Ruby was invented 23 years ago. This high-level programming language managed to increase its relevance only after the release of a web app framework known as Ruby on Rails, which combines the elegance of Ruby with a high level of productivity during the pipeline. It is known for being a pure MVC-based solution meaning the app work is separated into three subsystems – model, view and controller.
This technology named after a British comedy group Monty Python rather than a family of non-venomous snakes found in Africa, Asia, and Australia, is a bit older than Ruby – 28 to 23 years old. According to TIOBE, Python occupied the third position meaning it’s the most used technology after Java and C.
The language allows engineers to create web and server apps, desktop GUI apps, as well as deal with common programming tasks. Now, it’s mostly known for its wide use in developing machine learning algorithms and versatile data science projects. As for web app building and capabilities to replace Rails, we should mention Django – an open source framework built atop Python. It is a batteries-included technology stuffed with a bunch of useful-for-engineers tools like libraries, plugins, etc.
This language is called a king or emperor of programming due to its wide area of implementation. Those businesses or products built with RoR opt for Java if a performance upgrade is sought. It’s hard to find Ruby use cases somewhere beyond web app building, while Java is all around in IoT, banking software, Big Data solutions, and Android apps, of course.
The TIOBE index says it is the most popular technology as for December 2018. As for web development, Java offers several dozens of dedicated frameworks including JSF, Spring, GWT, etc. Spring is our focus because it’s based on the MVC design pattern. It allows for writing very clean and accessible code and is supported by excellent documentation.
You must have thought that we’re nuts to place this front-end technology in line with Ruby, Python, and Java. However, the emphasis is made not on JS itself but its advanced run-time environment that is gradually conquering the market of web applications – Node.js. This technology allowed JS to broaden its capabilities and go beyond the borders of front-end development. Now, it’s strengthening its position on the back-end.
Indeed, a large portion of the market is now becoming Node.js focused. The technology offers a powerful I/O performance, ample ecosystem, cross-platform support and is a great solution for the microservice architecture pattern. Having Node.js coupled with one of the ample JS frameworks like Meteor, Express, Koa and so on, you get a decent competitor to RoR.
It’s not like RoR has a risk to be replaced in the coming years, but developers and startup founders are more interested in newly blooming solutions. Rails are good, but Node.js surpasses it as for performance. Python is attractive for complex things requiring machine learning features. Anyway, Ruby is still alive being one of the most attractive programming languages for startups.