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Python vs Ruby: Which to go for?

Python and Ruby are two languages that are similar in look but are far apart in terms of their approach to solving problems. This explains why ‘Python or Ruby?’ is a popular question for developers. In this tutorial, we will explain Python vs Ruby are and further state areas where the two languages are set apart. 

Here’s what you’d learn by the end of this tutorial. 

  • What is Ruby
  • What is Python
  • Features of Ruby
  • Features of Python
  • Advantages of Ruby
  • Advantages of Python
  • Demerits of Ruby
  • Demits of Python

Let’s hop in. 

What is Ruby?

Ruby is a popular scripting language for creating robust frontend and backend applications. The programming language is dynamically typed and supports object-oriented programming. Ruby is known for its popular web development framework, Ruby on Rails (RoR). Its syntax is high-level and easy to read. Even as someone that has zero knowledge about programming, you can read a Ruby code and understand what the code does. The core of writing Ruby code is to first write for humans to understand, then computers.

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Ruby runs on multiple platforms such as macOS, Windows, and so on. 

What is Python?

Python is a high-level dynamically typed programming language that is used for various purposes such as software testing, machine learning, web development, hacking, etc.

The programming language has built-in data types, structures, objects and has a library that can be reused to create quick web applications. 

There are also a lot of open-source projects on GitHub that can be reused. When you do not have to reinvent the wheel every single time. Python has an easy syntax that focuses on simplicity and readability. Some say python codes can be read like plain English making it a choice language for beginners. 

Features of Ruby

  • It supports OOP
  • Ruby is case sensitive 
  • Ruby is flexible. You can easily alter chunks of your codes as you wish.
  • Ruby is a general-purpose language and codes are processed line by line
  • It has a syntax that is similar to another programming language like C++ or Perl
  • CGI (Common Gateway Interface) scripts can be written with Ruby
  • Ruby is used in building internet and intranet applications
  • A constant begins with an uppercase letter, an instance variable begins with a @ sign and a global variable begins with a $ sign.

Features of Python 

  • Python is an interpreter which means codes are run line by line
  • Python can be run on many hardware facilities with the same interface
  • The learning curve of python is gentle. Suitable for complete freshers in programming
  • Python provides a structure for small as well as large codes to be run
  • Python has an interactive shell that allows you to do a test and debug your program
  • It is a high-performing programming language
  • Python allows you to integrate low-level libraries into its interpreter
  • You can integrate other programming languages such as C, C++, or Java

Head to head comparison between Ruby and Python

Year of released19951991
Ease of learningHas a lot of features. Could be slightly more difficult to learnEasy to learn 
UsageTwitter, Github, Shopify. Airbnb, AppleGoogle, Dropbox, Youtube, Pinterest
DebuggingDebugging can be difficultDebugging is easier in Python
OOP supportFully supports OOPSupports OOP but not fully
Inheritance methodUses single inheritanceCan do multiple inheritance
PurposeRuby is a high level for primarily web developmentPython is a general-purpose program
Key characteristicsPowerful, simple to read, and efficientSimple to read, fairly fast, conservative
FlexibilityThere are more than one way of doing the same taskPython recommends one simple way of doing a particular task.

Advantages of Ruby

  • Its flexibility allows developers to be creative
  • Clean syntax. Codes are written almost like plain English
  • It is open source
  • Managing changes is remarkably easy
  • Ruby has a large community
  • There are a lot of resources to find free reusable plugins

Advantages of Python

  • Python supports Object-Oriented Programming
  • Python codes are easy to read, write and learn. Its syntax is like plain English
  • Python can be used to create powerful applications
  • Python is a general-purpose
  • Since codes are run line by line, errors are easier to fix. 
  • Python is free and open-source
  • Python has a lot of libraries that can be used on the go
  • Python runs on multiple OS such as macOS, Windows, Linux
  • It is a portable language

Demerit of Ruby

  • It’s not so easy to debug codes 
  • Its runtime speed is slow compared to other web development frameworks like Django or Node.js
  • Its popularity is declining over the past few years
  • Outside web development, it does not have as many use cases
  • Documentation is limited. 

Demerits of Python

  • Python is way slower than Go or any C family programming language.
  • Python is not so great for mobile development.
  • Its database access has limitations.
  • Python is not the best choice for memory-intensive tasks as its dynamic typing feature would consume a lot of memory.

So, there you go. You can make a pick as to which you wish to learn. Overall, they are both great programming languages for web development. If you’ve got any questions, feel free to leave them in the comment section and I’d do my best to answer them.

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