

Fist of all, sorry for poor English, I am not professional English
speaker. I have some plan to do study computer language for my work. But
still I do not make decision what to do study between Ruby and Python. I
never have experience to use any computer language. I think Ruby’s
design is clean, whereas it does not have many libraries to use
somebody.

Can you please help to make decision?

Byung-Hee HWANG wrote:

Fist of all, sorry for poor English, I am not professional English
speaker. I have some plan to do study computer language for my work. But
still I do not make decision what to do study between Ruby and Python. I
never have experience to use any computer language. I think Ruby’s
design is clean, whereas it does not have many libraries to use
somebody.

Ruby, no question about it.

On 9/30/07, SpringFlowers AutumnMoon [email protected] wrote:

Byung-Hee HWANG wrote:

Fist of all, sorry for poor English, I am not professional English
speaker. I have some plan to do study computer language for my work. But
still I do not make decision what to do study between Ruby and Python. I
never have experience to use any computer language. I think Ruby’s
design is clean, whereas it does not have many libraries to use
somebody.

Ruby, no question about it.
Of course 100% Ruby unless you ask the question on the Python Mailing
List ;).
I however feel that if one might argue if Ruby or Python is the better
language for ages if it comes to decide which one of the both to
learn first Ruby really wins, here is my personal list why:

  • a clean (probably one of the cleanest) object oriented design, example
    12.to_s (Ry) vs. str(12) (Py)
  • a simpler (not simple by any means, but simpler) Inheritance Model
  • a little bit less esotheric (syntax and metraprogramming) thus what
    you learn about Ruby will be more usable for other languages e.g.
    Smalltalk
  • simpler, Python got very, very powerful but at the cost of advanced
    techniques, the Ruby learning curve will be much flatter.
  • and this is my favorite: “Code Blocks”, learning to use code blocks
    is probably the single greatest benefit from learning Ruby, Python
    just will not give this to you.

This is a single opinion of a single minded guy of course ;).
Robert

I would choose python.

a clean (probably one of the cleanest) object oriented design, example:

Convert the number 12 to a string:

ruby: my_str = 12.to_s

python: my_str = str(12)

I have a hard time understanding how either method has an advantage over
the other. It’s totally irrelevant in my opinion. Personally, I think
using a number to call a method looks ugly. But I can adapt pretty
easily.

  • a simpler (not simple by any means, but simpler) Inheritance Model

I have never studied a simple inheritance model. I don’t have enough
experience with Ruby’s inheritance model yet to know which is simpler.
Once again, I think trying to decide which is simpler is totally
irrelevant–especially for a beginner who has never programmed in any
language before.

  • a little bit less esotheric (syntax and metraprogramming) thus what
    you learn about Ruby will be more usable for other languages e.g.
    Smalltalk

I think ruby’s syntax looks like chicken scratchings, and I have a C++
background. C++ has the most difficult syntax I have seen–except maybe
perl’s. In my opinion, python’s syntax is much more human readable than
ruby’s. I guess if you are coming from perl, then ruby’s syntax would
seem incredibly clear. Of course, if you know a language well, it’s
easy to read. I think the test is whether someone who doesn’t know a
language well can make heads or tails out of what is going on in some
basic code. I don’t think ruby is ever going to be readable in that way.

Ruby also relies heavily on regex’s, and regex’s are never going to be
easy to read for anyone. regex’s are not beginner friendly, and that
might be a big barrier for a beginner trying to learn ruby. There are
lots of people who just can’t learn regex’s.

  • simpler, Python got very, very powerful but at the cost of advanced
    techniques, the Ruby learning curve will be much flatter.

I doubt that Ruby’s learning curve is flatter. I think python and ruby
are close neighbors as far as languages go. In fact, there are some
similarities that it will make you wonder who copied who with regard to
certain features. However, I would guess that python’s learning curve
is easier for beginners because the subject of classes doesn’t come up
until about the middle of a python book. python is a language that can
be used effectively without classes if the concept of classes is too
difficult for a beginner to grasp.

Overall, I think python’s online documentation is pretty poor, but I
think ruby’s is worse. In my opinion, only php got it right. They
opened up the online documentation to user comments, and now every
single issue that has ever been encountered with any function is
discussed in the comments to the documentation. That is incredibly
valuable information. If ruby wanted to take a significant step forward
in its online documentation relative to python, I think they should copy
the php model. One solution to the poor online docs for both ruby and
python is to buy a good book.

