Language Club – Battle of the Dynamic Languages

After dedicating the last eight weeks to learning Ruby, it’s time to move onto another language. 

I really dig Ruby.  I really enjoy its dynamism and expressiveness and always-openness and it’s been the highlight of our coding club for me so far. But that’s just my take on the language.  I know a lot of coders who’s stomachs turn with the mere thought of Ruby.  They say it’s Ruby’s openness which has them feeling uneasy.  I’d say “write a bunch of tests and get over it,” but I figure there must be more to it than always open classes and possible method collisions. Yes, there’s something else to it alright. The folks who didn’t fall head over heals for Ruby are already in love with Python. 

You might remember that Python was the first language we tackled in our coding club.  My time with Python was okay but it didn’t feel as natural to me as Ruby.  But let’s say we started with Ruby and then moved onto Python.  Would I see Python in a different light right now.  Might I even prefer Python over Ruby?  I suppose it’s possible but it’s pretty tough to test that theory – unless we visit Python for a second time.

That’s right. The language club is going to focus on Python again and in my attempt to learn Python – yet again – in the open, I’ll be posting my solutions here just as I did for Ruby.  We don’t always have second chances so I going about this relearning with two primary goals in mind: 

First, I’m going to use IronPython and the IronPython tools which provide a Python code editor, a file-based project system, and an interactive Python interpreter, all inside Visual Studio 2010.  As a note, the IronPython tools are now part of the main IronPython installer which is Version 2.7 Alpha 1 (not the latest stable version, 2.6.1) and I’d be crazy not to use them. 

Second, I’d like to make sure I’m still learning Python without a complete MS skew so I’m going to run my code through Eclipse using the PyDev plugin as well.  Heck, I might use IDLE too. I already have this setup on my machine so it’s no big deal.

Okay, that’s it for now.  I worked on the first ten Euler problems last night and the solutions will be posted shortly.

Wish me luck.