Is Ruby a high-level language?

(Note:  We may earn commissions from products/services you click on.  This is at no extra cost to you.)

Table of Contents

A high-level programing language is a language that is incredibly easy to understand. Ruby is very easy for any human to understand, which makes it a high-level programming language.

Technically, a high-level programming language is made in a way that simplifies computer programing. Ideally, the actual code of the programming language has several steps removed from it to make it smoothly run on a computer processor. What you get is a language with a high-level source code with an easy to read syntax, which is later converted into a low-level language that a specific CPU can recognize and run smoothly.

On the other hand, low-level programing language is typically machine codes and assembly languages, which are harder to understand. Primarily, machine language codes are 0s and 1s; they aren’t anywhere close to high-level languages like Ruby.
Programing language developers are currently developing only high-level programming languages. The primary reason is to ensure that users find it easy to operate such programs. Examples of other high-level programming languages include C++, C#, Cobol, Fortran, JavaScript, Java, Perl, PHP, Pascal, Python, Objective C, and Swift.

Keep in mind; though they fall in the same category – high-level programming language, they have different syntaxes. Some languages are excellent at web development, while other work well when designing desktop software. However, all these languages require an interpreter or a compiler so that they can execute a code.
Ruby has a syntax that is much similar to that of Python and Perl. The keywords signal class and method definitions while braces or keywords define code blocks.

It is worth noting that Ruby interpreted and a general-purpose language aside from being high-level. Additionally, the language supports numerous programming paradigms like functional, procedural, and object-oriented programing. According to its creator, Ruby gets its inspiration from Perl, Ada, Eiffel, BASIC, Smalltalk, and Lisp.

Click this affiliate link to learn more about Ruby.

Is Ruby a high-level programming language
Is Ruby a high-level programming language

What is Ruby used for?

You can put Ruby in various uses – no doubt about that. However, before you consider putting it to various buses, it is crucial to understand what Ruby stands for. 

Ruby is an object-oriented, high-level scripting language. Additionally, it is an open-source and dynamic language that focuses on productivity and simplicity. Typically, Ruby allows you to play with ideas before creating the final stuff you need, and the process is incredibly easy, thanks to the permissiveness of the language. Creating rough ideas with ease gives you much flexibility in understanding the entire process without compromising what you want to create. 

Here are essential things to know about Ruby:

  • Everything in Ruby is an object. You can use each object uniquely, and besides, each object has its own methods and properties when creating the class’s object – a singleton. 
  • There are multiple modules, and it also allows the dynamic addition of new elements. You can evaluate additional modules dynamically at runtime, which makes it easier to extend the required functionality. 
  • Code development is easier and faster than other similar programming languages, especially when developing software products. 
  • Dynamic typing is a significant feature of Ruby. Primarily, it means you can change the type of a variable and resolve it on the fly simultaneously when the interpreter parses it. This is important as it allows you to make changes easily to enhance development. 
  • Ruby’s clean code confers to it a smooth and enhanced performance without compromising any other features. This makes the application run much faster. 

So, what uses can you put Ruby to?

  • Web applications – Ruby has robust libraries, which makes it efficient at creating web applications. The language is very easy to use and performs a lot faster, and above all, it offers a raft of reliable features.
  • eCommerce – a lot of online shops use Ruby, e.g., Shopify, which uses Ruby. The numerous gems in Ruby make it efficient. 
  • Database solutions – here, it uses ActiveRecord, a feature that allows easier database management without SQL assistance. Additionally, it integrates with Database Management Systems (DMS) to manage complex databases.
  • Content management – Ruby is the best solution for content-centric websites, thanks to its features that allow creating, sharing, and distributing content. Additionally, there are multiple SEO features to make content appears in search engines. 
  • Prototyping – if you need to create a test version before creating a full-fledged version, Ruby got your back. It lets you easily create basic structures in no time so that you can check the feasibility of the design. 

Ruby vs. Python

Choosing between Ruby and Python can be a little bit difficult, especially if you are new to programming languages. Both languages are high-level languages meaning they are pretty easy to use. While this may sound encouraging, these two languages significantly differ when it comes to applications. 

Look, Ruby may offer high flexibility levels, it comes falls short when it comes to intense applications like machine learning and artificial intelligence. By contrast, Python works well for its high number of reusable, clean codes and robust and enthusiastic community of experts. 

