Ruby on Rails vs Javascript- What’s the Difference (Pros and Cons)

Ruby on Rails vs Javascript- What’s the Difference (Pros and Cons). RoR vs JavaScript is a very popular debate among the web developer community. While RoR is a server side web development framework, JavaScript is a client side programming language. Therefore, you can easily use both of them within a single tech stack. However, JavaScript has evolved into being a full scale programming language. Now, you can build entire web applications with pure JavaScript and other JavaScript libraries. That’s why we decided to compare the pros and cons of each framework for building web applications.

Let’s introduce both Ruby on Rails vs Javascript- What’s the Difference (Pros and Cons) and compare both languages or web development.

What is Ruby on Rails

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Ruby on Rails is a Ruby based framework that is used to develop server side desktop or web applications. It is designed with the flexibility to be customized according to the requirements of users. It provides a template or structure with basic features that can be added to the webpage. The developer can proceed to work with that template to build his required application. Ruby itself is an open source programming language that is based on object-oriented programming concepts. Ruby on Rails uses the MVC (Model, View, Controller) architecture. 

MVC Architecture

  • Model – Keeps the information 
  • View  – Display the information
  • Controller – acts as a middleman, controlling and coordinating the information stored in the model and displayed in the view.

The Ruby on Rails runtime environment works on an interpreter with the support of inbuilt scripts, programs and multiple libraries. Architecture of Ruby on Rails is as follows:

Ruby on Rails Architecture

Pros of Ruby on Rails

  • Developer friendly – Ruby on Rails provides a web development skeleton for projects, making it convenient for developers to continue with the development. It has an easily understandable and readable syntax, which simplifies the implementation. It is a hassle free development framework that helps developers concentrate more on the functional features of applications.
  • Community support – Ruby is an open-source language that is subjected to continuous evolution with the support of a vast community of developers. Such communities discuss important facts, articles, and solutions to issues.
  • Usability in content management systems – The use of MVC architecture makes content creation and management easier, such as adding, reviewing, uploading, publishing, and content management. They can be easily developed using Ruby on Rails as it utilizes the MVC architecture in its implementations.
  • Compatibility with Front end frameworks – Ruby on Rails is compatible with other commonly used frontend development frameworks such as Angular.Js, React.Js and Vue. This reduces the developing effort and also helps in reusing and adding attractive components.
  • Industry Standards – Ruby on Rails is popular for maintaining industry standards and best practices. It follows software engineering methodologies and practices such as Convention over Configuration (CoC) and DRY ( Do not Repeat Yourself). These methodologies help to maintain well structured, reusable and easily manageable code base. Adhering to MVC design architecture helps to implement even complex logic as a robust and effective application.
  • We can also mention portability, simplicity, efficiency in development, increased productivity, and extensibility as pros of Ruby on Rails.

Ruby on Rails ( RoR) use cases: E commerce websites, complex software development entertainment platforms.

Cons of Ruby on Rails

  • Lack of flexibility – Ruby on Rails is not very flexible in managing complex tasks while dealing with multiple objects and details. The main reason is that it is more focused on basic regular applications than applications with complex implementation logic.
  • Continuous Development  – Ruby on Rails is subjected to a rapid development due to the continuous support from the developer community. It can be a disadvantage as applications developed with Ruby on Rails will need to be kept up to date with the latest developments to capture the full features.
  • Performance time – Unfortunately, Ruby on Rails has a higher boot time than other web development frameworks. It can be a special overhead when dealing with larger projects. 
  • The cost of errors – Performance time is the cost of errors in Ruby on Rails. Hence, developers should pay extra attention while developing. One small misunderstanding can cause critical performance issues or unexpected consequences within the application.
  • The popularity of Ruby on Rails is kind of fading away within the community of developers.

What is JavaScript

Next in our article about Ruby on Rails vs Javascript- What’s the Difference is JavaScript. It  is a popular programming language among web developers. It is an interpreted open source language that is capable of directly running on web browsers. JavaScript is supported by CSS and HTML to implement the structure of a website. Javascript is widely used due to its high functionality, performance and object oriented behaviour.

Internal architecture of Javascript is as below.

