Python 25 times as popular as Ruby !?


(Lothar Scholz) #1

Hey,

i spend 30 minutes by checking the statistics page of popular and well
known ruby and python projects. The result is a real fiasco for ruby
in some areas.

For example

Jython 100 <-> Jruby 4
Ruby GTK 15 (FXRuby 8) <-> WxPython 700
Ruby DBI 70 <-> mysql-python 150

i also checked a lot of other packages but could find comparable ones.
But the numbers are the same. And when you compare the newsgroups
comp.lang.python<->comp.lang.ruby you see the same. clr seems to be
more code philosophical questions where clp is about developing
software.

So do you think the difference is the same. For my website i can only
confirm that it is at least a 4:1 for python.


(Martin S. Weber) #2

I just say ``BSD is dead.’’ :slight_smile:

-Martin (<-- bsd user)

···

On Sun, Feb 01, 2004 at 03:44:50PM +0900, Lothar Scholz wrote:

Hey,

i spend 30 minutes by checking the statistics page of popular and well
known ruby and python projects. The result is a real fiasco for ruby
in some areas.


(Dan Doel) #3

Lothar Scholz wrote:

The result is a real fiasco for ruby in some areas.

Why is this a fiasco?

Why must Ruby be far more known than Python?

We here know it and like it. I’m sure if other people ask us our opinion
on a good
language, we’ll suggest Ruby.

But why should it matter if Ruby is more known than Python or Java or C
or whatever?

If you like it, use it. If you don’t, don’t. One needn’t worry so much
about what other
people are doing.

After all, Ruby isn’t a religion, and it isn’t in a contest with other
languages.

  • Dan

(MikkelFJ) #4

Dato: 1. februar 2004 07:43

comp.lang.ruby you see the same. clr seems to be
more code philosophical questions where clp is about developing
software.

I have learnt more about software development in c.l.r. than in any other
forum.

The greatest thing about Ruby is its friendly community, the intellect
behind it, and the tolerance and curiosity towards other interesting not
necessarily Ruby-related technologies. The language comes second to that. As
Ruby grows more popular, c.l.r. becomes more nuts’n bolts for better and
worse. But it is one reason I’m spending less time here these days - too
many posts to dig through. Just subjectively tracking c.l.r. from a distance
convinces me that more and more people are using Ruby. From zero knowledge
to an unscientific 1 / 25 of Python in 4 years of exposure to the english
speaking community is not bad at all considering Python has presumably grown
a lot in the same timeframe. Today every decent developer has at least heard
of Ruby.

I reckon the only really good projects you picked for comparison are the
database projects because these are used by the kind of projects best done
by scripting - e.g. GUI has issues with deployment and portability despite
the efforts. You might also want to look at template engines like Amrita,
XML parsers and web frameworks. Some of the really popular Ruby projects
have migrated into the Ruby distribution (e.g. REXML) and may not see much
exposure elsewhere - I guess this is also true for Python.

Mikkel

···

Fra: “Lothar Scholz” llothar@web.de
Emne: Python 25 times as popular as Ruby !?


(David Garamond) #5

MikkelFJ wrote:

comp.lang.ruby you see the same. clr seems to be
more code philosophical questions where clp is about developing
software.

I have learnt more about software development in c.l.r. than in any other
forum.

I have found c.l.r to be a friendly and helpful community, but so are
comp.lang.python and most other comp.*. Only a handful of newsgroups and
mailing lists are actually a hostile environment (and even when they
are, it’s not all of the time…)

···


dave


(Tim Hunter) #6

Hear, hear! Well said!

···

On Sun, 01 Feb 2004 16:53:21 +0900, Dan Doel wrote:

After all, Ruby isn’t a religion, and it isn’t in a contest with other
languages.


(Emmanuel Touzery) #7

because then i can do ruby at my daily work instead of suffering in C# :O)
for now ruby is only acceptable for internal tools, clients want
buzzword-compliant tools. python might be in this class soon, and i’d like
ruby to get there too… (and i trust matz not to cripple the language to get
there)

emmanuel

···

On Sunday 01 of February 2004 08:53, Dan Doel wrote:

But why should it matter if Ruby is more known than Python or Java or C
or whatever?


(Lothar Scholz) #8

Hello Dan,

Sunday, February 1, 2004, 8:53:21 AM, you wrote:

But why should it matter if Ruby is more known than Python or Java or C
or whatever?

It's simple. The evolution depends on the size of the active
community. I don't mean students who pick it up for a course, or
people writting there first script, but people using it in a
professional (commerical) environment.

