First off, Ruby is an object-oriented programming language which simply means concepts are represented as ‘objects’ that have characteristics which describe the object. Ruby, also, incorporates related procedures known as methods. Objects are used to intermingle with one another to design applications and computer programs.
An object, as it pertains to programming languages, is the structural arrangement of nouns and verbs; and an object-oriented program consists of a collection of interacting objects. The individual objects have the ability to receive messages, process data and send messages to other objects. Each object has its own specialized duty; and object-oriented programming zeros in on, and targets, data rather than processes. For examples, let’s say there is one bank account object for each ‘real-world’ account at a given bank. Each copy of the bank account object would be the same in the methods used for handling its data, but the data within each object would vary due to the different history of each, individual account.
Every language has its own strengths, however, and being familiar with those strengths will allow valuable insight for one who is learning the ‘in’s and out’s’ of computer programming. There is no ‘end-all, be-all’ of programming languages; but the more languages one learns, the more efficient one becomes and the easier it will be to absorb new languages along the way.
With that being said, however, Ruby does have a number of advantages over other languages.
Ruby vs. PHP:
Both languages are object-oriented, but object-oriented features aren’t, necessarily, used all the time. Ruby bypasses this aspect since it was specifically and absolutely designed to be an object-oriented language and is intended to be used in just that manner.
Ruby vs. Java:
Even though both of these languages are very similar, such as incorporating a variety of the same object-oriented principles, the most obvious difference between these two is the method of executing code. With Java, the code must be translated into a virtual machine language before it is executed. With Ruby, no prior translation is required before the code is implemented.
Ruby vs. Python:
When it comes to features and uses, these two pretty much go hand-in-hand. They are both strong, object-oriented languages, but in terms of syntax, Ruby offers more freedom. Python bypasses symbols and permits only a single statement of code for each line. This results in a restrictive ‘environment’ since every Python code looks alike and is, therefore, challenging to differentiate between two Python programs created by various programmers. Ruby affords a free syntax which allows diverse statements on each line. This, in turn, permits programmers to indent the code when needed.
Ruby vs. Perl:
Perl, being designed to deliver multiple tools, paradigms and language features, has its drawback with most programmers who prefer to work with just a single paradigm; and when a number of unused features are offered, it can create confusion for even seasoned programmers. Ruby, on the other hand, has no set of unyielding rules and has its own standards which allow for more natural methodologies for programmers.
In a nutshell, when compared to other programming languages, like those described on Visual Basic Programmer, Ruby offers more productivity with programming, within a shorter amount of time.
About the Author:
Karen has spent much of her writing career underscoring the world of visual basic programming. She was also a long time educator in Nebraska before retiring.