When comparing Ruby vs Pony, the Slant community recommends Ruby for most people. In the question“What are the best (productivity-enhancing, well-designed, and concise, rather than just popular or time-tested) programming languages?” Ruby is ranked 18th while Pony is ranked 30th. 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 Concurrency model based on actors
The unique type system allows the compiler to automatically schedule actors on threads, giving you reliable concurrency for free.
Because of its capabilities secure type system, provided you don't use the C FFI, references will never be stale, race conditions are effectively impossible, deadlocks don't happen because locks and mutexes are never needed, and processes never crash because all exceptions must be handled. (Barring compiler bugs or external memory corruption, of course.) Pony programs can still lock up due to infinite loops, like any Turing-complete language.
Pro Trivially simple C FFI
Calling low-level C functions is as simple as
use "lib:clibrary" and
@c_function_name[return_type](parameter:type). Linking C to Pony libraries is just as easy, as the Pony compiler will generate appropriate header files.
Pro High performance
Compiles to native code, and features an intelligent garbage collector that takes advantage of the actor architecture to get essentially free garbage collection.
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 All exceptions must be caught
The compiler enforces this, so code is littered with
Con Limited documentation
As Pony is such a new language, documentation is relatively light, and tutorials are few and far-between.
Con Few libraries
Con Limited tooling
There's no IDE. Debuggers are fairly basic. Pony is too young to have much of an ecosystem.
Con Garbage collector can't run until you yield
A long-running behavior can leak memory because the garbage collector has no chance to run.
Con Divide by zero is allowed
And instead of some sensible result like NaN or Inf, the answer is zero! Most languages would just raise an exception (and Pony used to do this), but since the compiler enforces the rule that "all exceptions must be caught" the proliferation of
trys was determined to be too burdensome on the programmer. This makes the whole design of the exception system questionable.
Con Unstable API
Pony is not ready for production. It has yet to release version 1.0, and there are frequent breaking changes.
Con Difficult learning curve
The type system uses a capabilities-oriented approach to reference semantics, which can be difficult to wrap your head around at first. The lack of more common object-oriented features and the preference for simplicity over familiarity can make it difficult for new users to model their program design.