May 2018

There is always a question of what is the best choice for your new project. In terms of platforms, frameworks, programming languages, and strategies. And, of course, you will go on a long journey of investigation of what works better for you. Along the way, you might even change your mind. Maybe your idea changed, or your plan or you simply didn’t have enough information at the beginning. And while we can’t help you predict how your startup will develop, we surely can provide you with some useful information. So, if you are thinking of Django vs Rails, go on reading.

Ruby on Rails. What is it?

Rails is a framework created on the base of the Ruby programming language. It breathed in life into Ruby at the time, as its introduction was a big breakthrough for the web applications development. The community started growing rapidly, gaining experience, sharing information. By now, RoR community is one of the biggest available, which gives the framework certain advantages. It’s being used by top companies like Apple, Airbnb, Github, Shopify, and many others.

Perks of RoR

We are going to look into the Rails advantages and see how it can be useful for your business.

  • The big community developed over time is essential for any language or technology. The more people are involved and interested in growing it, the faster it bursts. Rails fans constantly share their skills and experience. They create and improve gems, update documentation and simply help each other. Most of the questions asked already have an answer in existence.
  • It’s free of charge. As every open-sourced technology, Rails is free for use by anyone willing to do so. This, of course, helps you save money and avoid the hassle. You get already developed solutions and don’t have to pay for them. Isn’t that lovely?
  • Speaking of ready solutions, RoR has plenty of those. The so-called ‘gems’, dependencies, are open to the public for any possible use you can imagine. They are created by the community and shared so that people won’t have to lose time. Gems help a lot to speed up the development process.
  • Rails opens tons of opportunities for changes. The framework works great with expanding even super complex applications. This makes updates easier and faster. In the end, you need less time and funds to make any re-equipment required.
  • RoR has an option for end-user testing. It’s capable of creating mock-ups for you to check the performance. It’s a cool thing to have when you want to see how things are emerging. And while the development team will perform their own QA tests, you are also able to participate.



What you should look out for

While there are even more great things to the Ruby on Rails, there are always some pitfalls.

  • Sometimes, the complexity of Ruby creates problems in tracking bugs within the framework. It can create delays in fixing problems or during the development. As much as many people call it magic, one should understand that “magic always comes with a price”. And in this case, it might the hourly price of the developer trying to catch the thing that’s causing your project problems. In this battle of Ruby on Rails vs Django, Ruby loses points.
  • You need a specialized developer or a team to make things work. Even though the information is out in the open for everyone, there are only so many ‘wizards’ you can find. And if you want the work to be done fast and efficient, you definitely need one. So, don’t be shy to get acquainted with the team you are about to work with.

Django and how you can make use of it

Django is based on Python but is pretty much similar to Rails. It was introduced just a bit earlier than RoR and has since developed into an extremely popular framework. It is hard to judge about the Django vs Rails popularity as both of them have their adepts. However, the Python’s crowd is generally different from Ruby’s. Python is installed on most of the Linux PCs available. This is probably caused by it being used a lot for math and science. Pinterest, Google, Instagram, and many others chose it as their top preference.



Why Django?

As with the Rails, there a few advantages of using Django. Most of them will give you a sense of deja vu, that’s how similar these two are. But we will try to point out some peculiarities of this framework.

  • It’s open source. We can’t get enough of mentioning how great it is when you can have something so amazing for free. It just has to be said, that all of it is there, waiting for you.
  • We already mentioned that the Python community is a good match for Ruby’s. But, since it deals with science, it’s a lot more diverse. People contributing to the development of Django are creating some specific solutions in the libraries. This can be handy if a general purpose application is not what you are looking for.
  • Python is very straightforward and easy to read. Even if you are not a developer yourself, you are likely to understand the code. This makes it easier in terms of communication with the development team.
  • There is a Package Index repository available. This is a Python’s alternative to Rails gems. It is used to add features to your application. And it’s as extensive as RubyGems.
  • Django is extremely fast. And this concerns two points: it’s fast to learn it and to write it. Python is an easy-to-learn language, thus, there are more specialists available out there for you to work with. Besides, if you are on a tight deadline for creating your application, Django is your guy.

What can go wrong?

To get a full picture, you will need to know, where is the catch in this overly perfect view. So, here are the disadvantages of using Django.

  • Python is not much used in mobile development. It doesn’t mean, you can’t do that, but it’s not the main purpose of this language. So, if you’re in for a mobile app development, you probably should look for another option.
  • It’s not that fast. Rails vs Django comparison of speed is not in play here. Python is on average not much slower than Ruby, but it’s not the fastest guy around. This can be considered an addition to the previous point. The speed requirements for web apps and mobile ones are different.

Read also:  Top 5 Python Frameworks

Who wins in the battle of Django vs Rails

As you have probably already figured, there is not much that’s different in the Django vs Ruby on Rails performance. Both of these guys are efficient and can have the work done well. The few differences present do not account for much. The choice of a framework for your needs can depend on the purpose of your startup, how detailed you want it to be, and which team you find to execute your plan. If you are looking to build a general-purpose app, RoR can be the best solution. But, if you are in for something more specific, then Django is exactly what you need. Ruby is good in case you plan on adding as many details as you can. Python, on the other hand, will allow you launching your project at a good pace.

And once again, the team is important. If the differences mentioned are not essential to you, go ahead and base your choice on the developers. You can research the ones available to do the job and discuss the details with them prior to the development. This way, you can distinguish, who you are comfortable working with. In the end, everything goes down to your personal preferences. Either way, you will get the great result whatever you choose.

Ilya Smyrnov

Author: Ilya Smyrnov

Position: CEO, Business analyst

Biography: Более 8 лет занимаюсь анализом бизнесов клиентов и повышаю их эффективность с помощью внедрения IT-решений.

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