Ruby on Rails vs Javascript: Which One is Best?

Ruby on Rails vs Javascript, often simply called Rails, is a server-side web application framework written in the Ruby programming language. It was created in 2004 by David Heinemeier Hansson and has since become known for its ease of use and the convention over configuration philosophy, which streamlines the web development process. Rails is particularly popular for building database-backed web applications and is renowned for its simplicity and the speed with which developers can go from concept to launch.

JavaScript, on the other hand, is a high-level, interpreted programming language that is a core technology of the World Wide Web, alongside HTML and CSS. Developed by Brendan Eich in 1995, JavaScript is essential for adding interactive elements to websites, making it ubiquitous in web development. It’s used for client-side page behavior, but with environments like Node.js, JavaScript now also powers server-side applications.

Comparing Ruby on Rails and JavaScript is crucial because they represent different aspects of web development. Rails is a full-stack framework that emphasizes rapid development and clean, pragmatic design, while JavaScript is a versatile language that operates both on the client and server side, essential for creating dynamic and interactive web experiences. Understanding the strengths and limitations of each can help developers make informed decisions about the right tools and technologies for their specific web development projects, ultimately leading to more efficient, robust, and user-friendly web applications.

What is Ruby on Rails?

Ruby on Rails vs Javascrip

Ruby on Rails, often simply referred to as Rails, is an open-source web application development framework written in the Ruby programming language. It was created by David Heinemeier Hansson and first released in 2004. Rails is based on the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture pattern, which organizes application programming into three interconnected layers. This structure promotes the use of well-established software engineering patterns and paradigms.

Benefits of Using Ruby on Rails

  1. Convention over Configuration: Rails emphasizes the use of conventions over configuration, meaning it makes assumptions about what the developer wants to do and how they want to do it. This reduces the number of decisions a developer needs to make, speeding up the development process.
  2. Rapid Development: Thanks to its focus on simplicity and reuse, Rails enables developers to build applications quickly. This is partly due to the extensive use of scaffolding, which can generate the basic structure of an application components.
  3. Rich Ecosystem: Rails benefits from a vast and active community. There is a wealth of plugins (gems) available, which extend and add functionality to Rails applications easily.
  4. Integrated Testing: Rails includes a built-in testing framework, encouraging test-driven development (TDD). This promotes writing robust and error-free code.
  5. Scalability: Despite some myths, Rails is scalable and can handle large-scale applications. It provides various tools and resources to manage different aspects of scaling.
  6. Restful Application Design: Rails encourages RESTful design of web applications, which makes them more logical and easier to understand.
  7. Active Record: Rails’ Active Record provides an interface and binding between the tables in a relational database and the Ruby program code that manipulates database records.

Examples of Companies That Use Ruby on Rails

  1. GitHub: The largest host of source code in the world uses Rails for its website. GitHub is an excellent example of a high-traffic, scalable application built with Rails.
  2. Shopify: An e-commerce platform that allows anyone to set up an online store and sell their products. Shopify is one of the most famous Rails success stories in terms of handling high traffic and transaction volumes.
  3. Airbnb: A marketplace for people to list, discover, and book accommodations around the world. Airbnb uses Rails for its web applications.
  4. Basecamp: A project management and team communication software tool. Rails was extracted from Basecamp’s first version.
  5. Twitch: A live streaming platform for gamers, Twitch has used Rails for various parts of its web applications.
  6. Zendesk: A customer service and engagement platform, built with Rails, to provide support and engagement solutions.
  7. Square: A financial services and mobile payment company, using Rails for its web applications.

What is Javascript?

JavaScript is a high-level, dynamic programming language that is one of the core technologies of the World Wide Web, alongside HTML and CSS. Initially created by Brendan Eich in 1995 for Netscape Navigator, JavaScript has evolved significantly over the years. It is a multi-paradigm language, supporting event-driven, functional, and imperative programming styles. JavaScript is primarily used to enhance web pages, creating interactive and dynamic user interfaces. It can be executed in the browser (client-side) or on the server (via Node.js), making it a versatile language for web development.

