Many of us conflate Ruby and Ruby on Rails. Consequently, regardless of a number of predominant variations, their equivalent names and shared foundation proceed to confuse — particularly amongst more moderen builders.

This article is going to transparent up that confusion, exploring their attached historical past and offering a primer on whilst you would possibly code with Ruby or move immediately to construction with Ruby on Rails.

From Ruby to Rails

So, how is Ruby other from Ruby on Rails?

Ruby is a extensively used open-source, object-oriented, general-purpose scripting language constructed at the C programming language. It’s a cross-platform language supported on Home windows, macOS, and Linux. Ruby used to be designed with simplicity and developer enjoyment because the core center of attention and is fashionable in internet utility building.

Ruby on Rails, every so often known as merely “Rails,” is an open-source internet building framework in keeping with the model-view-controller (MVC) architectural trend. You employ Rails to increase database-driven internet packages, and it makes use of the Ruby language.

Let’s dig a bit of deeper into each.

What Is Ruby?

Ruby used to be created in 1993 via the Eastern instrument programmer Yukihiro Matsumoto, often referred to as Matz. The primary model of Ruby, Ruby 0.95, used to be launched on Dec. 21, 1995.

Ruby, like Perl and Python, is a high-level interpreted programming language designed for programmer productiveness. Matz created Ruby as an object-oriented language, like Ada, so it moves a great steadiness between efficiency and straightforwardness.

In keeping with Matz, his guiding rules when growing Ruby have been to create a programming language that he loved coding in, that used to be a laugh for different builders to make use of, and that restricted the volume of effort required in programming.

Over the last decade, Ruby has persistently ranked as some of the maximum fashionable programming languages. What draws many builders to Ruby is its simplicity and occasional barrier to access for freshmen.

Allow us to talk about a few of Ruby’s very important options.

Flexible Programming Language

Ruby is regarded as a natural object-oriented language. The whole lot in Ruby is an object. Even primitive knowledge sorts like integers have strategies, example variables, and enhance approach chaining.

As an example, you’ll use two other strategies on an integer the usage of the dot notation to seek out absolutely the worth and lift it to the ability of 3, multi function line. Check out the code under. Right here, abs is used to seek out absolutely the worth of -3, and pow(3) raises absolutely the worth of -3 to the ability of three.

worth = -3.abs.pow(3)

Ruby is a general-purpose programming language that builders can use to create various kinds of packages. It additionally helps the purposeful programming means, the place methods are a suite of directions grouped into procedures an identical to purposes.


Ruby supplies a variety of integrated libraries for builders. It additionally supplies a package deal supervisor known as RubyGems with a number of programs, known as gem stones, created via different builders throughout the Ruby group. Those gem stones can construct on or alternate the features and functionalities of current Ruby packages.

Each and every gem comprises code and corresponding trying out gear, documentation, and a gemspec — a record containing details about the gem. The gemspec options the gem identify, description, and any dependencies it calls for.

As an example, believe the preferred k8s-client gem. Ruby builders can upload this gem to their utility, enabling get right of entry to to the Kubernetes Jstomer library.

There also are gem stones for explicit use instances, like nytimes_top_stories. Because the identify implies, you’ll incorporate this gem into your app to tug fresh headlines from the New York Occasions.

Makes use of for Ruby

One of the most maximum not unusual makes use of for Ruby are internet building, static web site turbines (front-end building), server-side packages, DevOps, automation, command-line gear, and knowledge processing packages.

Some examples come with:

Benefits and Disadvantages of Ruby

Ruby supplies many advantages over different programming languages. It additionally comes with a couple of drawbacks. The lists under spotlight a few of Ruby’s benefits (and drawbacks). Imagine those issues when deciding whether or not Ruby is true to your use case or whether or not you’d as an alternative use a language like Python or C#.


  • Simple to make use of and gives out-of-the-box options for building.
  • Plenty of third-party libraries evolved via a pleasant group of Ruby builders.
  • Designed to extend productiveness and reduce paintings — so it boasts quicker building occasions than different languages.


  • Efficiency may also be gradual on account of excessive reminiscence intake and inefficient rubbish assortment.
  • A general-purpose language however extra suited to internet building — it fares badly in different spaces like desktop building.
  • Nonetheless noticed as a distinct segment language regardless of having been evolved so much because it used to be presented. On account of this, it does no longer draw in as many builders as its opposite numbers, like Python.

What Is Ruby on Rails?

Ruby on Rails is among the hottest frameworks for creating internet packages with Ruby and is instantly to be had underneath the MIT License. It’s additionally one of the vital not unusual causes builders be told Ruby. As a framework, Ruby on Rails simplifies the advent of internet packages via offering a pre-built construction and the entire elements had to construct a internet utility, so builders don’t need to create the whole thing from scratch.

The directory structure of a Ruby on Rails project.
The pre-built construction of a Ruby on Rails undertaking.

The usage of the MVC structure, you’ll use Ruby on Rails to create full-stack packages that span the back and front finish.