There is also more information about python available on the web since
the python community is much larger.

  • and this is my favorite: “Code Blocks”, learning to use code blocks
    is probably the single greatest benefit from learning Ruby, Python
    just will not give this to you.

I don’t know what “code blocks” are and the subject isn’t in the
appendix of ruby’s bible: pickaxe2, so I can’t comment on that.

  1. I find tracking down errors is more difficult in ruby than python.
    python has better error messages. For instance, in ruby if you forget
    one ‘end’ in your code somewhere(‘end’ is used to terminate a section of
    code), the error message will say that there is an error on the last
    line of your program. As a result, you have to go hunting through your
    whole program to figure out where you forgot an ‘end’. That’s
    aggravating.

  2. There are some really nice little touches that python implements,
    which make programming less aggravating. I’ll highlight one.

Both ruby and python have string formatting, which requires more typing
as well as typing harder to reach characters on the keyboard in order to
output some information to the screen. But let’s say you just want to
quickly display something to the screen with minimal typing. In ruby,
you can use the method: puts. For instance,

val1 = 10
val2 = 20

puts val1, val2

puts adds a newline after each value, so the output is:

10
20

But, what if you want to print two things on the same line. Ruby also
has a print method:

print val1, val2

but the output will be: 1020. To get some separation, you have to do
this:

print val1, " ", val2

and then the output will be: 10 20. Having to include the quoted space
in there is almost not worth the effort–you might be swayed to use the
more laborious string formatting instead. In addition, print does not
add a newline at the end, so to keep any subsequent output from
displaying on the same line, you need to write:

print val1, " ", val2, “\n”

That’s just too much of a hassle. Using puts with string formatting is
probably no harder to type:

puts “#{val1} #{val2}”

So much for being able to type something quickly that displays a few
values to the screen.

In python, the print command is like the puts method in ruby. However,
it works a little bit differently. The statement:

print val1, val2

works differently in two ways:

  1. print adds a newline after all the output–not after each variable
  2. print automatically adds a space between each variable

So this code:

val1 = 10
val2 = 20

print val1, val2

produces the output: 10 20, and since print automatically adds a newline
after all the output, the next print statement won’t display output on
the same line. As a result, python’s print statement is incredibly
handy and easy to use. I think it shows how much thought is put into
the details of the language.

  1. Then there are the well documented major shortcomings of Ruby—it is
    slow. Rubyists will say, “Who cares?! I’m in no rush to get the
    results of my programs.” That’s well and good, but it’s nice to have
    more speed if you need it. Rubyists will counter, “If I need the speed,
    I’ll program in C.” That’s great if you know C, but what if you only
    know ruby? python executes much faster than ruby, and just like ruby,
    you can program the slow parts in C if you need even more speed.

Good luck with your choice.

On Sun, 2007-09-30 at 22:47 +0900, 7stud – wrote:
[…snip…]

I think ruby’s syntax looks like chicken scratchings, and I have a C++
background. C++ has the most difficult syntax I have seen–except maybe
perl’s. In my opinion, python’s syntax is much more human readable than
ruby’s. I guess if you are coming from perl, then ruby’s syntax would
seem incredibly clear. Of course, if you know a language well, it’s
easy to read. I think the test is whether someone who doesn’t know a
language well can make heads or tails out of what is going on in some
basic code. I don’t think ruby is ever going to be readable in that way.

I will refer to your comments. Thank you for serious advice.

[…snip…]

On Sun, 2007-09-30 at 19:19 +0900, Robert D. wrote:

Of course 100% Ruby unless you ask the question on the Python Mailing List ;).

  • simpler, Python got very, very powerful but at the cost of advanced
    techniques, the Ruby learning curve will be much flatter.
  • and this is my favorite: “Code Blocks”, learning to use code blocks
    is probably the single greatest benefit from learning Ruby, Python
    just will not give this to you.

This is a single opinion of a single minded guy of course ;).
Robert

Thank you for kindness…

Byung-Hee

On Sep 30, 2007, at 9:47 AM, 7stud – wrote:

  • and this is my favorite: “Code Blocks”, learning to use code blocks
    is probably the single greatest benefit from learning Ruby, Python
    just will not give this to you.