Benefits of Using JavaScript

  1. Ubiquity: JavaScript is supported by all modern web browsers, providing a universal basis for creating interactive web applications accessible to virtually all internet users.
  2. Versatility: With the advent of Node.js, JavaScript can be used for both client-side and server-side development, enabling full-stack development with a single language.
  3. Rich Ecosystem: JavaScript has a vast ecosystem, bolstered by an extensive range of libraries and frameworks (like React, Angular, Vue.js for front-end; Express.js, Koa.js for back-end) that simplify complex tasks and add powerful features.
  4. Asynchronous Programming: JavaScript’s support for asynchronous programming (with Promises and async/await) allows for handling operations like I/O or network requests more efficiently.
  5. Community Support: It has one of the largest developer communities, offering a wealth of resources, tutorials, and forums for learning and problem-solving.
  6. Dynamic and Flexible: JavaScript allows dynamic typing and is flexible in its coding style, accommodating a wide range of programming paradigms.
  7. Rapid Development & Prototyping: JavaScript facilitates quick development cycles and is ideal for agile development and prototyping.

Examples of Companies That Use JavaScript

  1. Google: Utilizes JavaScript extensively across various applications, including Google Maps and Gmail, leveraging its capabilities for creating dynamic and responsive user interfaces.
  2. Facebook: Employs JavaScript for its front-end development, especially with the React library (developed and maintained by Facebook) for building user interfaces.
  3. Amazon: Uses JavaScript to enhance user experience across its e-commerce platform, making it interactive and user-friendly.
  4. Netflix: Leverages JavaScript both on the client and server sides, using Node.js for fast back-end services and React for its front-end development.
  5. LinkedIn: Uses JavaScript for its dynamic and interactive web application, ensuring a seamless user experience for professional networking.
  6. Uber: JavaScript is pivotal in the development of Uber’s web application, helping in handling real-time data and providing a responsive interface.
  7. Twitter: Utilizes JavaScript to enhance user interactivity and real-time features on its social networking platform.

Difference Between Ruby on Rails vs JavaScript

Exploring the differences between Ruby on Rails and JavaScript in terms of coding speed, security, community, threading support, and learning curve provides a clearer understanding of their unique characteristics and suitability for various development tasks:

1. Coding Speed

Ruby on Rails:

Rapid Development: Rails is known for its ‘convention over configuration’ approach, which significantly speeds up development by reducing the amount of boilerplate code. This makes it ideal for quick prototyping and fast-paced development environments.

Automation Tools: Rails comes with generators and scaffolding tools that automate many tasks, further increasing coding speed.


Front-End Interactivity: JavaScript is essential for creating dynamic content on web pages quickly. It allows for real-time updates without reloading the entire page.

Flexibility: While JavaScript is versatile and can be used for both front-end and back-end development (especially with Node.js), the need to manage asynchronous operations and callbacks can sometimes slow down development.

2. Security

Ruby on Rails:

Built-In Security Mechanisms: Rails has several built-in security features that protect against common web vulnerabilities such as SQL injection, XSS, and CSRF.

Secure Defaults: The framework’s emphasis on secure coding practices by default provides a robust foundation for building secure applications.


Client-Side Vulnerabilities: Being primarily a client-side language, JavaScript is more exposed to security threats like XSS attacks. However, frameworks like Node.js have strengthened JavaScript’s capabilities on the server side.

Dependency Management: The use of numerous third-party libraries in JavaScript projects can introduce security vulnerabilities, requiring careful management of dependencies.

3. Community

Ruby on Rails:

Strong and Supportive Community: Rails has a dedicated community known for its welcoming and supportive nature. There is an abundance of resources available for learning and troubleshooting.

Mature Ecosystem: The Rails community contributes to a rich library of gems (plugins), continually enhancing the framework’s capabilities.


