# Ruby vs. Python

After a couple of weeks of working with Python, some initial impressions.

1. The language is fine. Different than Ruby, no better, no worse.
2. The working environment needs a lot of work to match the ease of use provided by rvm and the rubygems system.

The current task is setting up the numerical toolchain, for which Python is celebrated.

The setup instructions for the numerical toolchain ask the user to set global variables for important tools such as gcc, fortran and the like, which is spectacularly inconvenient for people doing more than scientific python programming.

More later after I figure out how to firewall the python tools.

Update 2012/04/03: From StackOverflow, the Python community appears to be heavily RTFM. One of the questions I was looking up was how to find the number of items in a list. The obvious list.[size,length,count] didn’t work, nor did [length,size,count](list). Turns out it’s len(list). No comment.