You can't deny that there is a correlation between this and the
quality of the libraries (maybe not the core) and found/fixed bugs.

···

--
Best regards,
Lothar mailto:mailinglists@scriptolutions.com


(Michael Campbell) #9

Dan Doel wrote:

Lothar Scholz wrote:

The result is a real fiasco for ruby in some areas.

Why is this a fiasco?

Why must Ruby be far more known than Python?

No one said that.

We here know it and like it. I’m sure if other people ask us our opinion
on a good
language, we’ll suggest Ruby.

And if that other person is in charge of actually deciding something (like say, your boss), often they will get many opinions. If your opinion is “ruby” and 4 others are “python”, guess which way they will go?

But why should it matter if Ruby is more known than Python or Java or C
or whatever?

See above. And as Lothar said, so more bugs will be found, more libraries will be written, better chance of using it in the workplace.

If it doesn’t grow, it will eventually die.


#10

Lothar Scholz wrote:

The result is a real fiasco for ruby in some areas.

Why is this a fiasco?

I don’t think fiasco is the right word.

Why must Ruby be far more known than Python?

We here know it and like it. I’m sure if other people ask us our opinion
on a good
language, we’ll suggest Ruby.

But why should it matter if Ruby is more known than Python or Java or C
or whatever?

If you like it, use it. If you don’t, don’t. One needn’t worry so much
about what other
people are doing.

After all, Ruby isn’t a religion, and it isn’t in a contest with other
languages.

I would tend to agree with you, but I’ll present counter argument for the
sake of discussion.

Three things: Critical Mass, mindshare and perception.

If a language reaches Critial Mass (meaning that it has gathered some
number N users [I don’t pretend to define N here]) it will tend to develop
faster. More libraries will be developed more quickly. More
documentation will be developed more quickly. More books will be
published about it. Many hands make the work lighter.
Perl reached critical mass years ago. Python is probably close to getting
there (maybe it’s already there?)

Which leads to mindshare. At some point the language gains mindshare such
that if you mention the name of the language to a non-user of the
language or technically inclined manager chances are that they’ve at least
heard of it.

The perception of said language among management types (for example) will
tend to be that it is at least ‘real’ - as in usable for real projects. A
person recommending said language will encounter less resistance to using
that language on a new project.

I suggest that in the US at least, Ruby suffers from a perception problem.
We know that Ruby is up to the task for developing large, critical
applications. Some of us have used it in a commercial setting for
developing just those types of apps and we’ve been successful. However,
outside of our community the perception is that Ruby is mostly a hobby
language. We of course know that that perception isn’t reality, but how
do we change that perception?

Also, the perception out on the ‘street’ is that Ruby and Python play in
the same space and to some extent this is true. Given that perception,
you find some people wondering why Ruby exists in the language
’marketplace’ (they think it’s just redundant - see Bruce Eckel’s comments
about Ruby). Here again, we in the Ruby community know that Ruby isn’t
redundant, but how do we convince people outside the community? I think
it mostly comes down to convincing someone to actually use both languages
for a few days solving some real-world problems - when you actually do
that you get a very different ‘feeling’ from each of the languages. Problem
is it’s difficult to quantify a
’feeling’. I’m not suggesting that everyone who does this sort of
comparison between the two languages will come down on the side of Ruby,
however, I suspect there would be more of an even split instead of 25:1 in
favor of Python (or whatever it actually is).

So how do we get to critical mass? It’s a chicken-or-egg situation.
“Well, the Ruby community is a lot smaller than the Python community, so
I’ll go with Python” I hear that a lot. It’s not really based on merit
(as we would hope). There’s an old saying that goes “To him who has
much, much more will be given” and we see that this is often the
case. There’s also an old proverb that says “The race isn’t
always to the swiftest”; we’ve seen that be the case over and over in
technology whether it’s betamax vs vhs or Mac vs Microsoft, often the
inferior technology wins. Sure, we think Ruby is a superior language,
but that doesn’t guarantee widespread acceptance.

I would also suggest that if we don’t get to a certain level of mindshare
that we’ll never get to critical mass and if so Ruby will always be an
also-ran in the OO scripting langauge arena. It will be remembered as a
footnote somewhere: “Ruby - an object oriented scripting language which
borrowed from diverse sources including SmallTalk, Perl and Scheme. It
had a small devoted following and even many outside of it’s small
community thought it had potential, unfortunately it didn’t gain enough
developers… blah, blah”.

So, yes, we like Ruby here in our little community, and I even hear some
people outside of our little community give kudos to the language, but
we’re probably not growing fast enough to escape our ‘gravity well’.