Extremely Large Community: JavaScript’s community is one of the largest in the programming world, offering extensive resources, forums, tutorials, and third-party tools.

Diverse Ecosystem: The JavaScript ecosystem is incredibly diverse, encompassing a range of libraries and frameworks for various uses, from front-end development to server-side applications.

4. Threading Support

Ruby on Rails:

Global Interpreter Lock (GIL): Traditional Ruby implementations, like MRI, use GIL, which can limit concurrent processing, affecting multi-threading efficiency.

Concurrency Models: Rails supports concurrency through various mechanisms, but it’s not as efficient in handling real-time, high-concurrency applications compared to JavaScript with Node.js.


Asynchronous and Non-Blocking: JavaScript, especially in the Node.js environment, excels in handling asynchronous operations. This makes it suitable for applications that require real-time data processing.

Event-Driven Model: JavaScript’s event-driven architecture allows it to handle numerous concurrent connections efficiently, making it ideal for applications that require high levels of concurrency.

5. Learning Curve

Ruby on Rails:

Relatively Easy for Beginners: Rails is often considered easier to learn for beginners due to its opinionated nature and the abundance of resources. The ‘convention over configuration’ philosophy also simplifies the learning process.

Structured Approach: Rails provides a clear and structured approach to web development, which can be beneficial for new developers.


Widely Used but Diverse: JavaScript’s syntax is straightforward, but its asynchronous nature and the diversity of frameworks and libraries can be overwhelming for beginners.

Versatile Applications: The wide range of applications and the need to understand both client-side and server-side scripting in JavaScript can steepen the learning curve.

Comparing Ruby on Rails and JavaScript

Comparing Ruby on Rails and JavaScript in terms of coding speed and efficiency, security aspects, and community support provides insight into their respective strengths and suitability for different development needs:

1.Coding Speed and Efficiency

  • Ruby on Rails for Rapid Backend Development:
    • Rails’ Convention over Configuration: Rails promotes rapid development with its “convention over configuration” philosophy. This approach saves time by reducing the amount of boilerplate code developers need to write.
    • Scaffolding and Gems: Rails provides scaffolding tools and a wide array of gems (libraries) that streamline the creation of complex features.
    • MVC Architecture: The MVC framework in Rails organizes application programming, which speeds up development and makes the codebase easier to maintain.
  • JavaScript for Frontend Development and its Asynchronous Nature:
    • Client-Side Interactivity: JavaScript is essential for creating interactive and dynamic user interfaces in web development.
    • Asynchronous Programming: Features like callbacks, Promises, and async/await in JavaScript allow handling tasks like API calls more efficiently, leading to a responsive user experience.
    • Versatility with Frameworks: JavaScript frameworks (React, Angular, Vue.js) enhance development speed by providing reusable components and efficient ways to manage the application state.

2. Security Aspects

  • Built-in Security Features in Ruby on Rails:
    • Rails’ Secure Defaults: Rails is designed with secure defaults, automatically protecting applications from common security threats like SQL injection and cross-site scripting (XSS).
    • Active Record: The Active Record ORM in Rails sanitizes database queries, helping to prevent SQL injection attacks.
  • Security Concerns in JavaScript:
    • Client-Side Exposure: Being primarily a client-side language, JavaScript faces security challenges like XSS attacks and data manipulation.
    • Dependency Management: JavaScript’s vast ecosystem, while a strength, also poses risks with dependencies that might contain vulnerabilities.

3. Community Support

  • The Vibrant Community of Ruby on Rails:
    • Dedicated Community: Rails has a dedicated, mature community offering extensive documentation, forums, and tutorials.
    • Quality Gems: The community contributes to a rich library of gems, continually adding and updating reusable code packages.
  • JavaScript’s Extensive Developer Community:
    • Large, Global Community: JavaScript’s popularity ensures a vast, active community. This community is a significant resource for beginners and experienced developers alike.
    • Wide Range of Resources: The availability of numerous resources, from basic tutorials to advanced guides and third-party tools, makes learning and troubleshooting more accessible for JavaScript developers.

