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[REBOL] Rebol vs Ruby

From: galtbarber:mailandnews at: 19-Dec-2000 12:07

Librarian comment

More recent discussion here. 

I have been away from the list for a while, so forgive me if this has already been hashed to death. I just a few days ago ran across references to Ruby, a newish programming language invented by a man in Japan (Matsumoto something...) and it seems to have many features similar to Rebol. Anyway, as I was reading about it I started making a rough comparison to rebol. Weird how similar the names are. Anyway, let's see... They both have good web support, are interpreted, support advanced data structures, have automatic garbage collection, have context/closures, error-handling. Platform Rebol ++ great, easy install, works on lots of platforms Ruby - oriented towards unix, can work on windows with effort., only works in places like unix, and windows and dos and a few other platforms which can cobble together unix-like behavior with various add-on support modules. Multithreading Rebol - I know the apache server has some threading, but not basic reb. Ruby + good support for threads and semaphores Grpahics Rebol + graphics available now, no charge, and platform indep., easy to use Ruby - still don't have it built in, only some links to tk and other unix libs Open Source Rebol - no open source Ruby + strong open source community OOP Rebol ? rebol objects don't have real inheritance, you can do useful stuff, but they often just act as nice containers. Ruby + everything is an object, this is real oop, albeit single-inheritance. (personally, I don't care that much about oop, but if you do, you will like Ruby's oop) Performance Rebol ? Performance boosted at the loss of continuations and other niceties. Ruby ?- Probably has perf. not quite as good, but still pretty good, and they haven't jettisoned continuations, which is cool. Packages - modules for large sw dev. Rebol ? I haven't been following, but Rebol's are improving all the time Ruby + they seem to have good support for modules/libs/namespaces Size Rebol ++ Nice and small and easy to install Ruby ? Not sure how big, but probably not small like Rebol. Syntax Rebol + I like Rebol's syntax, don't suffer from endless parentheses and ; Ruby -? Pretty good syntax, but lots of "end" keywords everywhere Closures Rebol - Boo, hoo, I miss them Ruby + Yeah, they still got 'm Web Protocols Rebol + built in, could often use better doc. and examples, and some stuff like support for cookies is still lame addon Ruby ? seem to have good stuff, but as external package it is not quite as built in and ready to go, but still not bad. Object Serialization (saving and sending 'em) Rebol - nothing on the map yet, and it would add a whole new dimension, but problems as the definition of "binary" data and other types is not defined. Ruby + apparently, it is supposed to have good support for serializing objects, which is pretty cool. List as fundamental data element Rebol + has them built in, and very useful with good performance. Ruby ?- has great object support, but list support is an afterthought not an inherent tool. Ability to Link Foreign Code Rebol ? can do somewhat with Rebol/Command only? Ruby + supposed to excel at this Perl-like features Rebol + doesn't have 'em, I don't like perl much Ruby ?- partly Ruby was invented as a much better perl, has perl-like features Built-in utility features Rebol +/- platform isolation, but then you can't access some file attributes, etc. Ruby + supposed to be strong at this, although very unix-oriented Cost Rebol +? Not expensive, basic rebol and /view are free! Ruby + Hard to beat free Globalization support Rebol ? I always wondered why Rebol was not designed for an international global world. Only ascii support apparently at this time. Ruby + Partly because it's inventor is Japanese, this language is supposed to have excellent support built-in for handling lots of languages way beyond just plain 256 ascii codes. Well, you know I am extremely fond of Rebol, but it looks like Ruby has the edge in a few areas. While it is harder to install and runs on fewer platforms, lacks built-in graphics and simple installation, it does however have full oop, perl (yuck), good library/ext packages, international lang. support, serialization, and closures, and free open source with strong user community. I am sure some of you have run into this language, what do you think of Rebol vs. Ruby and the future? Note - I am just curious, not interested in flame-fights, and would like to know what some of the intelligent folks on the list here think about it. -Galt