Ruby is Gentoo, Python is Ubuntu

I used to be a Gentoo guy. For like 7 years I ran it and it was my world. It was more of a religion than a Linux distro. But perhaps that’s implied.

Anyway, I eventually ended up back at Ubuntu.

I also used to be a Python guy, but I eventually ended up on Ruby. I feel like there a lot of similarities here.

I still smile when I think of Gentoo. If I had loved many times, it’d be like thinking of a lover who I shared a magical period of my life with, and where there was some regret that we’re no longer together.

I needed to grow up, you see. I needed a stable job, you see. And you can’t raise a family by painting and debating philosophy in the French countryside. No, you need a real career, and a real income.

So I left the countryside, and my dear lover, to come be part of the adult world. You know, where more people did the same thing and had the best answers on Stack Exchange.

I’m still in love with Gentoo, is what I’m trying to say.

Anyway, I run Ubuntu because adult. And I don’t run CentOS because I think it’s an adult that takes itself too seriously and stifles creativity as a result.

Where was I?

Oh, yes, Python.

I moved to Python after Perl taught me the power of programming. I was reading the Camel book in my marketing class and was having my mind absolutely blown by both topics. I would disappear into Perl, have multiple mindgasms, and then occasionally hear the professor say something remarkable. I would engage with him, explore that idea, and then return back to Perl.

It was wondrous.

But then I learned of a better Perl (ducks) that wasn’t so sloppy or unpredictable, and that was Python. I ran that for several years, perhaps until around 2010 or so, when I found Ruby.

Well I didn’t find it. It was already there. But I made the conscious decision to move to it from Python.

I felt Ruby was better than Python just as Python was better than Perl, but only 1/4 as much. And that was enough.

Ruby feels more elegant to me. Blocks are beautiful. The syntax is more natural. And Nokogiri is like a perfect roundhouse kick.

Unsupervised Learning — Security, Tech, and AI in 10 minutes…

Get a weekly breakdown of what's happening in security and tech—and why it matters.

But now something is disturbing the force, and that something is data science and artificial intelligence. Both of these worlds, starting in the universities, are running on Python.

I’m watching Ruby fade out of existence like Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future. I reach for it, but my hand passes through it.

Python seems to be an unstoppable force. Not because it’s better, but because it’s propelled by the warp engines of data science and AI. I’m trying not to hate it like a bad product with good marketing.

Because it’s not bad. But I don’t feel like it’s as good as Ruby. Keep in mind, I’m a programmer and not a developer, so your opinion might be different.

Anyway, I’m about to say goodby to yet another lover. It’s a big world out there, after all, and you have to do what you have to do. It is what it is. Food on the table. Brass tacks. All cliche’s have a silver lining.

Something something wisdom.

Bottom line is it looks to be a Ubuntu and Python world, and I’m living in it.

Goodbye Ruby. I have fond memories of you. Not as fond as Gentoo, but fond.

Hello Python, it’s nice to see you again.


  1. Actually, in college, Redhat was my first Linux distro, and Perl was my first programming language. Not counting C++, which I didn’t create anything useful with other than class projects.

Related posts: