Ruby vs Python: Features, Applications and Advantages

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Ruby vs Python: Features, Applications and Advantages

Akhil Bhadwal
Last updated on October 7, 2022

    The programming world is evolving at a tremendous pace as the demand for everything digital is increasing. A myriad of programming languages are available today, and choosing the right one is a pretty challenging task.

    Two popular object-oriented, new-generation programming languages are Ruby and Python. They are high-level server-side scripting languages focused on providing a means for programmers to write crispier and higher-performance codes. Both these languages are ideal for web development.

    Python and Ruby share some similarities, as follows:

    • Both are high-level, cross-platform, and interpreted languages.
    • Unlike Java or C, Ruby and Python are dynamically typed languages, i.e., there is no need to declare the data type of variables.
    • Both follow the object-oriented programming paradigm.
    • They are open-source languages, and hence, there is no need to pay license fees.

    A few similarities aside, there are a lot of differences between Python and Ruby. This article will explore the major differences between these two programming languages. To begin with, we shall have a brief look at the Python and Ruby languages individually.

    So, let us get started.

    What is Python?

    Python is a general-purpose language and is the most preferred language for data scientists. Guido Van Rossum designed the Python language as a successor to the ABC language, and it was first released as Python 0.9.0 in 1991.

    The year 2000 witnessed the release of Python 2.0, with additional features of list comprehension and a garbage collection system. Later in 2008, the language underwent a significant revision, and Python 3.0 was released.

    Along with being object-oriented, it also follows procedural, functional, reflective, and structured programming paradigms . This language is well-known for its easy-to-understand syntax, as it uses simple English keywords. Unlike Java or C++, it avoids the usage of special symbols like curly braces to denote the start and end of the block, semicolons to represent the end of the statement, etc. Instead, it uses whitespace indentation.

    For memory management, Python utilizes a combination of a cycle-detecting garbage collector and reference counting. It has four types of collections, namely lists, dictionaries, generator collections, and sets; two modules, functools, and itertools , in the standard library; and three functions, namely filter , map , and reduce .

    Let us now understand how indentation plays a vital role in a Python program. We shall take two different codes that print, "Welcome to TechGeekBuzz!". Code 1:

    if(x>3):
    print("Welcome to TechGeekBuzz")
    print("Take the next value of x")

    Code 2:

    if(x>3):
    print("Welcome to TechGeekBuzz")
    print("Take the next value of x")

    The above code, Code 1 will execute, whereas Code 2 will give a syntax error. It is important to use whitespace indentation in Python when a block starts, and we do this by using curly braces in other languages.

    What is Ruby?

    Ruby, like Python, is a general-purpose programming language that's extensively used to create responsive web apps. It was created by Yukihiro "Matz" Matsumoto in the mid-1990s. Ruby 0.95 was the initial version published in 1995.

    With the debut of the Ruby Application Archive in 1998, Ruby 1.2 was launched. Ruby 2.0 was released in 2013, and it was supposed to be fully backward compatible with Ruby 1.9.3. Ruby 3.0 was released a year ago, i.e., in 2020, on Christmas.

    It follows multiple programming principles, like functional, reflective, imperative, and, obviously, object-oriented. Like Python, the syntax of Ruby is also easily understandable and expressive. It uses the keywords " class" and " def" to define a class and method, respectively.

    Unlike Python, indentation is not significant in Ruby, and line breaks are considered the end of the statement. Also, it supports the use of semicolons to denote the end of the statement. Similar to Python, Ruby also prints a single sentence on one line. Let us print the same sentence using Ruby.

    puts "Welcome to TechGeekBuzz!"

    Output

    Welcome to TechGeekBuzz!

    Do you want to learn and hone your Ruby skills? You can get started with the course here .

    Code Level Differences between Ruby and Python

    The below table highlights the code-level differences between Python and Ruby.

    Parameters Python Ruby
    Objects and data types It has primitive data types and objects. There are no primitive data types, and everything is an object in Ruby.
    Multiple inheritance Python does not support multiple inheritance, and hence, we cannot use a mixin. We can use a mixin in Ruby, as it supports multiple inheritance.
    Switch-case statements It does not support switch-case statements. It supports switch-case statements.
    Else if conditional statement In Python, the syntax for else if is elif . The syntax for else if in Ruby is elsif .
    Classes Built-in classes in Python are modifiable. Built-in classes in Ruby are not modifiable.
    Iterators Python iterators are very significant and are used the same as in Java. Iterators in Ruby do not have a vital role.
    Collections It supports four collections, namely tuples, Set, List, and Dictionary. Ruby supports tuples as ‘Rinda’, available with the dRuby library. Other collections that Ruby supports are Set, Hash, Arrays, and Struct.
    Libraries Python has a wide range of libraries. It does not have many libraries as compared to Python.
    Framework Django. Ruby on Rails.

    Ruby vs Python: A Head-to-Head Comparison

    Now, let us highlight some significant differences between Ruby and Python based on the usage, purpose, and overall ideology.

    Python Ruby
    It is a general-purpose language for task automation, data analysis, data visualization, and building software and web applications. It is also a general-purpose language ideal for building responsive web applications quickly and efficiently.
    Python libraries are useful not only for web application developers but also for students, mathematicians, and data scientists to solve statistical problems. Libraries in Ruby focus on developing high-traffic and responsive web applications.
    It is easy to learn and understand. It is a human-readable, flexible, and expressive language.
    Python is stricter than Ruby, as there is only one approach to doing a specific job. Ruby is flexible, as it provides more than one approach to a particular job.
    It has a strong community and is relatively more vast than Ruby. Numerous forums and documents are available for Python and Django/. The community of Ruby is not as vast as Python.
    Companies that use Python are Instagram, Dropbox, YouTube, Google, Mozilla, Yahoo, and Venom. Companies that use Ruby are Hulu, Apple, GitHub, Urban Dictionary, Twitter, and Zendesk.

    Conclusion

    With the increasing popularity of data science, Python is in great demand today. However, Ruby is a perfect option for building web applications. Both are object-oriented, general-purpose, and high-level languages, and they have straightforward and easy-to-understand syntax.

    Therefore, it becomes easier for novices to learn both these languages quickly. Both languages have their own specific purposes, and making a choice between Python and Ruby entirely depends on your project’s needs and personal choice.

    Hopefully, this article might have helped you understand the differences between Python and Ruby.

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    FAQs


    Python is a general-purpose language used for developing desktop software, creating websites, performing data analysis, and automating tasks.

    Ruby is ideal for full-stack development, web scraping, web crawling, automation, and parsing, data cleaning, and filtering.

    Yes, Python is easier than Ruby because of its simple syntax.

    Both Ruby and Python are slower languages than other compiled languages.

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