I don’t know what “code blocks” are and the subject isn’t in the
appendix of ruby’s bible: pickaxe2, so I can’t comment on that.

Look under ‘block’ not ‘code block’.

Regards, Morton

On 9/30/07, 7stud – [email protected] wrote:

I would choose python.

First of all is great that somebody speaks out honestly like this, and
it will give a great discussion, looking forward to it

I have a hard time understanding how either method has an advantage over
the other. It’s totally irrelevant in my opinion. Personally, I think
using a number to call a method looks ugly. But I can adapt pretty
easily.
That is not really the issue, remember I was talking to a beginner.
12.to_s means it is Integer’s responsibility to convert itself to a
String
str(12) means it is Kernel’s responsibility to convert Integer’s to
Strings
the second just does not feel OO to me.

  • a simpler (not simple by any means, but simpler) Inheritance Model

I have never studied a simple inheritance model. I don’t have enough
experience with Ruby’s inheritance model yet to know which is simpler.
Once again, I think trying to decide which is simpler is totally
irrelevant–especially for a beginner who has never programmed in any
language before.
Well you mean the shall start running before walking? Why not if they
are well guided, I could easily tell a beginner start with Python but
be aware of all dangers of MI. Is there good materiel like that on
Python? I guess a link would be appreciated.
In the end it might be simpler to learn walking first, but it is not a
strict rule.
seem incredibly clear. Of course, if you know a language well, it’s
easy to read. I think the test is whether someone who doesn’t know a
language well can make heads or tails out of what is going on in some
basic code. I don’t think ruby is ever going to be readable in that way.
Ok maybe I should have said that this is a personal POV, however

Ruby also relies heavily on regex’s, and regex’s are never going to be
easy to read for anyone. regex’s are not beginner friendly, and that
might be a big barrier for a beginner trying to learn ruby. There are
lots of people who just can’t learn regex’s.
with all due respect that is nonsense, regexs are what they are, in
Perl, Python or Ruby.
is easier for beginners because the subject of classes doesn’t come up
until about the middle of a python book.
And that is to late IMHO,
python is a language that can
be used effectively without classes if the concept of classes is too
difficult for a beginner to grasp.
Yes but should they, I guess a pure question of taste, but I give
partially in on it.
Might really depend on the student’s style.

Overall, I think python’s online documentation is pretty poor, but I
think ruby’s is worse.
Ok no discussion here, I give you that point
But the Ruby community seems more helpful than Python’s, do you agree?

There is also more information about python available on the web since
the python community is much larger.
yes but see above

  • and this is my favorite: “Code Blocks”, learning to use code blocks
    is probably the single greatest benefit from learning Ruby, Python
    just will not give this to you.

I don’t know what “code blocks” are and the subject isn’t in the
appendix of ruby’s bible: pickaxe2, so I can’t comment on that.
What? Are you sure I mean {} and do end

  1. I find tracking down errors is more difficult in ruby than python.
    python has better error messages. For instance, in ruby if you forget
    one ‘end’ in your code somewhere(‘end’ is used to terminate a section of
    code), the error message will say that there is an error on the last
    line of your program. As a result, you have to go hunting through your
    whole program to figure out where you forgot an ‘end’. That’s
    aggravating.
    I give it to you for Syntax errors, but when it come to Stack Traces
    OMG Ruby beats Python by magnitudes.

  2. There are some really nice little touches that python implements,
    which make programming less aggravating. I’ll highlight one.

    No please not that, that is not important, whoever does not implement
    that kind of basic method his way anyway, and for a beginner,
    really…

  1. Then there are the well documented major shortcomings of Ruby—it is
    slow.
    I think it is fast, it is even lightening fast for a beginner for
    whome typing speed is much more important than execution speed.
    Rubyists will say, “Who cares?! I’m in no rush to get the
    results of my programs.”
    Yup they will :slight_smile:
    That’s well and good, but it’s nice to have
    more speed if you need it. Rubyists will counter, “If I need the speed,
    I’ll program in C.” That’s great if you know C, but what if you only
    know ruby? python executes much faster than ruby, and just like ruby,
    you can program the slow parts in C if you need even more speed.

Now I am making a brisk statement: Somebody learning Ruby today will
have as fast Rubies available as Pythons, when she is master.

Good luck with your choice.
And again I agree 100% with you :wink:

Robert

Robert D. wrote:

I would choose python.

First of all is great that somebody speaks out honestly like this, and
it will give a great discussion, looking forward to it

(-;

(2 years of pure Python, folks, and not going back…)

If you are not the best at English, I would suggest Ruby.

Personally, I find Pythons documentation boring and dull, but good if
you are
familiar with programming (and English). Ruby, is a little more newbie
friendly in my humble opinion when it comes to documentation. Although I
don’t
meant to insult any one (and I would actually like to help improve it
some
day), I think Ruby’s documentation is not as good quality as Pythons –
but is
more then suitable for most things.

easy to read for anyone. regex’s are not beginner friendly, and that
might be a big barrier for a beginner trying to learn ruby. There are
lots of people who just can’t learn regex’s.

The C side of the syntax is easy, C++ just complicates it ^_^. My first
language was C++, I know the most about standard C of any language. But
I
don’t know C++ very well any more.

I’ve always found most languages to be fairly readable if some times
hard to
follow the specifics of some things without knowing more about the
language.
For example, if I didn’t know about Blocks in Ruby, I might not get it
until
after I had examined several examples. Much the same as Joe B.
probably
wouldn’t know what on earth a Union is in C/C++ without knowing about
them.
But understanding the struct idea is not to hard if your mind can grasp
struct
= short for structure.

I’ve found Ruby very good for producing human readable code, it’s not
perfect but works pretty nice in my experience. And this is coming
from a
C99 Lover with a very nit picky convention for naming things ^_^.

TerryP.

On Sep 30, 8:47 am, 7stud – [email protected] wrote:
[…]

Ruby also relies heavily on regex’s, and regex’s are never going to be
easy to read for anyone. regex’s are not beginner friendly, and that
might be a big barrier for a beginner trying to learn ruby. There are
lots of people who just can’t learn regex’s.

Those are probably the same people who can’t figure out
what a code block is. Even little old Awk relies heavily on
regular expressions, which should be learned by anyone who
wants to rise above COBOL and BASIC and C.

[…]

  • and this is my favorite: “Code Blocks”, learning to use code blocks
    is probably the single greatest benefit from learning Ruby, Python
    just will not give this to you.

I don’t know what “code blocks” are and the subject isn’t in the
appendix of ruby’s bible: pickaxe2, so I can’t comment on that.

Zounds!

And yet the soul, shut up in her dark room,
Viewing so clear abroad, at home sees nothing;
But, like a mole in earth, busy and blind,
Works all her folly up, and casts it outward
To the world’s open view.
—Dryden

[…]

val2 = 20

add a newline at the end, so to keep any subsequent output from
values to the screen.

handy and easy to use. I think it shows how much thought is put into
the details of the language.

Apparently, Ruby gives the programmer more power here.
Just as Awk has OFS (output-field-separator) and ORS
(output-record-separator), Ruby has $, and $.

E:\Ruby>irb --prompt xmp
print 88,99
8899 ==>nil
$, = ’ ’
==>" "
print 88,99
88 99 ==>nil
$\ = “\n”
==>"\n"
print 88,99
88 99
==>nil
$, = ‘–’
==>"–"
print 88,99
88–99
==>nil
$\ = “<<\n”
==>"<<\n"
print 88,99
88–99<<
==>nil

Here’s a simple test for the op. Which of the following do you think is
easier to understand? Can you guess what each program does?

language1:

colors = [“red”, “blue”, “green”]

colors.each {|color| puts color}

language2:

colors = [“red”, “green”, “blue”]

for color in colors:
print color

Byung-Hee HWANG wrote:

Fist of all, sorry for poor English, I am not professional English
speaker. I have some plan to do study computer language for my work. But
still I do not make decision what to do study between Ruby and Python. I
never have experience to use any computer language. I think Ruby’s
design is clean, whereas it does not have many libraries to use
somebody.

Can you please help to make decision?

I think one thing is the “fun” factor, that i have programmed in BASIC,
Assembly, Fortran, Pascal, C, C++, Perl, Python, Ruby, and PHP.

I’d say Pascal was delightful as it was well structured. C is powerful.
Perl and Python is quick for writing code. But recently I just have had
a lot of fun writing in Ruby. I haven’t had that feeling in years.

Look under ‘block’ not ‘code block’.

Ahh. “Blocks” as in “Proc’s and blocks”.

