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Mark Nichols - Discussion 1

A comparison between python and ruby:
http://www.cs.washington.edu/homes/kd/courses/pythonruby.pdf

How do these languages differ?
Well according to my source, these languages are aimed at a similar problem, but have different approaches. Both of these languages are primarily Object oriented and geared towards scripting. Ruby is what is known as a pure object oriented language whereas it is debatable whether or not Python is "pure." What this means is that python is coming from a more procedural based world, while providing a lot of object oriented capability. Ruby, on the other hand, comes from a purely object oriented world and does not provide a way to program procedurally. This allows ruby to have a simpler and smoother syntax and overall interface.
How does that affect people's programming?
After reading Matias Paulez' discussion on what was important in a programming language I felt I disagreed with it. The main point in the discussion was on performance and money. While it would be difficult to argue the money point, I do believe that many programming languages are not designed for performance, particularly OO languages. It seems that Ruby is one of these languages, in that it attempts to offer the simplest syntax and interface possible to a programmer. It is true that many IDE's today offer very powerful tools that allow you to skip around the details of syntax. However, I feel that there is still a very strong need for programming languages in general to become simpler and more intuitive. It seems that object oriented languages are designed to model situations that humans can easily understand. Moving towards a more "human" approach to programming will only increase productivity which translates into more money.

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