Advantages of Ruby on Rails

1. Cost-Effectiveness:

  • Reduced Development Time: Ruby on Rails allows for rapid application development. This speed translates into lower development costs as more can be achieved in less time.
  • Open Source: Being an open-source framework, Rails is free to use. There are no licensing costs, which reduces the overall project budget.
  • Economical Maintenance and Updates: The structure of Rails applications makes them easy to maintain and update, reducing long-term costs.

2. Ease of Managing Changes:

  • Agile Development Friendly: Rails is conducive to agile development methodologies. Its flexibility makes it easier to adapt to changes and incorporate feedback throughout the development process.
  • Convention over Configuration: This principle simplifies the making of changes as most of the configuration is standard and automatically applied.
  • MVC Architecture: The modular nature of the MVC framework simplifies managing and implementing changes, as modifications in one component generally don’t affect others.

3. Built-In Security Features:

  • Secure Defaults: Rails has a strong focus on security, offering secure defaults that automatically protect applications from common threats like SQL injection and XSS attacks.
  • Active Record ORM: Provides a layer of protection by sanitizing data that goes into the database, reducing the risk of SQL injection attacks.
  • Regular Updates: The Rails community regularly updates the framework to address security vulnerabilities, ensuring a high level of security.

4. Increased Productivity:

  • Don’t Repeat Yourself (DRY) Principle: Rails encourages reusing existing code, which not only speeds up the development process but also makes the codebase easier to maintain.
  • Automated Tools and Generators: Rails comes with a variety of tools and generators that automate repetitive tasks, significantly boosting productivity.
  • Rich Libraries (Gems): The extensive ecosystem of gems allows developers to add functionalities without having to build them from scratch, further increasing efficiency.

Advantages of JavaScript

1. Popularity and Versatility:

  • Ubiquitous in Web Development: JavaScript is one of the most popular programming languages, primarily used in web development. Its presence in almost every web application makes it a fundamental skill for web developers.
  • Versatile Use Cases: Beyond traditional web applications, JavaScript is used in server-side development (with Node.js), mobile app development (with frameworks like React Native), and even in game and desktop application development.
  • Large Ecosystem and Community: The popularity of JavaScript has led to a vast ecosystem of libraries, frameworks, and tools, as well as a large and active developer community providing support and continuous innovation.

2. Reduced Server Load:

  • Client-Side Execution: JavaScript is executed on the client’s browser, which can reduce the load on servers, especially for tasks like input validation or dynamic content updates.
  • Asynchronous Processing: With features like AJAX, JavaScript can communicate with the server in the background (asynchronously), updating the web page without a full reload. This improves the user experience and reduces server processing load.
  • Efficient Single-Page Applications (SPAs): Frameworks like Angular, React, and Vue.js enable the development of SPAs, which require less server interaction and provide a smoother user experience.

3. Wide Range of Applications:

  • Front-End Development: JavaScript is essential for creating interactive and dynamic user interfaces. It’s the backbone of front-end development, allowing for the creation of responsive and engaging web applications.
  • Server-Side Development: With Node.js, JavaScript can be used on the server side, enabling full-stack development with a single language and shared code bases between the client and server.
  • Cross-Platform Mobile Development: Frameworks like React Native and Ionic allow JavaScript to be used for building mobile applications that can run on both iOS and Android platforms.

Disadvantages of Ruby on Rails

Lack of Flexibility:

  • Convention over Configuration: While Rails’ “convention over configuration” approach speeds up development, it can also limit flexibility. Adhering to conventions means there’s less room for customization, which might not be ideal for projects requiring unique solutions.
  • Monolithic Architecture: Rails is often associated with a monolithic architecture, which, while beneficial for certain types of applications, might not be as flexible or scalable as microservices architecture, especially for very large, complex applications.

