In the world of today, there are many ways to achieve solutions to a problem. In the realm of development, we often have the luxury of choosing between different programming languages, frameworks and even paradigms. Consider the Ruby on Rails vs PHP Laravel situation. Both the frameworks are built on the top of their own respective programming languages; both provide their own customized development environment to the developer; and both have a distinct set of cons along with their pros. There is no defined formula to calculating the winner amongst the two and choosing one over the other depends primarily on the particular needs of a person or a company. Let’s however analyze both on some important factors:
- The ease of learning:
Ruby on rails is of course built on top of Ruby and Laravel is based on PHP so the language that you find yourself better equipped with; should be a defining factor! If you (or your team of developers) are well-versed with PHP, go ahead with Laravel; conversely, if Ruby is what you are known for, then too you know which way to go.
Here, for the sake of argument let’s assume that you are starting from scratch and don’t know any of the two languages. In this scenario, it can be argued that PHP is comparatively easier to learn. Many people even say “You don’t even have to know coding to be productive with PHP”…and yes, that’s true to some extent; you can make your own HTML page and start working with Laravel right away. But there is one catch; if you start with PHP as your apex programming weapon, you might end up developing bad coding practices. On the other hand, Ruby is considerably harder to learn but Ruby developers make more sophisticated coders.
Ruby on Rails normally has a demand for more resources comparatively. We have come far from the days of Ruby and PHP inception when there was extensive resource drain and sluggish application performance but there is still space for improvement. Ruby developers manage to optimize their application performance by avoiding bottleneck-creation but beginners using Laravel might face problems when dealing with such problems. One thing to remember is that hosting costs for such applications are often unduly high and companies endure them to ensure better performance. If you settle for cheaper (or even free) options, the efficacy of your application can be severely compromised.
Ruby on Rails has a history of issues with scalability. Twitter blamed Ruby for the failures that their website faced in its early days (The fail whale) and since then, Ruby has been scalability-issue-prone… or that’s what the general opinion has grown to become. We believe that Ruby on Rails’ scalability has evolved over time, for the better. Unless you are putting an infrastructure as big as Twitter in place, you are unlikely to run into scalability issues anymore. If you do, you can use an elastic load balancer to help you out.
PHP on the other hand has less reported issues of enterprise level scaling issues but that doesn’t mean it won’t let you down if you try to scale it beyond limit. But then again, unless you are Microsoft or Google or Facebook, the chances of scalability problems becoming a nuisance for you are slim.
From the early days of development to becoming a seasoned developer, we always rely on resource tutorials and guides to help us with our development related learning and issues. The Laravel community is wide-spread and enthusiastic; in addition, there are a plethora of online resources with help for everyone be they beginners, amateur developers or even experts. On the other hand, Ruby on Rails has a considerably small community comparatively but there are very good resources available online that offer valuable and quality insight. This is mainly because most of the Ruby developers are at a higher level of coding professionalism with a tendency to document with care and precision.
In the end, as we mentioned above, picking out a clear winner isn’t mathematically or qualitatively possible. Which path you choose to walk on, depends majorly on your needs and expertise. With Laravel you get advanced possibilities of PHP along with some of the features of .NET and Rails so if you are looking to get a flavor of Rails in PHP, Laravel comes the closest to being the choice. It’s always worth recommending to not make people shift from their platforms of choice and to always make a unanimous decision of choosing a web development platform.
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