When comparing Ruby vs Rust, 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 Rust is ranked 19th. 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 Catch errors at compile-time
Since Rust is statically typed, you can catch multiple errors during compile time. This is extremely helpful with debugging, especially compared with dynamically typed languages that may fail silently during runtime.
Pro Threads without data races
Unique ownership system guarantees a mutable data to be owned and mutated by only one thread at a time, so there's no data race, and this guarantee is checked at compile time statically. Which means easy multi-threading.
Of course, immutable data can be shared among multiple threads freely.
Pro Compiles to machine code allowing for extra efficiency
Rust uses LLVM as a backend, among other things this allows Rust code to compile down to machine languages. This allows developers to write programs that run as efficiently as possible.
Pro Generics support
You don't have to write same array and dictionary classes hundreds and thousands times for strong type check by compiler.
Pro Supports cross compilation for different architectures
Since Rust 1.8 you can install additional versions of the standard library for different targets using
$ rustup target add x86_64-unknown-linux-musl
Which then allows for:
$ cargo build --target x86_64-unknown-linux-musl
Pro Support for macros
When you identify a part of your code which gets repeated often, which you cannot abstract using functions or classes, you can use Rust's built-in Macros.
Pro Makes developers write optimal code
Rust is a modern programming language written around systems. It was designed from the ground up this way. It's language design makes developers write optimal code almost all the time, meaning you don't have to fully know and understand the compiler's source code in order to optimize your program.
Furthermore, Rust does not copy from memory unnecessarily, to give an example: all types move by default and not copy. Even references to types do not copy by default. In other words, setting a reference to another reference destroys the original one unless it's stated otherwise.
Pro Built-in concurrency
Rust has built-in support for concurrency.
Pro Easy to write understandable code
While not as verbose as Java, it still is much more verbose than languages like Go and Python. This means that the code is very explicit and easy to understand.
Pro Zero-cost futures or Async IO
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 Hard to find learning resources or libraries
Because it's still a relatively new language, Rust does not enjoy a following as large as other languages/environments. Rust development has also been rather volatile for a long time during the beginning of the development of the language adding to this issue.
Because of the small community, it's harder to find useful libraries for projects or any other kind of resource.
Con Asynchronous I/O is not (yet) a part of the core language
The issue of asynchronous I/O is still being discussed as a language feature, and not yet in the implementation phase. See the RFC on GitHub here.