Archive for the ‘Ruby’ Category
The IT sector is flourishing. If you’ve used a computer for at least a couple of times in the last few years, you’ve probably noticed this. I’ve noticed it myself even more after a business trip to Stockholm where I was lucky to attend some conferences and learnt more about Swedish IT industry tendencies. These tendencies reflect our life in general. Life changes rapidly with new technologies bursting into it. And when it comes to programming languages, we get a chance to see very different trendy styles. Programming languages which were popular some years ago are not useful today. And no one can exactly predict which programming language will be popular in future. That’s why a programmer who wants to stay in developer fields has to adopt the right programming language from time to time.
As the Swedish software maker Erik Starck pointed out, “programming is about managing complexities”. And it’s really so. An understanding of at least one programming language makes an impressive addition to any CV nowadays.
It is also very difficult to get the exact number of users for any programming language. Many of us use multiple programming languages. The more experience you have, the more programming languages you use. The more programs you write or work with, the chances of using more languages rise. The larger the company, the more languages you’re likely to use.
There are a number of ways to measure the popularity of a programming language, for example, based on the number of: 1) new applications written in the language; 2) existing applications written in the language; 3) developers that use the language primarily; 4) developers that use the language ever; 5) web searches; 6) available jobs that require skills in the language; 7) developers’ favorites, etc.
My survey attempts to rank which programming languages are most popular in Sweden, each using a different measure. So, they are the following:
Python is an object-oriented programming language which allows developers to work quickly while integrating their systems more efficiently and effectively. Designed by Guido van Rossum in 1991, Python is one of the most easy to use programming languages.
Python is characterized by its use of indentation for readability, and its encouragement for elegant code by making developers do similar things in similar ways.
Top Employers: Amazon, Dell, Google, eBay, Instagram, Yahoo
Java is a class-based, object-oriented programming language founded by Sun Microsystems in 1995. Java is one of the most in-demand programming languages today for many reasons. First of all, it is a well-organized language with a strong library of reusable software components. Secondly, programs written in Java can run on many different computer architectures and operating systems because of the use of the JVM (Java virtual machine).
Top Employers: Amazon, Deloitte, Sun, eBay, Symantec Corporation, Cisco Systems, Samsung
C++ is a compiled, multi-paradigm language written as an update to C in 1979 by Bjarne Stroustrup.
Due to its high-level compatibility and object-orientation, C++ is used for developing a wide-range of applications and games which makes it a popular and sought after programming language by the employers.
Top Employers: Intel, the Math Works, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Amazon, Mozilla, Adobe, Volvo
Ruby is an open source, dynamic programming language designed by Yukihiro Matsumoto in 1995 with a key focus on productivity and simplicity .It is one of the most object-oriented languages in the world.
Ruby is a mix of elegant syntax which is easy to read and write and hence it has attracted many organizations and developers.
Top Employers: Spokes, VMware, Accenture, Cap Gemini, Siemens, BBC, NASA
Top Employers: Microsoft, Sales Force, IBM, Yahoo, Dell
C# is a compiled, object-oriented language developed by Microsoft.
It is highly used on Windows platform and labelled as the premium language for Microsoft .NET framework. C# is known for strong typing, procedural and functional programming discipline which is the reason it has acquired so much popularity.
Top Employers: Microsoft, HP, Digi-Key Corporation, Allscripts, Intel
Those are the top 6 programming languages which are in great demand among Swedish developers.
And one more thing: remember that opinions are like noses, everyone has one and they all smell 😉 If you disagree, please feel free to email me or write your own opinions in the comments.
Business Development Manager
Professional Software Development
Working with many startups I was wondering recently why Python and Ruby are so popular and common with young and promising startups, especially Scandinavian ones as my experience shows. I am curious if anyone has analyzed the trend towards Python over Ruby with startups? Also I would like to find out what are the advantages of Python over Ruby if they are so?
I think a lot about choices and decisions at startups. Picking the language/platform to use at a startup is one of the harder decisions. Here I would like to mention the fact that most of startups today make their choice toward Python or Ruby over PHP or Java. From what I have read, PHP is just an inferior language to Python and Ruby. Even though a lot of people are using PHP because it is easy to get started, it seems to be easier to develop bad habits with PHP. Why jump on a bandwagon when you obviously know is broken? I’ve come to realize that the main reason why PHP gets into trouble with the purists is that there are just so many ways of doing one thing — it is not that standardized. I think it became the most popular language only because it’s so easy to pick up!