I don’t want to be all pessimistic. I’m seeing some signs of movement.
In the last month I’ve proposed Ruby for a new project for a large
corporation that I’m doing a contract for. It’s been a bit of a sell
because most people still haven’t heard of it, but it’s been easier than
it was in the past. So at this point it looks like I’ll be getting paid
to program in Ruby again and that’s a very good thing.

So, again, how do we get mindshare? You’re right, Ruby isn’t a religion,
it’s a language we like around here on clr and we’d like to see it used in
more places so we can get to use it in more places and because we tend to
think it would be beneficial for a lot of projects.

Phil

···

In article 401CB041.5000606@po.cwru.edu, Dan Doel djd15@po.cwru.edu wrote:


(Josef 'Jupp' SCHUGT) #11

Hi!

  • Martin Weber:

I just say ``BSD is dead.’’ :slight_smile:

The logos say it all:

Windows: Everyone sees everthing, easy to break.
BSD: Governed by the devil. Cannot be very alive.
Linux: Clumsy and persistent as a Penguin.

g

Josef ‘Jupp’ SCHUGT

···


http://oss.erdfunkstelle.de/ruby/ - German comp.lang.ruby-FAQ
http://rubyforge.org/users/jupp/ - Ruby projects at Rubyforge
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Germany 2004: To boldly spy where no GESTAPO / STASI has spied before


(Josef 'Jupp' SCHUGT) #12

Hi!

  • Dan Doel:

After all, Ruby isn’t a religion,

Sounds like the most important difference between Ruby and Perl.

and it isn’t in a contest with other languages.

There is an historical precedence case of what happens if a
programming language does not take place in that contest:
‘Plankalkuel’ (plan calculus) by Konrad Zuse.

Konrad Zuse built the first mechanical computer worked, the first
relay computer and the first cathode tube computer. No programming
language did exist jet so he invented a programming language of his
own that had many traits of a modern programming language.

Most people (including most Germans) don’t even know that this
programming language did exist. This is because it never took part in
the contest. Zuse lived in the Third Reich and because of this had no
chance to present Plankalkuel to a wider audience.

Ruby itself shows this problem of communicating as well: The time
during which all documentation was in Japanese de facto meant that
very few people outside Japan even knew that it existed.

Anyway. I do not think that a factor of 25 is that much. One should
not underestimate positive feedback. The more people use Ruby the
more learn about it the more start to use it.

Josef ‘Jupp’ SCHUGT

···


http://oss.erdfunkstelle.de/ruby/ - German comp.lang.ruby-FAQ
http://rubyforge.org/users/jupp/ - Ruby projects at Rubyforge
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Germany 2004: To boldly spy where no GESTAPO / STASI has spied before


(Dan Doel) #13

Michael campbell wrote:

No one said that.

Yes, I was exaggerating for effect. :slight_smile:

If it doesn’t grow, it will eventually die.

Will it? Is Smalltalk still growing today? It probably hasn’t grown
for quite some time, yet it’s still around if you want to learn it.
How about Eiffel? People are even moving away from C and C++, but I
doubt they’ll be dead for many years to come.

In any case (and this is a reply to several posts, not just yours),
Ruby will get popular some day. Or maybe it won’t, and we’ll either
continue to talk about it here and use it from time to time just
because it’s a nice language, or we’ll move on to something else.
The world will go on.

What we don’t need to do is organize a big campaign to get Ruby
awareness up. We don’t need to contact big players like IBM and
whoever to push Ruby for all sorts of programming – “Look, it
was made for scripting but you should use it for OS programming and
high speed graphics too!” We don’t need to go into Slashdot stories
or forums about other languages and post messages going “Ruby rox!
Go check it out!”

Everyone hates evangelists except for those who are already in the
religion. They get offended that you’re implying your beliefs are
better than theirs. If someone’s curious about Ruby, or wants a
language suggestion, tell them to check it out, but don’t become
an evangelist.

In the mean time, posts like, “Python is 25 times more popular than
Ruby” or “Ruby needs Python indenting to be popular!” just waste time.
Ruby will either get there, or it won’t, based on whether it’s worthy
or not. Don’t worry so much about how long it takes.

Waiting is.

  • Dan

(jbritt@ruby-doc.org) #14

Emmanuel Touzery wrote:

But why should it matter if Ruby is more known than Python or Java or C
or whatever?

because then i can do ruby at my daily work instead of suffering in C# :O)
for now ruby is only acceptable for internal tools, clients want
buzzword-compliant tools. python might be in this class soon, and i’d like
ruby to get there too… (and i trust matz not to cripple the language to get
there)

I second that. I get to do some Ruby coding at my current contract gig,
but it’s largely under the radar. Too many places prefer to stick with
so-called “tried and true” languages and vendors; getting Ruby in the
door is something of a stealth act.

