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Java vs Ruby: What are the differences?

Java: A concurrent, class-based, object-oriented, language specifically designed to have as few implementation dependencies as possible. Java is a programming language and computing platform first released by Sun Microsystems in 1995. There are lots of applications and websites that will not work unless you have Java installed, and more are created every day. Java is fast, secure, and reliable. From laptops to datacenters, game consoles to scientific supercomputers, cell phones to the Internet, Java is everywhere!; Ruby: A dynamic, interpreted, open source programming language with a focus on simplicity and productivity. Ruby is a language of careful balance. Its creator, Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto, blended parts of his favorite languages (Perl, Smalltalk, Eiffel, Ada, and Lisp) to form a new language that balanced functional programming with imperative programming.

Java and Ruby can be categorized as "Languages" tools.

"Great libraries", "Widely used" and "Excellent tooling" are the key factors why developers consider Java; whereas "Programme friendly", "Quick to develop" and "Great community" are the primary reasons why Ruby is favored.

Ruby is an open source tool with 15.9K GitHub stars and 4.25K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Ruby's open source repository on GitHub.

Airbnb, Uber Technologies, and Spotify are some of the popular companies that use Java, whereas Ruby is used by Airbnb, Square, and Codecademy. Java has a broader approval, being mentioned in 2399 company stacks & 2723 developers stacks; compared to Ruby, which is listed in 2530 company stacks and 1140 developer stacks.

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What is Java?

Java is a programming language and computing platform first released by Sun Microsystems in 1995. There are lots of applications and websites that will not work unless you have Java installed, and more are created every day. Java is fast, secure, and reliable. From laptops to datacenters, game consoles to scientific supercomputers, cell phones to the Internet, Java is everywhere!

What is Ruby?

Ruby is a language of careful balance. Its creator, Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto, blended parts of his favorite languages (Perl, Smalltalk, Eiffel, Ada, and Lisp) to form a new language that balanced functional programming with imperative programming.

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What are some alternatives to Java and Ruby?
C
Abstract
Abstract builds upon and extends the stable technology of Git to host and manage your work.
Go
Go is expressive, concise, clean, and efficient. Its concurrency mechanisms make it easy to write programs that get the most out of multicore and networked machines, while its novel type system enables flexible and modular program construction. Go compiles quickly to machine code yet has the convenience of garbage collection and the power of run-time reflection. It's a fast, statically typed, compiled language that feels like a dynamically typed, interpreted language.
Python
Python is a general purpose programming language created by Guido Van Rossum. Python is most praised for its elegant syntax and readable code, if you are just beginning your programming career python suits you best.
Scala
Scala is an acronym for “Scalable Language”. This means that Scala grows with you. You can play with it by typing one-line expressions and observing the results. But you can also rely on it for large mission critical systems, as many companies, including Twitter, LinkedIn, or Intel do. To some, Scala feels like a scripting language. Its syntax is concise and low ceremony; its types get out of the way because the compiler can infer them.
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Decisions about Java and Ruby
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Interest over time
Reviews of Java and Ruby
Avatar of kfretwell33
Founder at Pouch
Review ofRubyRuby

I taught myself Ruby about a year ago. I had experience with HTML/CSS, MySQL, and a little bit of javascript and python but would consider this my first true programming language I became proficient in (later picked up Swift).

I started with a CodeAcademy course before working on my first Rails project. The language is easy to read and Rails is an amazing framework. The online community is fantastic, the documentation is amazing, and there is no shortage of Ruby Gems which allows you to quickly "cobble" together a new project.

How developers use Java and Ruby
Avatar of Brian Fults
Brian Fults uses JavaJava

Pretty much everything - Java is reasonably fast, reasonably safe, and reasonably expressive. I wouldn't call it the best at any of those things. The real advantage to me is that the virtual machine is ubiquitous and many people can understand it. Since I have the most experience in this language, it's my tool of choice for most projects.

I've also been learning JavaFx so that I can build user interfaces without the web. I've started several single-page-application projects that worked, but felt like workarounds or hacks and would be better-served as self-contained applications.

Avatar of StackShare
StackShare uses RubyRuby

Only thing worth noting here is that we saw some major issues with memory swapping on Heroku with Ruby 2.1.2. We weren’t the only ones. So we actually reverted back to 2.0.0. Here’s what happened: reverting. We’re planning to upgrade to 2.1.4 once we’ve had time to test thoroughly.

Avatar of benyomin
benyomin uses RubyRuby

When we are comparing Turing complete languages it's not about what compiles faster or to the cleanest machine code, it's about what the developer can think in and write faster, including the availability of libraries. A couple of times I wrote some ruby scripts for this project. I just like the language best for some things. Love the syntax.

Avatar of denkbar.io
denkbar.io uses JavaJava

Do I really need to explain? Well to me, the most appealing factor in Java besides the unbelievable community and vast array of available libraries, is just the amount of effort that has been put in the modern JVM. Decades of optimization and improvements have lead to a terrific piece of technology. I admire the people contributed to that.

Avatar of SaberEsPoder
SaberEsPoder uses RubyRuby

We are primarily a Ruby shop; our main apps are running on Ruby + Rails, our Slack bot is written in Ruby and our smaller projects are on Sinatra. It makes it really easy for us to re-use code and switch between different projects since they are all on the same language.

Avatar of Scrayos UG (haftungsbeschränkt)
Scrayos UG (haftungsbeschränkt) uses JavaJava

Shouldn't surprise anyone, as minecraft is also java-based. Java is used for much more than just the plugins though. JCVortex (our API) is also served with vert.x (Java) and many of our team-internal tools also originated from java or are still java-applications.

Avatar of Web Dreams
Web Dreams uses JavaJava

The most popular language in the world, definitely every programmer would use the Java language at some point. Frankly, I only use java when it’s a must. I find the language to be a little bit tedious when working with it.

Avatar of brenoinojosa
brenoinojosa uses JavaJava

bytelore.com makes extensive use of Java in its applications. We use Java due to its performance, community and the number of other projects built in the language. We have many projects and libraries built in Java.

Avatar of Tim Lucas
Tim Lucas uses RubyRuby

Because happiness. Testing via RSpec (mostly model and request specs), Factory Girl for fixtures, VCR for testing API responses, timecop, Redcarpet for Markdown rendering, Intercom gem for posting events.

Avatar of Karma
Karma uses RubyRuby

Most of our services are written in Ruby. We started out as a Ruby shop, but we're slowly also moving some stuff to Go. We're using Go more and more these days, actually, including some backend services.

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