David Heinemeier Hansson launched Ruby on Rails as an open-source undertaking in 2004. Hansson created Ruby on Rails whilst operating at the undertaking control instrument Basecamp via the corporate 37Signals. Ruby on Rails puts numerous emphasis at the “conference over configuration” (CoC) paradigm and the “don’t repeat your self” (DRY) theory. CoC method builders write much less code and do fewer configurations in the event that they apply predefined conventions. DRY avoids redundancy and decreases the repetition of instrument patterns.

Like Ruby, Ruby on Rails used to be extra prevalent in its early years and has taken a step again as new frameworks emerged. Regardless of that, it’s matured over time and has secured a vital following. Builders nonetheless make a choice Rails as it follows conventions that convey construction to building, making the code simple to learn and write and dashing up the advance procedure and time to marketplace.

Makes use of for Ruby on Rails

Whilst Ruby has many use instances, Ruby on Rails is a lot more targeted. It’s a framework geared only against creating internet packages. Whilst it is going to have a slender center of attention, what it does, it does neatly. Ruby on Rails has been used to create one of the most hottest internet packages, like GitHub, Twitch, Soundcloud, Shopify, Hulu, Airbnb, and BaseCamp.

Benefits and Disadvantages of Ruby on Rails

As an open-source framework, Ruby on Rails provides a number of advantages that builders with a variety of enjoy can admire. Alternatively, the framework does no longer come with out compromise. Since opting for a framework is as vital as deciding in your programming language, believe the next to make sure you make the proper name.


  • An open-source framework — loose to make use of.
  • Advantages from Ruby’s extremely evolved ecosystem.
  • Has some security features in-built and enabled via default, together with integrated coverage towards XSS, CSRF, and SQL injection assaults.
  • An unlimited choice of libraries, or gem stones, makes Ruby on Rails an overly productive framework.
  • Lets in for quicker prototyping and is a superb choice for MVPs.


  • A excessive choice of gem dependencies leads to slower boot occasions, negatively impacting developer productiveness.
  • The predefined construction and out-of-the-box elements make it simple to construct common internet apps the usage of Ruby on Rails. Alternatively, this leads to a loss of flexibility that makes customization tricky.
  • With quicker building occasions comes slower efficiency, regularly led to via server and database structure problems. Those problems develop into extra obvious when scaling the applying.

Ruby vs Ruby on Rails: Key Variations

So, we’ve appeared on the person main points of Ruby and Ruby on Rails. Let’s now take a look at their elementary variations.

Function Ruby Ruby on Rails
Language vs Framework A programming language written in C. A internet building framework written in Ruby. Ruby on Rails doesn’t have its personal syntax as it makes use of Ruby because the programming language. Ruby on Rails is used to reinforce the aptitude of Ruby in construction internet packages.
Safety In Ruby, the whole thing is an object. This implies all knowledge may also be encapsulated, making the language extra protected. Ruby on Rails takes safety up a notch via protective towards cross-site scripting (XSS), fighting SQL injection, protective towards cross-site request forgery (CSRF), and fighting logging vulnerabilities.
Ideas Ruby is in keeping with the main of consumer interface design, aiming to extend developer productiveness. Ruby on Rails emphasizes the usage of CoC and DRY rules to extend developer productiveness and cut back the volume of labor.
Utilization Ruby is a general-purpose programming language that builders can use on other platforms just like the internet, desktop, and different instrument gear. Ruby on Rails is just used for internet building.

Ruby vs Ruby on Rails: What to Be told First

Now that we have got mentioned the variations between Ruby and Ruby on Rails, you may well be questioning which one to be informed first: the language or the framework. Select the language first. So, if you wish to grasp Ruby on Rails, first be told Ruby by itself. Finding out Ruby first isn’t a demand for finding out Ruby on Rails.

Alternatively, it’s one of the best ways to be informed, and you’ll have to be told Ruby sooner or later. It’s at all times very best to be informed the fundamentals of the programming language on which the framework is based totally ahead of leaping into the framework.

That is true for different frameworks. As an example, Laravel is written in PHP, and Nest.js is written in Typescript. So, it’s extra really helpful to be informed PHP ahead of leaping into Laravel or be told Typescript ahead of leaping into Nest.js.


This text mentioned the comprehensible confusion that arises from the in a similar way named Ruby and Ruby on Rails. Now that we’ve walked during the historical past and recognition of Ruby and Ruby on Rails and defined the numerous and very important variations between the 2, it’s transparent they’re no longer the similar factor.

The diversities have been made obvious via record and explaining one of the most extra not unusual makes use of for Ruby and Ruby on Rails, their benefits and drawbacks, and via record some fashionable websites, apps, and gear written in Ruby or the usage of the Ruby on Rails framework.

They have been each created to make programming relaxing and spice up productiveness. Alternatively, the principle distinction is that Ruby is a programming language you’ll use to construct desktop and internet packages. Against this, Ruby on Rails is a internet utility framework that very much complements Ruby’s exceptional features.

You’ll no longer use Ruby on Rails with out the usage of Ruby. Ruby on Rails takes benefit of the safety already found in Ruby and provides extra safety features, making it an overly protected framework. Additionally, Ruby is in keeping with the main of consumer interface design, whilst Ruby on Rails used to be evolved at the theory of DRY and CoC.

You’ll deploy your Ruby or Rails undertaking on Kinsta’s Software Website hosting platform. Get started via taking a look at some quick-start examples to get your utility off the bottom.

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