The Philosophy of Ruby
2nd October 2003
The Philosophy of Ruby is the first part of Artima’s interview with Yukihiro Matsumoto (aka Matz), creator of the Ruby language. The interview touches on the philosophical differences between Python and Ruby, in particular Python’s preference for having one obvious way of doing things:
Ruby inherited the Perl philosophy of having more than one way to do the same thing. I inherited that philosophy from Larry Wall, who is my hero actually. I want to make Ruby users free. I want to give them the freedom to choose. People are different. People choose different criteria. But if there is a better way among many alternatives, I want to encourage that way by making it comfortable. So that’s what I’ve tried to do. Maybe Python code is a bit more readable. Everyone can write the same style of Python code, so it can be easier to read, maybe. But the difference from one person to the next is so big, providing only one way is little help even if you’re using Python, I think. I’d rather provide many ways if it’s possible, but encourage or guide users to choose a better way if it’s possible.
Ruby vs Python is currently threatening to overtake Perl vs Python as the favourite holy war amongst language geeks. I’m predisposed towards Python, mainly because I haven’t seen any benefits of Ruby over Python strong enough to convince me to invest some serious time in the former.
More recent articles
- Interesting ideas in Observable Framework - 3rd March 2024
- Weeknotes: Getting ready for NICAR - 27th February 2024
- The killer app of Gemini Pro 1.5 is video - 21st February 2024
- Weeknotes: a Datasette release, an LLM release and a bunch of new plugins - 9th February 2024
- LLM 0.13: The annotated release notes - 26th January 2024
- Weeknotes: datasette-test, datasette-build, PSF board retreat - 21st January 2024
- Talking about Open Source LLMs on Oxide and Friends - 17th January 2024
- Publish Python packages to PyPI with a python-lib cookiecutter template and GitHub Actions - 16th January 2024
- What I should have said about the term Artificial Intelligence - 9th January 2024