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App Development
7 minutes read

Ruby on Rails Vs. Django

by Jose Gomez
App Development
7 minutes read

Many developers compare Ruby on Rails vs. Django in order to determine which web framework is the right one for their web app. This is because out of all the web development frameworks available, Ruby on Rails and Django are two of the most popular choices. 

Choosing the right technology for your web app development project is not always easy, and in many cases, the technology you choose will depend largely on the skills your developers possess. 

Since Ruby on Rails and Django are two of the most popular web development frameworks, we will compare and contrast them so that you can see which one might be better suited for your next web development project. 

Ruby on Rails

Ruby on Rails is a server-side, open-source web development framework. It was initially developed and released in 2004. Rails prioritizes convention over configuration. This means that web development is sped up by reducing the amount of repetitive code and prioritizing conventional solutions over custom configuration. 

The aim of Ruby on Rails is to make the development process easier and faster. It is built on the programming language Ruby which seeks to make writing code an enjoyable and creative experience for developers. 

The use cases for Ruby on Rails are plentiful. Many popular technology companies use Ruby on Rails, including Twitter and Airbnb. 

Django

Django is a general-purpose, open-source web development framework. This web framework was initially developed and released shortly after Ruby on Rails in 2005. Django is a Python-based framework and is a very popular choice amongst Python developers. 

Django was created to simplify the creation of complex, database-driven websites. Much like Ruby on Rails, Django also cuts down on the use of repetitive code, making the web development process much faster. 

Django is also popular with some of the largest tech companies in the world too. It has been used by Mozilla and Instagram, to name a few. 

Comparing Ruby on Rails and Django

Comparing these two web development frameworks is important because they are more similar than they are different. Still, there are key differences between them, and understanding these differences will help you decide which is better suited to your needs. 

When comparing Ruby on Rails vs. Django, we will look at several key aspects of these web frameworks, including:

  • Programming language
  • Performance 
  • Architecture
  • Scalability
  • Philosophy 
  • Community 

Programming Language 

The biggest difference between Ruby on Rails and Django is the programming language at the core of each framework. Ruby on Rails runs on the programming language Ruby, while Django relies on the language Python. Both of these languages are great for web development, but they are different. 

Python is best known for the emphasis it puts on the clarity and readability of the code. It is one of the most popular programming languages for beginners to learn. Ruby is best known for the flexibility it provides developers and its easy-to-understand syntax. When Ruby was initially designed, an emphasis was placed on creating a language that was fun to write for developers. 

In a practical sense, both Ruby and Python are capable of doing many of the same things. When it comes to deciding between Ruby on Rails and Django, the best way to choose might be based on which programming language your developers are more comfortable working with. 

Performance

Web developers obsess over performance. After all, this is an important aspect of web development. The achievable performance levels of Ruby on Rails and Django are very comparable, but Rails outperforms Django slightly

Ruby on Rails enjoys a performance edge over Django because it has a wealth of libraries and different plugins that help increase speed and performance. However, Django does have a REST framework that provides powerful authentication modules and a JSON serializer/deserializer. 

While Rails might be slightly faster than Django, they both offer a high level of web performance. 

Architecture 

Both Ruby on Rails and Django use an architectural model based on model-view-controller (MVC). However, in the case of Django, this is actually model-view-template (MVT). Model-view-controller and model-view-template are both very similar. 

The difference between them is the controller. In an MVC architecture, there is a controller that drives both the model and view components of the architecture. In an MVT architecture, the web framework itself acts as the controller, which in this case would be Django. 

Scalability 

Scalability is an important consideration for most businesses. Both Ruby on Rails and Django offer a high degree of scalability. However, once again, Ruby on Rails slightly outperforms Django in terms of scalability

Django is built on Python, which is a very scalable programming language, but Ruby on Rails has the edge in scalability thanks to its flexible code.

Philosophy 

Besides the underlying programming languages, the driving philosophy behind these web development frameworks is their biggest difference. Both Ruby on Rails and Django adhere to the don’t repeat yourself (DRY) philosophy of cutting down on the amount of repetitive code. However, Ruby on Rails prioritizes convention over configuration, and Django prioritizes explicit code over implicit code.  

What does this mean? Convention over configuration means that you need fewer lines of code to achieve the same results in Ruby on Rails. Ruby puts a big emphasis on creativity and freedom. This gives developers numerous ways to accomplish the same tasks. 

On the other hand, Django emphasizes explicit solutions. This is because it is built on Python, which operates under the belief that there should be only one obvious way to write code and accomplish tasks.  

Community 

Ruby on Rails and Django both enjoy very large, engaged online communities. This is not only because both of these web development frameworks perform at a high level. The level of support and engagement these frameworks enjoy can also be attributed to the fact that they are both open-source technologies that are free to use. 

Don’t underestimate the importance of a large community. Large communities mean that there will be help online should you run into a problem, and the framework will be maintained and updated regularly.

Which Projects are Best Suited for Ruby on Rails?

If time is of the essence, and let’s face it, it almost always is, Ruby on Rails is a better choice than Django. Ruby on Rails requires fewer lines of code, and it provides a lot of libraries and plugins. Plus, Rails makes it easy to add complex features to a website without a lot of configuration. Minimize the time spent writing code and deploy faster when you choose Ruby on Rails.

Which Projects are Best Suited for Django?

Django is a good choice for your web development project if you are more comfortable with Python. You might also choose to use Django if you want more configuration control over your project. Rails prioritizes convention over configuration. While this can help speed up the development process, it also means you have a little bit less control with Rails. 

Final Thoughts 

Ruby on Rails and Django share a lot of things in common. Like we said at the beginning of this post, these two web development frameworks are more similar than different. Still, there are some key differences that you might want to consider when choosing a web framework for your project.

If you need help figuring out which technologies are best suited for your project, reach out to an app development partner. A qualified partner can give you advice based on industry experience and technical expertise, and help you compare Ruby on Rails vs. Django.

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