The Disadvantages of Ruby Programming

By Steve Johnson

Ruby, an object-oriented coding structure that is mainly a combination of Perl and Smalltalk programming languages, might have several advantages, but it also poses several disadvantages to any computer programmer. Most of the disadvantages stem from the difficulties of being a new computer language among several veteran competitors.

Communities and Support

Languages like PHP and C#, two of the most popular coding languages, have extensive online support communities and published books. On the other hand, Ruby's support community is not as large as PHP support communities. Books about Ruby programming are also not as extensive as those C#. According to msdn.com, a blog from the Microsoft Corporation, as of 2006, only about 400 books about C# are on the market, while Ruby-related books on the market only amount to 50.

Slow Processing

Several benchmark websites that regularly run and test response times of programming languages often describe Ruby as one of the slower programming languages. Tim Bray, a Canadian developer who was Sun Microsystems's director of Web Technologies from 2004 to 2010, was quoted in 2008 as saying that Ruby is too slow, and that it can be 20 times slower than Java when processing.

New Language

When compared to other computer languages, Ruby is fairly new and has its own unique coding language. Some programmers consider this a disadvantage because they have to take considerable time just to learn the language before using it. Since learning Ruby is just like learning another language, many programmers prefer to stick to what they already know and can develop.

Development

As of July 2011, the latest version of Ruby is version 1.9, with a few updates. When compared to other programming languages, Ruby's development and updates are slower. PHP, developed two years later than Ruby, is already on its version 5.3, with updates and bug fixes released several times a year. Ruby on Rails, the web-based programming platform using Ruby, is not even compatible with version 1.9 of Ruby.