Bruce Eckel: Ruby is bad Python, but good Perl

Bruce Eckel: Ruby is bad Python, but good Perl.

Bruce Eckel charges Bruce Tate with quick dismissals and selecting a winner without a race in Beyond Java:

In many places he plays fast and loose, and almost at the end of the book he declares that he doesn't have time to learn these other languages in any depth — although he has no trouble condemning the same languages in his rush to Ruby.

Hold on. That reminds me of someone. Oh, I know, it's Mr. Eckel himself. A couple of years back, he featured a scorching quick dismissal of Ruby and why it wasn't worth learning. I believe Eckel has since removed the article from his site, but Google remembers the juicy bits:

So far I keep coming to the conclusion that Ruby is just a bad ripoff of Python, just like C# is a bad ripoff of C++ and to some degree Java.

For some reason, the creator of the language saw Python and decided to do a clone, and people who had never used Python thought it was a good idea. Harsh, maybe, but that's my impression: if you've used Python at all, you wouldn't give Ruby a second glance.

So Ruby is a bad clone of Python, that's why its not worth learning. Fast forward to the article from today:

Ruby is to Perl what C++ was to C. Ruby improves and simplifies the Perl language (the name “Ruby” is even a tribute to Perl), and adds workable OO features (If you've ever tried to use classes or references in Perl, you know what I'm talking about).

Now Ruby gets to know its place as “a better Perl” with OO? Does that mean that Perl is a bad clone of Python just missing the OO?

I'm losing track of the ill-conceived comparisons, but I do know what's astoundingly clear: Bruce Eckel doesn't like Ruby, he doesn't like the attention its getting, and he doesn't like people such as Bruce Tate fueling that attention.

No beef, that's cool. But why not just say it like that? You could even have presented yourself as the polar opposite to the so-called hyper-enthusiasts: A hyper-detractor! The label comes complete with a cape, an evil smirk, and long tirades about how the other side is no match for your master plan.  [Loud Thinking]

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