Runtime Performance Issues:

  • Slower Execution: Compared to compiled languages like Java or C++, Ruby (and by extension, Rails) can be slower in runtime performance. This might be a significant drawback for performance-critical applications.
  • Resource Intensive: Rails applications can be more resource-intensive, potentially leading to higher server costs, especially for high-traffic applications.
  • Garbage Collection Overhead: Ruby’s garbage collector, though improved over the years, can still add overhead and affect performance.

Challenges in Finding Comprehensive Documentation:

  • Outdated Resources: Given the rapid development and evolution of Rails and its ecosystem, some online resources and tutorials can quickly become outdated, leading to challenges in finding current and comprehensive documentation.
  • Gem Documentation Quality: While there are many gems available, the quality of documentation varies. Some gems are well-documented, while others lack comprehensive or updated instructions, which can hinder development.
  • Complexity for Beginners: For those new to web development or coming from other frameworks, understanding the ‘Rails way’ of doing things can be challenging initially, especially if the documentation assumes prior knowledge of Ruby or Rails conventions.

Disadvantages of JavaScript

Security Constraints:

  • Client-Side Execution: Since JavaScript is primarily executed on the client’s browser, it can be exposed to various security vulnerabilities, including cross-site scripting (XSS) and cross-site request forgery (CSRF).
  • Manipulable by End Users: The client-side nature of JavaScript means that the code is accessible to the user, which can pose a security risk as it can be viewed, altered, or manipulated.
  • Dependency Security: The extensive use of third-party libraries and frameworks in JavaScript projects can introduce security vulnerabilities if these dependencies are not properly managed and updated.

Complex Debugging Process:

  • Browser-Based Debugging: Debugging JavaScript can be challenging, especially given the variety of browsers and their different interpretation of JavaScript. Developers often need to ensure compatibility and debug across multiple browsers.
  • Asynchronous Programming Complexity: Asynchronous code (like callbacks, Promises, and async/await) can make debugging more complex due to the non-linear execution flow.

Inconsistencies Across Different Browsers:

  • Cross-Browser Compatibility: JavaScript code may behave differently in different browsers. This inconsistency requires developers to write additional code to ensure cross-browser compatibility.
  • ECMAScript Standard Adoption: Different browsers have varying levels of support for the latest ECMAScript standards, which can lead to inconsistencies in how JavaScript features work across browsers.
  • Rendering Differences: Apart from JavaScript, the rendering of CSS and HTML also varies between browsers, sometimes leading to a need for browser-specific adjustments in a web application.


What are the main differences between Ruby on Rails and JavaScript in web development?

Ruby on Rails is a server-side framework used for backend development, known for its rapid development capabilities, while JavaScript is a programming language that can be used both on the client-side and server-side (with Node.js), known for creating interactive and dynamic user interfaces.

Is Ruby on Rails better than JavaScript for web application development?

It depends on the requirements of the project. Ruby on Rails is excellent for quick backend development with a structured approach, whereas JavaScript is versatile, ideal for both front-end interactivity and backend services.

Can I use Ruby on Rails and JavaScript together in a project?

Yes, it’s common to use Ruby on Rails for the server-side logic and database interactions, while using JavaScript (and its frameworks like React or Angular) for the front-end development to create interactive web pages.

How does the learning curve of Ruby on Rails compare to JavaScript?

Ruby on Rails has a relatively gentle learning curve due to its opinionated nature and extensive documentation, making it easier for beginners to start with. JavaScript, while straightforward in syntax, involves a broader ecosystem and more diverse use cases, which can be more challenging for beginners.

In terms of performance, how do Ruby on Rails and JavaScript compare?

JavaScript, especially when used with Node.js, tends to have superior performance in handling asynchronous tasks and concurrent connections. Ruby on Rails, while efficient for many web applications, may not perform as well in high-concurrency scenarios.

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