Ruby vs Java: 5 key differences

Both loved. Both popular. Both good for web development.

But which one should you choose for YOUR project?

Let’s take a short quiz to find out.

Ruby versus Java: what are you building?

Both Ruby or Java are suitable for web development.

You can use Ruby for:

  • Startups
  • Prototypes
  • MVPs
  • Scripts
  • E-commerce development

And that is why:

  • Clean syntax and code readability

Ruby is a multi-paradigm, so you can write your code in any style you need. One more feature is a Model-View-Controller (MVC) which helps to centralize business logic and store the codes and the rules for data manipulation.

Ruby is easy to learn due to the availability of lots of libraries. Open-source libraries are an incredible resource to help with development. That means you can spend less time on development, allowing you to save money.

  • Quick launch

Thanks to the large community, Ruby has a lot of free libraries, gems, and ready-made solutions for faster learning, development, and launch.

Check out more on Pros and Cons of Ruby on Rails

You can use Java for:

  • Cross-platform development
  • Enterprises
  • Mobile applications/ TV equipment

And that is why:

  • Cross-platform development

Java code works on different platforms thanks to the Java Virtual Machine engine of the Java Platform. This allows the program to run the same code on different platforms.

  • Enterprises

Java is especially good for huge projects because of Java Enterprise Edition Platform – a set of specifications for enterprise features such as distributed computing and web services.

  • Mobile applications and TV equipment

Thanks to the Java Micro Edition platform, Java is excellent for mobile development and portable code deployment.

Java vs Ruby: how hard is development?

Ruby. You might have heard that Ruby is made to make programming fun? This language has a very clean syntax that makes writing code easier than more traditional Object Oriented languages like Java.

Therefore, you have bigger chances of hiring good developers by choosing Ruby language.

Java follows very standardized coding styles. It is an object-oriented language similar to C++.

Ruby vs Java performance comparison shows that Java code is more complicated and voluminous than Ruby’s, but it’s often easier to follow others’ example code than to create your own application. But still, the fact is that is it may take some additional time to write, compile, and debug the code with Java.

Output: Truth to say, Ruby is easier to work with due to its huge ecosystem, lots of libraries, and friendly community. 

Java has a larger code that requires more time for writing and compilation. It might not sound like a problem unless time is of the essence.

Read our article about Ruby vs Python comparison

Ruby performance vs Java: what about frameworks?

Each programming language has A LOT of frameworks. And each of these has its own mission.

Here are the top web frameworks for Ruby and Java:

Ruby on Rails is an open-source and multi-level framework. Rails is the most convenient and popular framework. Ruby language and web development in general. 

  • Easy to learn and use
  • Has great code readability
  • Minimizes the amount of code
  • Large and active community
  • Extensive community-created tools and libraries

Dropwizard is a Java framework for developing ops-friendly and high-performance web services.

  • Easy to set up
  • Clear documentation
  • Great performance
  • Scalability
  • All-in-one production

Ratings of Ruby on Rails and Dropwizard. When it comes to practice, Rails has a massive and web-focused community of developers and many large open-source libraries. All of these make the development process faster and easier even for the newbies, which makes a difference between Java and Ruby on Rails greater.

According to GitHub, Ruby has more committed users (73k against 5k) and contributors (almost 4k against 300).

Let’s compare the popularity of Ruby on Rails and Dropwizard. At this point, Rails wins, too.

Output: At this point of  Dropwizard vs. Ruby on Rails performance comparison, Rails totally wins. When it comes to Ruby and Java frameworks, Ruby’s Rails totally wins the battle. RoR has a larger community, lots of libraries, and is easy to study and use.

Check out our Ruby and PHP comparison

The Ruby community is open and communicative. It is fresh and active. Thus, it is not surprising that it has many libraries. If you are working with Ruby for the first time, you will find a lot of useful information that may help you with developing or debugging.

Java has a HUGE community and a lot of approaches.

The answer is: both communities are large, but Ruby’s is more friendly for newbies. 

Compilation or interpretation?

  1. Java is compiled: If you make a mistake, you will discover it only when the compilation is over.

It may take additional time to wait for the compilation to end and to fix the bugs. Nevertheless, Java is still great for massive projects and cross-platform solutions due to its enterprise development tools.

  1. Ruby is interpreted: It is easy to use and fast to edit and run code. As an interpreted language, Ruby allows complex tasks to be performed in relatively few steps even if you have a little experience.

With Ruby, you do not need to compile your code. Just run it directly and check the results.

Output: Interpretation makes everything easier. It is always more convenient to see the results of your code and check for bugs right away, rather than waiting until the compilation is over. When comparing Ruby performance vs Java with regard to performance, Ruby wins.

So should you go for Ruby or Java?

Let’s face it: Both Ruby and Java are cool languages.

If you’re running a startup, Ruby is the right choice because development is easier and more effective. The launch of the project would be faster. 

If you’re building a bank or other high-volume project, you’d better stay away from Ruby and go with Java.

Java has power. Ruby has simplicity.

Choose Ruby for:

  • fast launch
  • easy solutions
  • solid MVPs
  • prototypes
  • startups
  • scripts
  • great code readability

Choose Java for:

  • cross-platform applications
  • high-volume projects
  • multi-thread computing
  • large ecosystem
  • enterprise development

Posted by Contributor