Perhaps in the grand scheme of things concerns over popularity seem
trivial, but there really are some day-to-day practical matters as well.

Gaining mind-share may not be so hard, provided the Ruby community puts
enough effort into, among other things, comprehensive documentation, and
an easy package management tool.

With the new Ri/Rdoc, RubyGems, and ruby-doc.org, I’m optimistic, but
there’s still work to be done.

James

···

On Sunday 01 of February 2004 08:53, Dan Doel wrote:


(Robert K.) #15

Oh, I understand.

You suggesting us, becoming more.
Ok, let’s think…yes, I am there. But how can I become more than one ? hm

Lothar Scholz schrieb:

···

Hello Dan,

Sunday, February 1, 2004, 8:53:21 AM, you wrote:

But why should it matter if Ruby is more known than Python or Java or C
or whatever?

It’s simple. The evolution depends on the size of the active
community. I don’t mean students who pick it up for a course, or
people writting there first script, but people using it in a
professional (commerical) environment.

You can’t deny that there is a correlation between this and the
quality of the libraries (maybe not the core) and found/fixed bugs.


(Charles Comstock) #16

Emmanuel Touzery wrote:

But why should it matter if Ruby is more known than Python or Java or C
or whatever?

because then i can do ruby at my daily work instead of suffering in C# :O)
for now ruby is only acceptable for internal tools, clients want
buzzword-compliant tools. python might be in this class soon, and i’d like
ruby to get there too… (and i trust matz not to cripple the language to get
there)

emmanuel

I certainly would probably rather do it in C# then Java. It’s
interesting in the 2.0 spec for C# they are adding yield symantics,
anonymous method blocks and generics. But the first two allow all the
iteration style of Ruby that is so nice. In terms of a typed language I
don’t mind C# that much, it’s alot more logical then Java. I have many
bones to pick with Microsoft, but they did fix alot of the stupid
problems in Java. I think it’s an acceptable language.

Of course, I like lots of languages so, that’s just me. Ruby is my
favorite at the moment, I just have room in my head to like more then
one. I would like however to see Ruby more mainstream as well.

It actually might be interesting to push Ruby in the academic world,
though sometimes I dispair that teaching an object oriented language
first confuses many of the introductory programmers who haven’t
programmed at all before. But still it might be a little more
approachable then Scheme for some, since they syntax isn’t quite so
foreign. From the acedemic world though you might be able to bridge to
the industry. Just a thought.

We definitely more complete docs on lots of things though, that is my
main problem with Ruby. There are lots of things I know I can do,
without duplicating work, but since I can’t find docs on it, it’s
difficult to do. The push for RDoc is great, but I still have the same
complaints about it that I have of Javadoc, it generally doesn’t give
some sort of example for each function, class in the library. I learn
far more from an example of code use that encompasses a wide part of the
library then a list of functions I can call in the library. The 2nd is
great, but it only works if you know how to use it already. Fix the
documentation and I think ruby will certainly spring ahead.

Charles Comstock

···

On Sunday 01 of February 2004 08:53, Dan Doel wrote:


(Dan Doel) #17

Okay, we’d like to use Ruby at work. For this, Ruby needs
critical mass.

Threads like this don’t really help Ruby gain mass. What
should we do? I don’t think an aggressive Ruby marketing
campaign is in order, unless someone wants to spend lots
of money.

What can the Ruby community really do except continue to
write Ruby code? RubyForge says it hosts 152 projects.
As people write more Ruby code, more people will come and
write more Ruby code and so on. Ruby may gain critical
mass in the future. It just isn’t there yet.

So, I think that the Ruby community is already doing all
it can to help Ruby gain critical mass. Did Python gain
mindshare via marketing or simply by people writing code
to demonstrate its viability (I don’t know)? Simply
remarking that Ruby doesn’t have critical mass yet or
that Python is more popular than Ruby isn’t particularly
productive (I know it’s the truth, but it doesn’t do
anything to solve the problem).

  • Dan

(Peter Hickman) #18

Lothar Scholz wrote:

It’s simple. The evolution depends on the size of the active
community. I don’t mean students who pick it up for a course, or
people writting there first script, but people using it in a
professional (commerical) environment.

This is quite clearly a lie. At one point the number of people using
python could be counted on the fingers of one hand. But that community
built up over the years (and it was years, belive me) to achive it’s
current state. By your logic such an unpopular language, as it was then,
shouldn’t have made any inroads into the commercial environment.

