When comparing Ruby vs Kotlin, the Slant community recommends Ruby for most people. In the question“What is the best programming language to learn first?” Ruby is ranked 5th while Kotlin is ranked 17th. 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 Ruby on Rails
Lays out an easy to follow and opinionated MVC pattern that teaches best practices through necessity.
Pro Newbie-friendly community
Pro Hugely object oriented
Object oriented programming is one of the most important concepts in programming.
Pro Test Driven Development, #1
It's the fore-runner and trend setter for TDD.
Pro Great tooling support
Since Kotlin is made by Jetbrains (the developers of IntelliJ IDEA) so it stands to reason that the IntelliJ support for Kotlin is also great. Besides that, Kotlin also works well with existing Java tools such as Eclipse, Maven, Gradle, Android Studio, etc...
Pro Easy adoption for existing Java programmers
Kotlin runs on the JVM and Java interoperability has been one of the main objectives since the language was born. It runs everywhere Java does; web servers, mobile devices (Android), and desktop applications. It also works with all the major tools in the Java ecosystem like Eclipse, IntelliJ, Maven, Ant, Gradle, Spring Boot, etc.
All of this makes adoption extremely easy even for existing Java projects. On top of this there's also ensured Type safety and less boilerplate code needed.
Pro Easy to learn if you have prior programming experience
Kotlin's syntax is extremely easy to understand. The language can be picked up in a few hours just by reading the language reference.
Pro No runtime overhead
The standard library is relatively small and tight. It mostly consists of focused extensions of the Java standard library and as such adds no additional runtime overhead to existing Java projects.
Pro Officially supported for Android development
Starting with version 3.0 of Android Studio, Kotlin support will be built-in. This means that it's now easier than ever to use Kotlin for existing Android projects or even start writing Android apps only with Kotlin from scratch.
This also means that Kotlin and Kotlin plugins for Android Studio will be fully supported in the future and their likelihood of being abandoned is quite small since Google is fully embracing the language for their Android ecosystem (alongside Java and C++).
Pro Low-risk adoption for existing Java codebases
Since it has such a good interoperability with Java, Java libraries, and Java tools. It can be adopted for an existing Java codebase at little to no cost. The codebase can be converted from Java to Kotlin little by little without ever disrupting the functionality of the application itself.
Pro Does not impose a particular philosophy of programming
It's not overly OOP like Java and it does not enforce strict functional paradigms either.
Pro Is built to solve industrial problems
Kotlin has been designed and built by developers who have an industrial background and not an academic one. As such, it tries to solve issues mostly found in industrial settings. For example, the Kotlin type system helps developers avoid null pointer exceptions. Reasearch languages usually do not have
null at all, but APIs and large codebases usually need
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.
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.
Requiring a library can change the rules of the language. This is very confusing for beginners.
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 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 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 Dynamic type system
Majority of bugs could be resolved with types.
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 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 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 May be hard for programmers already used to imperative style to learn functional programming from Kotlin
Since Kotlin does not enforce any particular paradigms and is not purely functional, it can be pretty easy to fall back to imperative programming habits if a programmer comes from an imperative background.
Con The need for Java interoperability has forced some limitations
The need to make Kotlin interoperable with Java has caused some unintuitive limitations to the language design.