One of your most asked questions is ‘what the differences between Ruby and Perl?‘ So today we have decided to solve this query with our knowledge and research. We have chosen the topic Ruby vs Perl.
To contrast these two, we have to know first what they are. From their names, we can make the idea that there are some basic similarities between Ruby and Perl language. Now we will see the differences. So, let’s get started.
Also Read: How Learning Ruby Can Skyrocket Your Career
What is Ruby?
Ruby is a dynamic, simple, open-source, reflective programming language. It is classified under general-purpose programming languages and a cross-platform and open-source programming language. Yukihiro Matsumoto designed and developed it in the year of 1995.
What is Perl?
Perl stands for practical extraction and reporting language. It is also a cross-platform programming language. Perl is dynamic, and an interpreted programming language used for general purposes.
Larry Wall developed it in 1987. Also, programmers can use Perl on any platform such as Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Ruby vs Perl – Differences
Following are some of the basic differences of Ruby vs Perl:
1. Development and Release
Perl programming language was developed by Larry Wall and released in the year of 1987. Ruby is a newcomer in the programming industry. And it was developed and released in 1995 by Yukihiro Matsumoto.
2. Web Frameworks
In the matter of Ruby vs Perl, Catalyst is a major and most used Perl-based web framework while Ruby on rails is a major web framework used for Ruby. Ruby on Rails is an open-source web application framework. To write in this, Ruby programming language is used.
3. Unicode Support
When it comes to Unicode support, Perl language has much stronger support for Unicode than Ruby language. For example, Perl supports all Unicode properties, graphemes, and full case mapping.
Ruby programming language do not support all these. But, Ruby’s encoding of strings is more explicit.
4. Object Orientation
Ruby language is a pure object-oriented programing language. But Pearl, up to the 5th version, is very less objective-oriented. But the upcoming version of Pearl is coming with very good OO support.
Objective-oriented programming stands for a physical model of programming execution. It simulates the behavior of either a real or imaginary part of the world.
The developer of Perl believes that choosing of OO should be the programmer’s decision; language should not force a programmer to switch to OO.
Ruby also doesn’t force you to choose an objective orientation, but if you do, it will be much easier to use than in Perl. But if you use Moose/Moo from CPAN, you will have more OO power.
5. Supporting of Regular Expression
When we start a discussion on supporting of a regular expression, Perl has a very good number of libraries than Ruby has. The Perl library of code CPAN is incomparable with any other library.
So the supporting capacity of regular expression of Perl is little more than Ruby. But you need not worry as a user of Ruby, as it supports most of the regular expressions.
Perl is most often used in common gateway interface or CGI scripting along with C for the web servers and hence used widely in the world of server technology whereas Ruby performs quite strong in metaprogramming. This feature allows the user to create a fabulous product like a vagrant.
Besides this, Perl is the best choice for system administration workers, could also be used for web development tasks. Ruby is more suitable for the development of traffic-heavy applications.
7. Support Community
The programmers who use the Perl language have formed a community called “Perlmonks” which is best among language support. The users of Ruby have formed a Google group as a support community.
Perl is an older tree in the garden of programming language, so it has a vast number of followers under it. In contrast, Ruby, being new in this platform, still gaining popularity. Ruby is more popular in young developers.
8. Variable Type
Perl has multiple variable types like a scalar, array, hash, etc. in contrast, Ruby programming language offers only one variable type: reference to the object, the object can act like an array, hash, or whatever, depends on demand.
9. Conversion of Strings to Numbers
Perl native type is efficiently capable of converting strings to numbers and numbers to strings automatically. The conversion depends on the context and the presence of different operators for numbers and strings.
On the other side, Ruby doesn’t support auto convert. It leaves this matter to the programmers. This also encourages Ruby users to overload operators in a non-sensual way.
10. Use of Sigils
Perl uses the sigils like @, $, and % to denote variable types. Ruby uses sigils such as @, @@, and $ to denote scope. To use all the variables in Perl except function, the user has to put some sigils.
But in the case of Ruby, there is no need for variables to work with local scopes.
11. File Extension
A file extension is another major difference between Perl and Ruby. Perl programs have the .pl file extension while Ruby programs have the .rb file extension.
Perl programming language has an Artistic License 1.0 or GNU General Public License. The license of Ruby is GPL version 2 or 2-clause BSD license.
13. Influenced Language
Perl is influenced by C, Basic, Lisp, Ada, etc. It mainly resembles with C language. On the other hand, Ruby is influenced by C, Perl, Smalltalk, Ada, Lisp, etc. Ruby has some additional touch from Smalltalk which is missing in Perl.
Some of the programmers can found Perl a little unorganized and messy. As it is free and the developers can add features if they wish. On the other hand, Ruby is a well-organized programming language.
Perl is a quite old language, started its journey eight years ago than Ruby does. So, in the cases of community backup, availability of libraries for any need, documentation, Perl is far ahead of Ruby. Ruby has its merits in providing object-oriented features that help in keeping large code bodies maintainable.
So, both have some sort of merits and demerits. So, in the competition of Ruby vs Perl, the choice of language depends completely on the programmer.