I officially abandoned Ruby and made the switch to Python. I’ve been Googling around and have found a lot more information about Python in regards to data mining from Twitter, so I think that despite my Ruby technical difficulties, I would have ended up with Python regardless. I made the mistake of approaching the language from a “what will be easier to learn” perspective rather than a “how easy is it to find tutorials/information” perspective. In reality, I’m starting with pretty much nothing, so I don’t think one will be “easier” for me than the other. Python also seems more beginner-friendly—I just noticed that they have a whole wiki for non-programmer beginners on their site.
Since I wasted the first Tutorial Assignment on a language that I’m not using, I decided to start by finding a Python tutorial to make up for it. I came across this one, explicitly discussing how to use Python for Twitter analysis.
I still do not have the basic language, so I plan on spending some time on the wiki offered by Python in order to get a sense of what I need to learn before jumping into the tutorial.