Python or Ruby!

July 25, 2010 at 2:37 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

Just a few thoughts in my quest to become a very proficient professional hacker. I have probably tried to get going the most with Python but as always there just seems to be a disconnect with the abstractions that just don’t click with me. Lately I have been playing with Rails and Ruby and as much as I kept running from Ruby as the language that I wanted to learn it is starting to grow on me. In the words of many great hackers Ruby seems to fit my brain. The code is quite a bit more readable then even Python. Along the way I also noticed a few things about the Ruby and Rails culture that differs from the Python world. Ruby has not had the problems Python has with package management as Python seems to still have. Ruby Gems are pretty ubiquitous when it comes to Ruby packages. I think Python and Linux has very striking similarities when you look at Linux’s packaging and all around standards in general. You can’t just read instructions on installing programs on Linux or where in the file system to find things etc. Some may enjoy this but they have to admit it is a hindrance when it comes to adoption of a platform. Python seems to be as splintered just look at the squabbling over web frameworks between the Turbogears type and the Django types. Ruby like the Mac has found a way to agree on things that help to keep the community productive and pragmatic as well. I’m even finding Rails to make a lot of sense in terms of how it works and as much as the web seems to be crawling with the Twitter performance stories and Ruby being slow, the Ruby and Rails communities still move along at a pretty good pace getting things done. There are very big sites and web apps still using Rails in spite of the Twitter story. I know it has quieted down somewhat but it is far from a dyeing technology. There are still a great deal of thriving businesses being started and chugging along that find Ruby and Rails a perfect fit. I know some would argue that Python and Linux are stronger communities for all the choice you have but some people want to see a platform mature and make some choices that allow a platform to move on to the next step. As much as I hear people say how readable Python is and how it fits their brains I understand it but for me it seems to be Ruby.

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