Python/Ruby win over Java on speed of development, and conciseness of code. This generally makes Python/Ruby a better choice for small startups for whom speed to market, and ability to implement new features matters most. Most of the modern sites chose Python when they were small startups. Only later did they have to scale. Websites tend to be horizontally scalable, meaning that for a surprising range of volumes of traffic you can just throw more webservers at it and the bottlenecks will be at other layers (for instance the database).
Searching for relevant information to compare both Pyton vs Ruby languages and analyzing customers’ demand on the software development market I found out that Python appeared to be the more popular choice for startups trying to get a minimum viable product launched and seek out potential venture capital.
This has less to do with the merits of either language and more to do with the philosophies of the frameworks represented by either language. RoR really can’t be beat as a rapid application development framework, and developers discussing Ruby on the web are generally referring to RoR. Django purports to do the same, but the overall philosophy of the python community is more minimalistic – python developers generally prefer to make their own selection of tools such as ORMs, Persistency layers and libraries. A lot of people start Python web development with Django but move on to something more minimalistic like Flask, simply because the community seems predisposed to building its own stack in this way. RoR is more opinionated, and developers who are more predisposed to hitting the ground running, especially in the startup field, often take the Ruby fork in the road.
There is a “coming of age” point for startups coming from RoR or PHP, however. I’ve heard about several companies who had this exact same experience and ended up moving towards something like Python or Scala. I’m not certain this is specific to python, but I can say that as startups grow and become more ambitious, they move into problem domains poorly represented strictly by web frameworks/languages. Search features and data extraction increasingly rely on advanced data mining techniques utilizing things like natural language processing and find they need to reengineer their stack a little to accommodate new ideas. Increasingly I see companies not abandoning their RoR/PHP/Django frontends, but creating separate REST APIs that almost always use bare python or a JVM language to take advantage of more complex computation outside of the HTTP req/response model. Ruby could be used for this kind of offline processing, but the toolkits are just better and more mature in other languages since RoR is so prevalent in the Ruby community and consumes a great deal of the mindshare.
The fact of the matter is that most web startups represent feature sets early on where development speed is the prime concern, and so the language/framework with the biggest potential hire base and best RAD features typically win out early on.
As my personal point of view that no single language can answer every problem satisfactorily, and it is foolish to stubbornly stick to a single language for every case. Nevertheless a lot of our clients stick to Python when starting up their business. Let’s try to see what are the advantages of Python over Ruby?
The two are more similar than they are different, in everything from design to disadvantages to common uses – you can’t really go wrong either way, and shouldn’t base your decision on syntactical differences.
As Ruby developers say, Python’s main advantage has nothing to do with the language’s features. It’s more subjective: it seems that Python has more momentum amongst serious computer scientists. It’s increasingly popular in academic and scientific applications, and a lot of the technologists I respect the most seem to prefer it. By comparison, the Ruby community feels more designer-y and relatively more novice.
What this means is that while the Ruby world has very slick out-of-the-box product solutions, the Python world seems to produce more exceptionally well-written components like Tornado (web framework). Combined with it being used at Google and the potential for stuff like LiveNode to be released as open-source, I’d cast my lot with Python if I were starting today.
Thinking Python may be the best choice of startups, what is your opinion on this?
Looking forward to hearing from you!
Ruby is a dynamic programming language that gains popularity year by year due to its simple syntax and effectiveness. There are many web frameworks written in Ruby. I’m pretty sure everybody heard of Ruby on Rails, but are there any other Ruby frameworks deserving attention and offering better options than Ruby on Rails does? With the success of Ruby on Rails, is there a place left for other web frameworks written in Ruby?
Most Ruby developers are working with Ruby on Rails for building web applications. However, there are some great alternative frameworks out there that also deserve a look. Some of these frameworks borrow heavily from Ruby’s premier web framework. Many offer significant improvements in speed and flexibility. Some can be used as outright replacements for Ruby on Rails. Others are perfect for running as supplemental services, when something faster and closer to the metal is needed. And a few have entirely different goals in mind, such as providing a whole web application stack in a single file for easily deployed mini-applications. But despite all their differences each of these frameworks has at least two things in common: a great dynamically-typed human-friendly base language-Ruby-and a smart, enthusiastic core group of contributors.
