Once again it’s a battle between intelligibility and efficiency; it is a simple, understandable and easy-to-use technology set against one that offers an expeditious development experience, it’s convenience against functionality — it’s Django vs Ruby on Rails.
Ordinarily, it boils down to being a matter of preference and what use a particular technology will be put to. Regardless, one should have all the details laid out before them before they can make an informed decision. So, yes, Django vs Ruby on Rails it is!
Before we get into a comparison of the two popular web frameworks, let’s lay the groundwork for future references by exploring the various advantages and disadvantages of Ruby on the Rails and Django.
What is Ruby on the Rails?
Ruby on Rails, or RoR, is understandably Ruby-based and an MVC (Model-View-Controller) web application framework written under the MIT License. It is an open-source, server-side platform that came into being 16 years ago.
The entire Ruby on Rails framework is centred around its two foundational principles – DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself) and Convention Over Configuration. In other words, it offers a time-saving and conventional platform for developers to write efficient code.
Ruby on Rails is packed with plenty of default structures such as databases, web services, and pages that can be customized later. Also, you needn’t go through the entire web development cycle in order to make modifications to something.
Ruby on Rails is shipped with a couple of native integrations, some of which are –
- ActiveJob; used to schedule background processes
- Object Relationship Mapper (ORM)
- ActiveStorage; which includes file storage systems such as AWS S3, Google Cloud Storage, among others
Some of the most popular names associated with RoR are:
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What are the advantages of Ruby on Rails?
- Ruby on Rails can be modified easily
- It allows structured altering of the database and is easy to migrate.
- It is known for faster development.
- It is packed with a number of tools and presets alongside an excellent testing environment.
- Since Ruby on Rails is open-sourced, it has an active community of developers.
- Its component structure contains over 150,000 total gems for download. This makes way for greater functionality without having to code a lot.
- There is ample support provided to users through its comprehensive guide, The Rails Way.
What are the disadvantages of Ruby on Rails?
- It doesn’t offer the best platform to create APIs
- The documentation process is not as standardized and high-quality as one may have hoped. This is especially the case with gems which are not that common.
- Coding on Ruby on Rails becomes complex with time and developers may face difficulty reading the code. Further, rework also proves to be quite time-consuming.
- Runtime speed could be higher.
- Since documentation is not very efficient, RoR provides developers with test suites for code information, who in turn are required to study the code.
What is Django?
Often dubbed as ‘the web framework for perfectionists with deadlines’, Django is a remarkable open-source, high-level Python-based framework that encourages the creation of complex and database-driven websites. It is known for its promptness in development, simplicity, and pragmatic design.
Django was released in 2005 and is handled by an American non-profit organization named Django Software Foundation. It was invented with an intent to meet deadlines while simultaneously meeting expectations.
Like Ruby, Python is also an interpreted, object-oriented, general-purpose programming language. This makes Django easy to use, quick and highly versatile. Django is fueled by rich libraries of tools, plugins and other features that contribute to a remarkably fast development. Some of these are:
- Django ORM
- HTTP libraries
- Multi-site support
- Django Admin
It finds extensive use in data science, booking engines fintech, e-commerce, and a variety of other domains. Some of the most popular companies have their services built using Python. These include:
- The Guardian
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What are the advantages of Django?
- Django is open-source and has a huge community of developers and contributors who participate in regular conferences and training.
- It is highly scalable, boosting its capacity to deliver.
- It comes with a number of useful plugins and mature software that has undergone thorough scrutiny of numerous developers.
- It offers ample opportunity to customize.
- It supports Representational State Transfer (REST), a toolkit that makes building Web APIs simpler.
- It operated on MVC (Model View Controller)
- It is extremely compatible with a number of operating systems and databases, thus, increasing its accessibility.
What are the disadvantages of Django?
- Django can not process multiple requests at the same time. This could hamper your development progress.
- Since it operates on ORM (Object-Relational Mapper), there is tight-coupling of components.
- Django is often said to be monolithic
Difference between Ruby on Rails and Django
Now, let’s explore the major differences between the two frameworks. We will touch upon the following parameters:
- Language and Syntax
- Performance and Speed
Although Django and Ruby on Rails both support MVC (Model-View-Controller) framework, Django’s is slightly different; it is MVT (Model-View-Template).
In Django, Model is indicative of the database which includes the data structures, View monitors what the users see and is commonly called the Regular Expression-based URL Dispatcher, and Template represents a templating system that is compatible with Django Template Language (DLT). Django takes responsibility of the controller.
In Ruby on Rails, Model is handled by ActiveRecord and is a representation of the data included in the database which includes comments, posts, images, etc. View comprises the data contained in the HTML template which is then sent to the Controller, and is evantally taken care of by ActiveView. Both Model and View are connected by ActionController that is also responsible for handling requests and sending responses.
Language and Syntax
As we already know, Django is written on Python, Rails runs on Ruby. Both languages have distinct features. While Python imitates human language and promotes clarity and readability, Ruby is known for its flexibility and freedom. Users of Python know it to be the easiest language out there while Ruby is the most fun to write.
When it comes to syntax, since Ruby encourages flexible codes, it’s difficult to solve problems as there can be a number of solutions. This lack of consistency is sometimes problematic.
Django codes, on the other hand, are easier to debug and read. This positively affects the rate of development.
Performance and Speed
It’s been noted that Rails is faster than Django by 0.7%, thanks to its libraries and plugins which also increase its speed, Django makes up for this with its REST framework that has authentication modules and JSON serializers and deserializers, etc. This gives Django an edge over Rails.
Django is easier to install (takes about a minute) than RoR. One requires knowledge of bundle and Gems. This is followed by an elaborate process of installation.
Django lags in this department despite being written on Python. Rails offers higher scalability because of the freedom and flexibility it allows when writing code.
Django wins in terms of popularity since it is written on Python which is a hugely popular programming language. However, Ruby on Rails also has a dedicated following of programmers and developers.
Django is your go-to framework if your focus is on database-driven sites that can be built in less time. Django is also suited for analysis, scientific programming, and administration purposes.
Rails offer better usability, flexibility and freedom to developers, and hence, is perfect for metaprogramming.
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Explain Django architecture and its advantages
Django is a backend framework in Python that follows MVT (Model View Template) architecture. It has slight differences from MVC architecture as it has its conventions, so the framework itself handles the controller part. The template layer is the presentation layer. It is an HTML file with DTL (Django Template Language). The template maps the model and view to the URL, and thus, the backend is created. It is scalable and provides better content management and CDN connectivity. It offers security and rapid development. It provides a default admin panel with a great set of libraries in Python and is also suitable for SEO.
What is the directory structure of Django?
The directory structure provides better management of your code and command-line utilities for the development process. manage.py is a utility that allows you to interact with the application and run it on the localhost. __init__.py is an empty file that represents the current directory as a python package. settings.py consists of all the application configurations like database connections, media, time zone, language, etc. urls.py contains all the URLs of the current project and defines the mapping between views and URLs. wsgi.py is the entry point of the project. The web servers use it to serve the application on the internet.
How is Ruby different from the Python language?
Python is a scripting language suitable for data analysis and computational tasks. Ruby is a server-side language ideal for web development and functional programming. Instance variables have strictly private visibility in Ruby, which means objects can only be accessed using member functions. On the other hand, Python considers class as a function that returns an object. Strings are immutable in Python, whereas they are mutable in Ruby. Django is regarded as the most popular framework of Python, which has its contributions in major applications like Spotify, YouTube, Reddit, etc. On the other hand, Ruby on Rails is considered the most popular framework of Ruby having major applications like Google Maps, Hulu, GitHub, and more.