Python explained 

Python’s admirable thing is that it has inbuild data structures, which alongside dynamic binding and typing, make it a suitable choice for creating apps rapidly. Additionally, this object-oriented programming language supports packages and modules vital in code reuse and modularity. 

Since Python requires very few line codes, it is among the fastest languages you can use to create applications. What’s impressive is that python developer emphasizes on simplicity and readability – an admirable feature for beginners. So, with Python, you get a simple syntax – clear to read, easy to learn, and very simple to write. Anyone using Python can speed up the creation process without compromising on Python’s scalability or reliability. 

Click this affiliate link to learn more about Python.

Ruby explained 

Ruby stands out as a dynamic, purely object-oriented, open-source programing language. The primary emphasis of Ruby is encouraging developers to prioritize developing codes for humans and then computers. 

The good thing about Ruby is that it runs on all types of platforms. So, whether you own Windows, Mac OS, or any UNIX version, Ruby won’t put in any trouble. 

Ruby vs. Python: What’s the difference?

Flexibility: Python values simplicity rather than complexity. That means it offers you only one way of performing an operation. This makes the code less flexible but more readable. On the other hand, Ruby offers more than one way of doing a task, i.e., more flexibility. But this can be quite challenging, especially for developers who wish to use a different developer’s code in Ruby. 

Language: Ruby programming builds Ruby on Rails while Python is used to build the Django web framework. While the languages are visually similar, their approach is solving problems differs significantly. Python is direct as it makes everything visible to the programmer. However, this approach sacrifices a great deal of elegance seen in Ruby. 

Learning Curve: Python has a simple and straightforward syntax, making it hands down the easiest language to learn. By contrast, Ruby can be a difficulty for beginners.

Reusable Codes: with Python, you get an endless number of easy to use and reusable codes. In Ruby, you get an almost similar amount of Codes (gems), but the difference lies in the filtering factor. Python lets you filter in categories, making it more straightforward. 

Ruby vs. Python: Similarities 

  • Their programs require compilation 
  • Both are general purpose open source languages
  • Both are dynamically typed 
  • Both are cross-platform 

Ruby language

If you are a web developer or web application developer, you have probably interacted with Ruby. And if you’ve used it, then you’ve realized that Ruby is sleek, practical, handy, and easy to use this language is. In fact, most of its fun describes it as a beautiful artful programming language. 

The creator of Ruby, i.e., Matz, carefully put together numerous aspects of the language to bring out a perfectly balanced programing language for different categories of users. In essence, Matz blended parts from his favorite programming languages – Perl, Ada, Smalltalk, Eiffel, and Lisp, to bring life a new language that balances functional programing. 

The fundamental thing is to make Ruby absolutely natural, i.e., Ruby to mimic real life. That is why Ruby looks simple visually but underneath this appearance a very complex structure – similar to a human body. 

A little history:

Ruby was first released in 1995, and since then, it has attracted a mass of devoted coders. The principal idea for Ruby was to enhance programmer productivity by making programming fun. As a web application development tool, Ruby has gained acceptance among many developers, and in 2006, there was mass acceptance of Ruby. 

This is what happened – ruby related conferences become so full, and the major cities in the world formed active user groups. In the same year, the primary mailing list – Ruby-talk, registered an average of 200 messages per day. 

Since 2002, there has been a steady release of different versions of Ruby to enhance its usability. The earliest visions Ruby 1.6.7, released in 2002, was the down of experiencing Ruby’s power. However, until version 1.8 (2006), that when many people started using the language. The reason for the surge in numbers is due to improvements that saw the improved performance. 

In December 2020, there was a release of the latest Ruby version, i.e., Ruby 3.0.0. check out this list for respective release dates. 

So, what does the Ruby language offer?

According to Matz, he wanted a language that performed better than Perl and Python. Remember, Python is an object-oriented language. Here is where Matz concentrated: 

Visualizing everything as an object: here, each code and information has specific actions and properties. In objected oriented programming, properties are given specific names – for instance, actions and variables are called methods. 

Flexibility: with Ruby, you can freely alter parts – you can remove or refine at will, and you can add on existing parts. 

Ruby tutorial

Learning Ruby takes some time – no doubt about it. A full well-organized Ruby tutorial can take up to 10 lessons. The amount of time you spend per lesson depends on your ability to grasp the content. Further, it depends on how much practice you do and the number of versions you’ll be studying. 

