- What the two languages are
- How popular they are in the IT community
- Their advantages and disadvantages
- How they differ in terms of performance, scalability, and learning curve
- Which is best for web scraping
Let’s dive in!
|⌨ Syntax||Intuitive and easy-to-read||Simple|
|🌐 Ecosystem||Great, with more than 170K libraries available||One of the largest in the IT industry, with millions of libraries available|
|🧰 Frameworks||Ruby on Rails||Angular, React, Next.js, Vue, Express, Nuxt, and many others|
|👥 Community||Good, but declining in numbers||Probably the largest and the most active in the world|
|📈 Scalability||Limited with Ruby on Rails||Great with Node.js|
|🕸 Web Scraping||Possible, but supported by only a handful of libraries||Possible and supported by many useful libraries|
Ruby: Features, Main Aspects, Frameworks
In Ruby, packages developed by the community are called “gems” and are available via the RubyGems package manager. At the time of writing, there are more than 170k gems for download.
These are the main aspects and features offered by the programming language:
- Object-oriented programming: Ruby is a pure object-oriented language where everything appears to the language as an object. Yet, it does support many other paradigms, including functional, imperative, and reflective.
- Concise and expressive syntax: Ruby is celebrated for its elegant and expressive syntax. It focuses on the developer’s experience by enabling concise and readable code, reducing the need for boilerplate.
- Duck typing: It focuses on the object’s behavior rather than its type. This enhances flexibility and encourages a more natural and intuitive coding style. The motto of duck typing is “If it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, then it must be a duck.”
- Rich standard library: Ruby has a long history as a scripting language, which means that the standard library provides a lot of functionality, from file I/O to networking.
- Garbage collection: It integrates automatic memory management with built-in garbage collection, simplifying memory handling and reducing the risk of memory leaks.
- Meta-programming capabilities: You can employ the language to write code that dynamically writes other code at runtime.
With Node.js, you can also use it for backend development. That implies having the same language for both the frontend and the backend, with all the advantages this brings.
- Browser support: It is an interpreted language that is executed by web browsers regardless of the platform, improving agility and portability.
- Extensive standard library for the Web: It features a robust standard library designed for web development, offering features such as DOM manipulation, event handling, and AJAX support. Its purpose is to provide interactivity and dynamic behavior to websites.
- Open source.
- Developer-oriented syntax.
- Prioritizes developer happiness thanks to its focus on simplicity.
- Fast development, for significant productivity gains.
- Adheres to standards.
- Great for scripting.
- Highly secure, especially when used with Ruby on Rails.
- A friendly community.
- Extremely popular.
- Can run natively in the browser.
- Easy syntax.
- For both frontend and backend development.
- Many more libraries available when compared to Ruby.
- A welcoming, vast, vibrant community.
- Not backed by the largest community.
- Mainly for backend web development (with Ruby on Rails) and scripting.
- Its popularity has been declining for years.
- Not the most secure language available.
- Different browsers might interpret it differently.
- Hard to debug, particularly on the frontend.
- May be hard to configure on large projects.
For Scraping Data From Web Pages
As explained in our Ruby web scraping guide, you can collect online data with:
- Nokogiri: A robust Ruby gem for HTML and XML parsing.
- Mechanize: A library for automated interaction with websites, providing a convenient interface for navigating and extracting data.
- HTTParty: A gem to perform HTTP requests, facilitating seamless data exchange during web scraping.
Ruby is an excellent choice for writing and maintaining scraping scripts due to its simplicity. However, its slowness and difficulty to scale do not make it the best tool for creating scrapers for large sites.
- Cheerio: A fast, flexible, and jQuery-like library for HTML parsing.
- Axios: A popular HTTP client for making web requests and downloading the HTML content of web pages. Learn how to use proxies in Axios.
- Node-fetch: A lightweight module that implements the Fetch APIjs, enabling you to make HTTP requests intuitively in Node.js. See how to integrate proxies into Node-fetch.
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