When it comes to picking the technology stack, sometimes it’s challenging to define a programming language that will fully suit your goals. Frequently, the primary requirements for the future system are to ensure scalability, high performance, and resilience to peak loads.
Discussing characteristics of different tools, our software engineers concluded that today there are two programming languages that fit the above-mentioned needs—Ruby and Python.
Both of them have become very trending recently, both of them allow you to create fast software with a high degree of protection. Among a number of other advanced languages, we’ve compared Ruby and Python since they are quite similar to each other. However, there are some differences that you should know to make the right choice.
- Which technology should you employ in your software project—Python or Ruby?
- What is Python mostly used for?
- What are the main applications of Ruby interpreted language?
- What are the key differences between these Python and Ruby programming languages?
In this article, we’ve answered all of these questions. We suggest focusing on the main aspects and characteristics of Ruby and Python to get a clear understanding of their advantages, use cases, and differences. Let’s begin.
Ruby vs Python syntax
Let's start with the similarities between Python and Ruby computer languages. The syntax of both technologies is characterized by qualities such as:
- code readability
However, the approaches that Ruby and Python employ to resolve various problems significantly differ.
One of the primary benefits of Ruby is its high level of flexibility and various features it provides software engineers with. Some elegance (and even grace) is typical for Ruby interpreted language (hence the connection with the name of the gemstone). Furthermore, it offers the ability to experiment with tricks during the software development process.
Concerning Ruby coding examples, here is one to compare the syntax of Ruby and Python:
However, the versatility of Ruby has its downside. The search for bugs during testing is often complicated, which increases the time spent on checking the codebase and a digital product itself. This is a disadvantage of Ruby computer language.
Python has a more object-oriented approach to programming. Its main goal is to make everything visible and readable for a software engineer. Thanks to this, the developer’s productivity improves. Comparing Ruby vs Python syntax, I can say that the syntax of Python is very simple as there are no semicolons, special characters, or keywords.
Have a look at a coding example of Python:
Perhaps, the Python programming language doesn’t have enough elegance but it has a significant advantage in learning how to write the code and fix bugs. The syntax of Python makes it suitable for most software projects. The code readability also makes it easier for newcomers to join the development team.
Frameworks: Python Django vs Ruby on Rails and Ruby
Ruby language is difficult to perceive separately from Ruby on Rails, a popular framework, as web applications are created in conjunction with it.
In turn, Python is very “independent” as it is often found in its pure form despite having multiple frameworks that can also be used for making web projects, including data science, data analytics, and machine learning solutions. In most cases, software developers employ Python together with Django.
An interesting feature is that the user base of Python is larger than that of Ruby. Therefore, you can meet Python experts who do not use Django at all but everyone who builds apps with Ruby has experience with Ruby on Rails.
Comparing Python Django with Ruby on Rails, I can note that both frameworks are based on interpreted scripting languages. This results in almost identical performance. So, this is about similarities between these two technologies.
Now a little more about the characteristic features of each of the frameworks.
Python vs Ruby: MVC or MTV?
Each structure provides all the concepts of traditional MVC environments (Model-View-Controller scheme) such as:
- controllers and database migrations
Only in Django the name of the template is slightly different and maybe misleading at first. This is similar to MVC, but the View is called Template, and Controller is called View. So, we get MTV. The essence remains the same.
Ruby vs Python: File ordering
Another difference between Python Django and Ruby on Rails frameworks is how they locate various files inside a software project.
When adding a new component using Rails, you have to go to a special place in the general structure. Django employs separate applications for each component. Each of them contains its own classes of models, views, and templates. This can be convenient if your application is rapidly developing.
Ruby vs Python: Communities
Both Python and Ruby computer languages are supported by large-scale communities with numerous user groups from all over the world, with popular blogs and conferences.
Both technologies are open source, which means that engineers can collaborate and help each other with projects. This offers unlimited opportunities for developers as they can find the right code or a solution to their problem. There are plenty of programs created by open-source contributors. Plugins can also assist teams in most of their tasks.
Each community is affected by the release of updates, the introduction of new software development ways/tools, and the language direction. And here is the place where differences between Ruby and Python begin.
Python or Ruby: The main use cases
Ruby is originally a general-purpose computer language. Although there are other Ruby structures such as Sinatra or Lotus, most of Ruby belongs to Rails. Actually, thanks to the appearance of Rails in 2005 Ruby gained high popularity. The framework is mainly centered around web development.
What is Ruby used for?
- web development
- solutions for data analysis
- prototypes and proof of concepts for web systems
Python, by contrast, goes far beyond building web projects. It is often employed for academic purposes. So, what is Python used for?
Python use cases are:
- geographic information systems
- research-oriented projects
- test automation systems
- mathematics algorithms
- data science and data analytics solutions
- machine learning-enabled applications
- natural language processing solutions
Ruby vs Python: Famous Projects
Both Python and Ruby programming languages are being widely used by different companies across the globe. The lists of projects developed on their basis are impressive and continue to grow. Here are just some of the most famous solutions built with these technologies.
Ruby vs Python: Statistics
Let’s consider Python and Ruby computer languages in the context of popular indexes for the study of rating PYPL and TIOBE. *The purpose of these platforms is to give a general idea of the feasibility of learning and applying the technology.
TIOBE defines the popularity considering the results of search queries that contain the programming language name. The rating is calculated using data from popular search engines and websites like Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Wikipedia, Amazon, YouTube, and Baidu.
PYPL ratings are based on an analysis of how often users search for the language tutorials in Google. The information in both indices is updated once a month.
What language should you choose for building your project: Python or Ruby?
Ruby and Python coding languages are quite similar: they are fast, efficient, and have a large army of loyal followers. The question is rather what programming style is closer to you or your software development team and what goals you are pursuing.
Here at YSBM Group, we recommend that you choose between Python and Ruby depending on your specific needs and goals.
Use Python language if:
- your application is intended to have multiple complex calculations
- the future system is supposed to store and process large amounts of data
- you are accustomed to observing deadlines
- you want to acquire skills with a wide range of applications
- the goal is to build a machine learning solution
- you need to create a data analytics/data science system
Employ Ruby language if:
- you want to quickly create prototypes of intensive traffic applications
- you need to have a large selection of plugins
- you want to receive stable developer community support
Objectively speaking, there are practically no things that Python can do and Ruby computer language cannot, and vice versa. Both of them can pretty much address almost any problem. They also allow making high-performance applications.
In addition, Python and Ruby provide engineers with excellent frameworks that can cope with similar tasks using their unique approaches. If you aim to build, say, a scalable solution for your business, say, e-commerce, CRM, or ERP, pay attention to developers' hourly rates first, as well as the professionalism of an IT service vendor regarding speciality, years of experience, etc.