Although Ruby has a considerably steeper learning curve than Python, it’s still straightforward considering it is a high-level programing language. That is why it is a beginner-friendly language. Nevertheless, before you think of studying Ruby, you must have a general knowledge of programming languages and computer programs. 

In any Ruby tutorial, you’ll find:

The introductory part, i.e., a part that defines Ruby, i.e., an object-oriented programming language developed in 1993. Besides, you can use Ruby or use it as part of the Ruby on Rails web framework.

For anyone learning how to program, Ruby is the ultimate friend for any programmer. Look, Ruby has features similar to Python, Smalltalk, and Perl scripting languages. s

Features of Ruby

Ruby is a feature-rich scripting language. Mastering its features makes it incredibly easy to understand the language. Some essential features include:

  • It is an open-source language; so, you can free get it on the web. However, it comes with a license. 
  • Its interpreted as well as a general-purpose language 
  • Ruby is genuinely object-oriented and also server-side, just like Python and PERL.
  • Its great application in writing CGI – Common Gateway Interface scripts
  • You can embed Ruby into HTML – Hypertext Markup Language 
  • It has a clean and easy syntax
  • It is scalable 

Important tools 

For easy learning, you’ll need an intel core i3 and above computer with a recommended 4GB RAM. The necessary software includes:

  • Windows or Linux 
  • Apache 1.3.19-5 Web server.
  • Internet Explorer 5.0 minimum 
  • Ruby 1.8.5 or latest versions 

Ruby on rails

Some web developers like using Ruby on rails to develop web applications more than any other languages and web frameworks for many reasons. However, the standout reasons are that Ruby on rails is much easier to use and a fun web framework. Moreover, it packs all the necessary features for building impressive web apps. And if you get stuck along the way, there is a vibrant and friendly community to guide you through.

Ruby on Rails Definition 

Rails is an extremely productive web development tool upon which web developers get a framework that provides the necessary structure for writing their codes. Therefore, Rails lets developers build websites and web apps quickly – it will abstract and simplify everyday repetitive tasks. 

Rail is in Ruby and was written by David Heinemeier Hansson. Therefore, you’ll use Rails alongside Ruby, just as Python is to Django. 

Rails let you build an app ten times faster than when you would use a typical Java framework. The fundamental principle of rails is convention over configuration. What does that mean? A programmer spends very little time configuring files to get the right set up because Ruby on Rails has a set of conventions that help accelerate the development. 

Additionally, Rails emphasizes Representational State Transfer (REST) – an architecture style designed around a client-server relationship. This design inspires a logical structure within the app, meaning that it can easily be exposed as an Application Programming Interface (API). 

Advantages of Rails 

  • Faster programming process than other languages and frameworks 
  • Easy to accommodate changes, making it suitable for rapid application development
  • The code is self-documenting and easily readable
  • Ruby’s conventions make it easy to use it since all project follow the same structure 

Disadvantages 

  • All websites do not support rails 
  • Rail applications perform relatively slower than C and Java

Click this affiliate link to learn more about Ruby on rails.  

Learn Ruby

By now, you know that Ruby is a general-purpose programming language, which is highly marketable to web developers. Therefore, if you are an aspiring web developer, you should think about learning Ruby. You can learn Ruby at the comfort of your home, so long as you have the right tools and tutorials. 

Ruby’s good thing is that it offers concise and readable codes, making it easy to learn. But you should know it packs plenty of power. 

Apparently, many well-known websites use Ruby – for example, Shopify, GitHub, and Scribd utilize the Ruby framework. That should tell you that Ruby is still relevant, and it’s the best place to begin for any programmer or developer. 

Studying Ruby comes lots of advantages, including:

  • Learn Ruby to know true coding practices that prevent you from developing bad habits 
  • With Ruby, you only write less code, which saves you much time, i.e., you get more done in less code. Moreover, you can quickly troubleshoot problems; thus, reducing the chances of making errors. 
  • Being an open-source language packs a massive user base, which is always ready to help you grasp the language’s details anytime. 

The best way to learn Ruby

Coding is scary to many people. First off, they think it takes a lot of years to learn, and second, it isn’t straightforward. 

It is true. 

However, that may not be the case today because many tutorials are available to take you through programming languages. A full-time program can make it easier for a beginner to complete the entire Ruby coding course. And that should only take months. 