Here is an overview of some Ruby web frameworks which deserve a look. Let’s see how they are similar to/different from its most popular representative-Ruby on Rails.
1. Ruby on Rails
As it was already mentioned, Ruby on Rails (sometimes known as “RoR” or just “Rails”) is perhaps the most popular Ruby framework that is in use today, and with good reason. Ruby on Rails was the framework that popularized the MVC approach. This is done primarily by the Ruby on Rails MVC framework that consists of the Model (ActiveRecord), View (ActionView) and Controller (ActionController) sub-systems. It is open source and comes with a rich set of features including: AJAX support; a host of testing, security, caching and form-validation frameworks; internalization and localization functionality; and there are also pretty standard features such as DB migration frameworks, MVC Push capability, etc. Ruby on Rails emphasizes agile development, “Convention over Configuration” – developer only needs to concentrate on the non-conventional aspects of application development, and “Don’t Repeat Yourself” – information is located in a single, unambiguous place. Since it has been around for a while, there is a well-defined API, extensive documentation as well as tutorials all over the web and finally a vibrant and supportive community. The principle difference between Ruby on Rails and other frameworks for development lies in the speed and ease of use, so developers working within the environment really enjoy it. Changes made to applications are immediately applied, avoiding the time consuming steps normally associated with web development cycle.
At less than 4kb code size, Camping is one of the lightest Ruby frameworks around. In fact, it is one of the developers’ stated goals to always keep it below 4kb code size. It once again follows the MVC philosophy and provides a single file in which to carry out the development of the entire application , although the separation between each sub-system is still maintained. The developers also suggest that once initial or prototype development is completed in Camping, the project can easily be migrated to Ruby on Rails. So in some cases Camping is a precursory development environment for Ruby on Rails.
Camping does not have AJAX support, internalization and localization frameworks, nor security, caching and form-validation frameworks, but has pretty much other necessary functionality such as DB migration, Testing frameworks, ORM, etc.
Nitro is actually a framework that was around before Ruby on Rails became popular. There are a number of web developers who still swear by it. One of its finest features is a powerful template system that has a pipeline of configurable transformation steps. It is open source and along with the template style programming, there is the option of using the MVC approach as well.
Ramaze is a very simple and straight-forward web-framework. Its emphasis is on simplicity. Ramaze also has a strict adherence to modular design and having minimal dependencies between different modules. Ramaze comes with a templating system called Ezamar and also has a fairly full-featured support for MVC applications.
Sinatra is a Ruby framework which like Camping is perhaps more suited for prototype development than actual business applications. It does, however, have a pretty standard set of features including MVC support, DB migration, Template and Caching frameworks. It does not have AJAX support, nor security and form-validation frameworks. A recent entry into the Ruby web framework space, Sinatra is designed as a minimalist RESTful framework that sits on top of Mongrel. It’s core is a simple domain specific language for defining RESTful actions and responses. Also ideal for single-file mini-applications; ORM agnostic and built on Rack.
Halcyon is another lightweight framework built on Rack for speed and light weight. It aims to provide a framework for developing service-oriented applications (SOAs) such as APIs or other non-interfaced services. It has AJAX support through the JSON interface, and overall is a very well documented project and has a strong support community.
Waves seeks to provide an alternative solution for applications that do not need an MVC architecture. Thus, it has support for such things as AJAX, Adobe Air, mashups, OpenID, rich-client mobile apps, etc. This is done through a rich DSL. Waves’ developer speaks of the concept of request lambdas which are basically request mapping into a certain block, which results in a certain level of flexibility by removing some of the responsibilities of the Controller and placing the emphasis more on mappings. However, note that this is a subtle or implicit modification to the MVC pattern, and so it’s better to use it only after you have a good grasp of what’s going on and are confident that this is exactly what you need.
As you can see there are a large number of frameworks for writing Ruby web applications instead of using Rails. Rails is absolutely a great framework but it’s always good to have other tools at our disposal, isn’t it? Maybe some smaller job or certain features of any of these frameworks would be better suited to the task. Having this variety of web frameworks is healthy for the Ruby community as it not only gives developers options but also allows for exploration of innovative ideas that may not be implemented with Rails. Check one of them out if you have the opportunity – I’m sure you won’t regret this. Please note that the list of Ruby frameworks in my article wasn’t intended to be exhaustive. If I am missing some frameworks, please let me know and I will incorporate them into future posts. As always, eager to see your comments 🙂