When comparing Ruby vs Julia, the Slant community recommends Ruby for most people. In the question“What is the best programming language to learn first?” Ruby is ranked 4th while Julia is ranked 25th. The most important reason people chose Ruby is:
Ruby has a very clean syntax that makes code easier to both read and write than more traditional Object Oriented languages, such as Java. For beginning programmers, this means the focus is on the meaning of the program, where it should be, rather than trying to figure out the meaning of obscure characters. presidents = ["Ford", "Carter", "Reagan", "Bush1", "Clinton", "Bush2"] for ss in 0...presidents.length print ss, ": ", presidents[presidents.length - ss - 1], "\n"; end
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Clean syntax
Ruby has a very clean syntax that makes code easier to both read and write than more traditional Object Oriented languages, such as Java. For beginning programmers, this means the focus is on the meaning of the program, where it should be, rather than trying to figure out the meaning of obscure characters.
presidents = ["Ford", "Carter", "Reagan", "Bush1", "Clinton", "Bush2"] for ss in 0...presidents.length print ss, ": ", presidents[presidents.length - ss - 1], "\n"; end
Pro A large ecosystem of tools & libraries
Ruby has a large ecosystem of tools and libraries for just about every use. Such as ORMs (Active Record, DatabMapper), Web Application Frameworks(Rails, Sinatra, Volt), Virtualization Orchestration(docker-api, drelict), CLI tools(Thor, Commando), GUI Frameworks(Shoes, FXRuby) and the list goes on. If you can think of it, there is probably a gem for that ( and if not you can create your own and share with the community).
Pro Widely used
Ruby is one of the most popular languages for developing web sites. As a result, there's an abundant amount of documentation, sample code, and libraries available for learning the language and getting your project up and running. The most popular features are just 'gem install' away. Additionally, it is easier to find Ruby jobs because of this.
Pro Newbie-friendly community
Pro Ruby on Rails
Lays out an easy to follow and opinionated MVC pattern that teaches best practices through necessity.
Pro Test Driven Development, #1
It's the fore-runner and trend setter for TDD.
Pro Hugely object oriented
Object oriented programming is one of the most important concepts in programming.
Meta-programming provides efficiency and freedom.
Pro No indentation.
No indentation increase development efficiency.
Pro Strong dynamic typing
Dynamic and high level, but does not isolate the user from properly thinking about types. Can do explicit type signatures which is great for teaching structured thinking.
Pro Almost as fast as C
Julia runs almost as fast as (and in fact in some cases faster than) C code.
Pro Great standard REPL
Out of the box Julia has a very good Read-Eval-Print-Loop, which both completes functions and types, as well as completion based on history of previous statements. It integrates well with the shell and has an excellent online help system.
Pro Nice regular syntax
Julia code is easy to read and avoid a lot of unnecessary special symbols and fluff. It uses newline to end statements and "end" to end blocks so there is no need for lots of semicolons and curly braces. It is regular in that unless it is a variable assignment, function name always comes first. No need to be confused about whether something is a method on an object or a free function.
Unlike Python and Ruby, since you can annotate the types a function operates on, you can overload function names, so that you can use the same function name for many data types. So you can keep simple descriptive function names and not have to invent artificial function names to separate them from the type they operate on.
Pro Written in itself
The Julia language is written in itself to a much larger extent than most other languages, so a budding programmer can read through the depths of the standard library and learn exactly how things work all the way down to the low-level bit-twiddling details, which can be englightening.
Pro Function overloading
You can have multiple functions with the same name, but doing different things depending on function arguments and argument types.
Pro Function and operator broadcasting
You can perform operations on scalars, for example 2^2 or [1, 2, 3].^2.
Pro Powerful n-dimensional arrays
Julia has built in n-dimensional arrays similar in functionality as Python's numpy.
Pro Amazing learning curve
Julia requires no boilerplate code – a beginner needs to write only the parts they care about. This combined with the REPL provides the best learning experience available.
Pro High-level code
Julia provides a high level of abstraction, making platform-independent programming trivial and easing the learning curve.
The Julia REPL allows quickly testing how some code behaves and gives access to documentation and package management immediately in the REPL.
Con Its ecosystem is limited outside of web development
If you're looking to host, generate, manipulate or secure a website, Ruby is your language. There's also some great support here for infrastructure as code work via Chef. However, it just doesn't have the depth and breadth that Python does. Things like native UI development, high performance math, and embedded / small footprint environments are barely supported at all in Ruby-space.
Requiring a library can change the rules of the language. This is very confusing for beginners.
Con Meta-programming causes confusion for new developers
The ability for libraries to open classes and augment them leads to confusion for new developers since it is not clear who injected the functionality into some standard class.
In other words, if two modules decide to modify the same function on the same class can introduce a number of issues. Mainly, the order in which the modules are included matters. Since you more or less can't tell what kind of "helper" functions a module might write into any class, or for that matter, where the helper function was included from, you may sometimes wonder why class X can do Y sometimes but not at other times.
Con No docstrings
It's hard to access Ruby's documentation from the REPL (irb), unlike Python, Lisp, and Smalltalk which let you ask functions how to use them, which is a great benefit to the beginner, and which also encourages you to document your program as you code it.
Con Does not teach you about data types
Since Ruby is a dynamically typed language, you don't have to learn about data types if you start using Ruby as your first language. Data types being one of the most important concepts in programming. This also will cause trouble in the long run when you will have to (inevitably) learn and work with a statically typed language because you will be forced to learn the type system from scratch.
Con Dynamic type system
Majority of bugs could be resolved with types.
Con Arcane grammar based on Perl
Ruby is too complicated for beginners:
- arcane Perlisms;
- semi-significant whitespace;
- parentheses are not necessary around method arguments, except for sometimes they are;
- control constructs could be elegantly implemented with block like Smalltalk (Instead they're baked into the grammar.);
- verbose block syntax, unless it happens to be the last argument. (proc lambda).
- There are too many exceptional cases and arcane precedence rules.
Con Viewed as a web development language
Despite its flexibility and performance, Ruby is often seen as being unsuitable for other tasks by those who are not familiar with it. As such, a lot of discussion about it centers around Rails, which is not at all relevant if you're using Ruby for something else, such as game development.
Con More than one way to do it
A problem inspired by Perl. The core API interfaces are bloated. There's at least four different ways to define methods. More is not always better. Sometimes it's just more.
Con Focus on Object-Oriented Programming (OOP)
Focussing on OOP in a beginner stage is an easy and popular plan, but not the best one.
Con Young language with limited support
Julia was released in 2012. Due to its short existence, there is a limited amount of support for the language. Very few libraries exist as of yet, and the community is still quite small (though growing quickly).
Con 1-based array and column major
This design probably comes from Matlab, but makes it unnatural to interface C and C++ and python.