Now, you can opt to get an online tutorial to take you through the entire Ruby syllabus. Alternatively, you can learn Ruby at a nearby coding school or a Bootcamp. 

Whichever option you select, ensure that you have the following:

  • A true Ruby curriculum 
  • Top-notch teaching equipment and premises
  • Lessons covering web development tools such as GitHub and Git
  • A professional instructor to offer both theory and practical lessons 
  • Learn another language in addition to Ruby

On your side, you should have a powerful computer regardless of the operating system you are using. Intel Core i5 is recommended. 

Registering for an online class can be a cheaper option. But it will require you to have a high level of self-discipline. With the right syllabus, undoubtedly, you’ll be able to grasp the nitty-gritty of Ruby. 

Again, after your tutorial, it is advisable to get at least a month’s internship in a reputable coding company. 

Ruby code

The Ruby code focuses on productivity and simplicity. This code comes with some fascinating facts. For instance:

  • Ruby differs from Ruby on Rails. While Ruby is a dynamic, open-source programming language, Ruby on Rails is a server-side framework, usually written in Ruby. It is under the MIT License, and it has applications in implementing web applications.
  • Ruby’s coining came about during an online chat between Keiju Ishitsuka and Matz on February 24, 1993. This was even before writing the code in the language; however, before these names were suggested – Ruby or Coral. 
  • Ruby offers support for numerous programming paradigms, e.g., object-oriented programming, procedural programming, and functional programming. Such features make Ruby a unique programming language. 
  • The management of packages and libraries within Ruby is done via a central library management system – RubyGems.
  • Coding embedding is possible with Ruby – for instance, you can embed Ruby into HTML – Hypertext Mark-up Language.
  • Ruby supports both complex and rational numbers; thus, being very helpful when solving complex mathematical problems. 

How do you use Ruby? 

There are different versions of Ruby. Depending on your expertise or experience with Ruby, you can select from the various versions, the latest being Ruby 3.0. 

Now, install Ruby and RubyGems on your computer. The best Ruby version should be a minimum of 1.9.3. however, the recommended one is 2.5 minimum. Keep in mind that older versions of Ruby might have some issues. 

How to write Ruby code 

To write Ruby code, you will need to use a code editor, which you’ll use to develop plain text documents, i.e., with no styling or formatting. Common code editors include Vim, Emacs, TextMate, and Notepad++. However, if you lack one, you can use Visual Studio Code.

Making Ruby code stylish 

There is are particular stylistic convention you can use to pimp Ruby – makes it easier to read and write codes. Here are some:

  • Declaring a class name – CamelCase formatting aka PascalCase
  • Define a constant variable when representing a value that won’t change 
  • Use snake_case formatting when defining or initializing a method, file, or variable. 

Conclusion 

While Ruby is said to be one of the easiest programming languages, it comes with some of the challenges that you have to overcome before you can fully understand it. Like any other programming languages, you need to have the right tools – 

a faster computer, preferably an Intel Core i5. Ruby’s good thing is that it runs on all platforms – so that shouldn’t be big. 

There are different versions of Ruby, but not all of them can work well for you. The previous versions, i.e., below 1.8, can be extremely slow and buggy. That can make your programming experience painful. Therefore, you should consider using Ruby versions starting from version 2.5.

The flexibility of Ruby is what makes it popular. Typically, Ruby allows you many different approaches to solving a single issue. Again, this programing language is compatible with many plain code editors, including Emacs, Notepad++, and Vim. Alternatively, you can use the VSCode. 

Ruby is a free, open-source programing language. But its high-level polishing makes both pleasant to the sight and use. You’ll note that it comes with Microsoft, a factor that makes it incredibly hassle-free. 

Luis Gillman
Luis Gillman

Hi, I Am Luis Gillman CA (SA), ACMA
I am a Chartered Accountant (SA) and CIMA (SA) and author of Due Diligence: A strategic and Financial Approach.

The book was published by Lexis Nexis on 2001. In 2010, I wrote the second edition. Much of this website is derived from these two books.

In addition I have published an article entitled the Link Between Due Diligence and Valautions.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information published on this website is accurate, the author and owners of this website take no responsibility  for any loss or damage suffered as a result of relience upon the information contained therein.  Furthermore the bulk of the information is derived from information in 2018 and use therefore is at your on risk. In addition you should consult professional advice if required.