Pros of Javascript

  • Speed  – Javascript needs less time to execute than other programming languages as it is an interpreted language. Execution speed is very beneficial in clientserver scripting.
  • Easy to learn – Javascript has a simple structure that is very easy to understand. Therefore, using JavaScript is time saving and much more flexible.
  • Popularity – Nowadays, Javascript is everywhere since almost all browsers support it. Therefore, most wellreputed companies, such as Amazon and Google, use JavaScript as one of their main programming languages.
  • The ability to interoperate – Javascript can easily collaborate with other programming languages. It can be embedded in any website, even if it is scripted in a different programming language.
  • Load balancing – Javascript offers data validation on browsers without transferring it to the server side when used in client-side applications. It is much more convenient as only updating the respected component of the webpage will be sufficient without reloading the whole webpage.
  • Full-stack capability – Javascript can be used for both front-end and back-end development. There are JS-based languages and libraries such as ReactJS and AngularJS for the front end, while there are NodeJS for back end development.
  • Extended development support – Javascript has rich interfaces to create more attractive web pages (sliders, drag and drop, etc.), which helps to enhance the user experience. There are various add-ons to extend the functionalities of JavaScript, like Greasemonkey, which makes programming with JavaScript easier.
  • Reduced overhead – JavaScript enhances the performance of web pages with less lengthy code and built-in functionalities to support DOM access, etc.
  • Javascript use cases: web applications, mobile apps and games. 

Cons of Javascript

  • Less secure  – The Javascript codebase can be subjected to attacks as users can view it. It allows hackers to make alterations to the code and leak sensitive data from the webpage.
  • Lack of debugging support – There’s no efficient debugging option in JavaScript. Hence, it is difficult for the developers to pinpoint the issue.
  • Browser behaviour – Different browsers interpret JavaScript code differently. Therefore, code behaviour should be tested and verified on different platforms and different versions of web browsers before going live.
  • Lack of support in multiple inheritances – Javascript supports single inheritance. It can be a disadvantage whenever some application needs to have object oriented behaviour.
  • Rendering issues – One single error in the code can stop the rendering of the whole webpage. Anyway, modern browsers are improved to adjust to such issues.

Differences between Ruby on Rails and Javascript

  • Speed in coding – Ruby on Rails has many additional and rich libraries to support the development process. On the other hand, JavaScript has an asynchronous behaviour where all the codes are executed simultaneously. It also offers many additional functionalities.
  • Performance – Ruby on Rails has medium level performance as it doesn’t support asynchronous programming. It also has a high CPU processing time, while Javascript has greater performance with asynchronous support and event driven single threaded architecture.
  • Multi-Threading  – Ruby on Rails framework is capable of handling multiple tasks concurrently, hence it supports multithreading, but there can be performance degradation when executing complex applications. On the other hand, Javascript interpreter is single threaded, hence Javascript also will not support multi threading.
  • Documentation – Ruby on Rails has comprehensive documentation and a wide variety of useful features that support development. The documentation for Javascript is much more advanced. Thus, it can only be understood by experienced developers and is also time-consumin
  • Popularity – Javascript is highly popular among the developer community, without any doubt. In contrast, Ruby on Rails is much less popular than JavaScript.
  • Easiness to learn – Ruby on Rails is much easier to learn, even for a beginner, while JavaScript can be a bit difficult to learn.
  • Security – Ruby on Rails provides higher security as it has built in tools designed for defending several cyber threats. For example. RoR comes with helper classes to avoid SQL injection, and XSS attacks. On the other hand. Javascript is quite vulnerable to XSS attacks. 

Great! We have learned about Ruby on Rails vs Javascript- What’s the Difference (Pros and Cons).

Ruby on Rails vs Javascript- What’s the Difference Conclusion

Javascript is a highly expressive, practical language that can be used in both front and back end development. Ruby on Rails is among the most popular frameworks today and it allows you to quickly design incredible apps.

Ruby on Rails is used for backend development, while Javascript is used for client side frontend development. However, JavaScript can also be used for back end development with different Javascript based languages and development frameworks. Ruby on Rails has built Javascript based components (ex: Hotwire), to increase the usability of Javascript with Ruby on Rails. Furthermore, if you are using Ruby and Rails for your development, you will also need to use other scripting languages. 

When you identify the core usages of RoR and Javascript you can use both of them appropriately combined in your applications. Therefore, you should thoroughly go through your application and choose the best approach carefully.

Avatar for Shanika Wickramasinghe
Shanika Wickramasinghe

Senior Software Engineer at WSO2 which is the 6th largest Open Source Software Company in the World. My main skills are machine learning and software development. I have 5+ years of experience as a Software engineer.

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