That is not really the issue, remember I was talking to a
beginner. 12.to_s means it is Integer’s responsibility to
convert itself to a String str(12) means it is Kernel’s
responsibility to convert Integer’s to Strings

Do you really think a beginner cares about that or even has any idea
what you are talking about?

the second just does not feel OO to me.

What about when you write:

puts result
input = gets
p = lambda {“hello world”}
printf("%.2f \n", 4.56789)
require “somefile”
sleep(2)

Do you avoid those ‘global’ method calls because they look too much like
str(12)? Or, to maintain your OO purity do you write things like:

Kernel.puts “hello world”

I give it to you for Syntax errors, but when it come to Stack Traces
OMG Ruby beats Python by magnitudes.

def func1
func2
end

def func2
puts y
end

func1

ruby:

r8test.rb:5:in func2': undefined local variable or methody’ for
main:Object (NameError)
from r8test.rb:2:in `func1’
from r8test.rb:7

python:

Traceback (most recent call last):
File “6test.py”, line 8, in ?
func1()
File “6test.py”, line 2, in func1
func2()
File “6test.py”, line 5, in func2
print y
NameError: global name ‘y’ is not defined

I don’t see any substantive difference, but to my eye the python output
looks more orderly and is easier to read.

Personally, I find Pythons documentation boring and dull,
but good if you are familiar with programming (and English).

That’s more credit than I’d give it!

Byung-Hee HWANG wrote:

Fist of all, sorry for poor English, I am not professional English
speaker.

Whoops. Maybe these will be easier to understand:

language1:

numbers = [10, 20, 30]

numbers.each {|number| puts number}

language2:

numbers = [10, 20, 30]

for number in numbers:
print number

7stud – wrote:

I would choose python.

a clean (probably one of the cleanest) object oriented design, example:

Convert the number 12 to a string:

ruby: my_str = 12.to_s

python: my_str = str(12)

I have a hard time understanding how either method has an advantage over
the other. It’s totally irrelevant in my opinion. Personally, I think
using a number to call a method looks ugly. But I can adapt pretty
easily.

if viewed as “hey number 12, i give you a message, and the message is
‘tell me what you are in a string format’, and the number 12 tells you”,
that’s be kind of cool.

7stud – wrote:

numbers = [10, 20, 30]

numbers.each {|number| puts number}

language2:

numbers = [10, 20, 30]

for number in numbers:
print number

numbers = [10, 20, 30]
==>[10, 20, 30]

for number in numbers do
p number
end
10
20
30

On Sep 30, 1:25 pm, 7stud – [email protected] wrote:

language2:

colors = [“red”, “green”, “blue”]

for color in colors:
print color

E:\Ruby>irb --prompt xmp
colors = [“red”, “blue”, “green”]
==>[“red”, “blue”, “green”]
puts colors
red
blue
green

In article [email protected],
Byung-Hee HWANG [email protected] wrote:

Fist of all, sorry for poor English, I am not professional English
speaker. I have some plan to do study computer language for my work. But
still I do not make decision what to do study between Ruby and Python. I
never have experience to use any computer language. I think Ruby’s
design is clean, whereas it does not have many libraries to use
somebody.

Can you please help to make decision?

I don’t think Python has ever gained the traction that Ruby has,
especially with the advent of RoR.

My opinion, go with Ruby.

On Sep 30, 2007, at 8:47 AM, 7stud – wrote:

Ruby also relies heavily on regex’s, and regex’s are never going to be
easy to read for anyone. regex’s are not beginner friendly, and that
might be a big barrier for a beginner trying to learn ruby. There are
lots of people who just can’t learn regex’s.

I’m staying out of the Ruby vs. Python debate, but the above is just
plain wrong and I wish people would stop saying things like this.

For some reason, regular expressions are surrounded in this aura of
mystery. Perhaps their syntax heavy nature makes them seem odd to
people unfamiliar with them at first glance, but for some reason
many, many people believe things like the comment posted about.
That’s a real shame.

Regular expression is a simple pattern language anyone can learn
quite easily. I once taught them to my wife in the space of evening,
to help with a work project. She’s an above average skill-level
computer user, but definitely not a programmer. She had no trouble
grasping the concepts and still uses regular expression to this day.

Please, sit down and really try learning regular expression before
adding to the fear factor surrounding them. I promise, it’s time
well spent.

James Edward G. II

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