That fact that it is 25 times more popular than ruby, by your own metic,
proves that being unpopular has not held it back. The fact that it is
used in commercial environments from such a starting point make a
mockery of your assertion.

You can’t deny that there is a correlation between this and the
quality of the libraries (maybe not the core) and found/fixed bugs.

Maybe I should go over to comp.lang.python and see if you have written
’Perl is 25 times as popular as Python’. Which of course you should
write as Perl has vastly more libraries of high quality software than
python.

Other than trolling just what was the point of you message?


(Lothar Scholz) #19

Hello Dan,

Sunday, February 1, 2004, 8:12:13 PM, you wrote:

Michael campbell wrote:

No one said that.

Yes, I was exaggerating for effect. :slight_smile:

If it doesn't grow, it will eventually die.

Will it? Is Smalltalk still growing today? It probably hasn't grown
for quite some time, yet it's still around if you want to learn it.
How about Eiffel? People are even moving away from C and C++, but I
doubt they'll be dead for many years to come.

As the only one who uses GNU Eiffel for a program > 200.000 LOC i must
say that eiffel is dead. Two vendors stopped there support (Visual
Eiffel, Halstenbach), GNU Eiffel is becomming more and more unuseable
for real development (everything after the great renaming SmallEiffel
=> Smarteiffel) and ISE raised there prices by a factor of 3
(it's now 5000 USD for a not very good system).

Smalltalk is also dying or better becaming less and less attrictive.
Same as lisp where only Franz Lisp is still competitive in some areas.
In fact in commerical areas Smalltalk is much more dead then Eiffel.

In any case (and this is a reply to several posts, not just yours),
Ruby will get popular some day. Or maybe it won't, and we'll either
continue to talk about it here and use it from time to time just
because it's a nice language, or we'll move on to something else.
The world will go on.

What we don't need to do is organize a big campaign to get Ruby
awareness up. We don't need to contact big players like IBM and

No but the spirit of people hacking a library should maybe move from a
"it's good enough for me" attitude to a "i want good quality" way. For
most libraries the additional overhead won't be so much. But this is
still a real problem.

In the mean time, posts like, "Python is 25 times more popular than
Ruby" or "Ruby needs Python indenting to be popular!" just waste time.

Like much other posting on this newsgroup, for example about indenting
styles. I posted it because i think a few people didn't recognize the
real world situtation. And this is always not good. I'm just bored
about threads that everything is fine with ruby and working well.

···

--
Best regards,
Lothar mailto:mailinglists@scriptolutions.com


(Gavin Sinclair) #20

[Charles Comstock:]

I certainly would probably rather do it in C# then Java. It’s
interesting in the 2.0 spec for C# they are adding yield symantics,
anonymous method blocks and generics. But the first two allow all the
iteration style of Ruby that is so nice. In terms of a typed language I
don’t mind C# that much, it’s alot more logical then Java. I have many
bones to pick with Microsoft, but they did fix alot of the stupid
problems in Java. I think it’s an acceptable language.

Thanks for the report. C# sounds more interesting than it used to. I
frequently hear from friends that it’s a decent language, a tolerable
platform, and has awful (wait for it) documentation.

[…]

We definitely more complete docs on lots of things though, that is my
main problem with Ruby. There are lots of things I know I can do,
without duplicating work, but since I can’t find docs on it, it’s
difficult to do. The push for RDoc is great, but I still have the same
complaints about it that I have of Javadoc, it generally doesn’t give
some sort of example for each function, class in the library. I learn
far more from an example of code use that encompasses a wide part of the
library then a list of functions I can call in the library. The 2nd is
great, but it only works if you know how to use it already. Fix the
documentation and I think ruby will certainly spring ahead.

I fully agree on all counts. I’ll just mention, though, that RDoc
actually encourages introductory/usage/example documentation, so long as
the developer wants to write it
. For example:

The first thing you see (an important consideration for people looking
at an RDoc screen for the first time) is a description of the project,
installation, usage, technical information, links, etc.

Here, the first thing you see is a brief description of the 'pathname’
Ruby standard library. It could use a one-paragraph description and usage
example to help the casual browser (person, not software) decide whether
they’re interested. However, the most important thing is the prominent
"For documentation, see class Pathname [linked]", which contains intro,
examples, and a method catalogue.

RDoc was certainly not a hinderance to creating decent documentation for
the ‘pathname’ library!

These examples serve as guidelines for me when creating new documentation.

Cheers,
Gavin