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When building a new application, a big decision you have to make is which technology framework to choose. Or maybe you are already running an application but still pondering over whether Ruby on Rails could be a reliable option for you. If you find yourself in either of these situations, you’re not alone. 

Ruby on Rails is a popular web development framework known for its ease of use, convention over configuration approach, and rapid development capabilities.

At Mallow, we take pride in our expertise as a leading custom software development company, which makes us well-suited to craft applications of any size and domain. Having worked on numerous projects using Ruby on Rails, we possess a comprehensive understanding of its strengths, weaknesses, and evolving landscape.

After reading the article,  you will gain valuable insights into the current state and future prospects of the Ruby on Rails framework. The article will provide a comprehensive analysis of Ruby on Rails relevance in today’s rapidly evolving tech landscape. You will be better informed about making decisions related to technology choices for your projects, whether to involve Ruby on Rails or explore other alternatives in the ever-changing software development ecosystem.

Ruby on Rails – Fading Star or Steady Performer?

Ruby on Rails, a robust and developer-friendly web application framework, that has been a prominent player in the web development arena for more than a decade. However, as the technology landscape evolves and newer frameworks emerge, questions arise about whether Ruby on Rails remains a fading star or if it continues to be a steady performer in the ever-changing world of web development.

As of 2024, while it is true that Ruby on Rails may not be the buzz-worthy technology it once was, dismissing it as a fading star would be premature. The framework has indeed faced competition from newer languages and frameworks, and some developers have transitioned to other options seeking fresher tech stacks. 

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Nevertheless, it is essential to acknowledge that Ruby on Rails has consistently maintained its solid foundation and strong community support. Its mature ecosystem offers reliable libraries, extensive documentation, and a wealth of gems, which make it a viable choice for certain projects, especially those emphasising rapid prototyping, accelerated deadlines and convention-driven development. Many existing applications continue to be powered by Ruby on Rails, with ongoing maintenance and updates ensuring their relevance in the current market.

Below mentioned are some of the common criticisms that have been revolving Ruby on Rails for ages  

1.

Age – Ruby on Rails was released in 2004, making it a mature framework. Its age has led to a perception of being outdated or lacking modern features compared to newer frameworks.

2.

Competition – The rise of JavaScript-based backend frameworks/libraries like Express.js/Node.js might have led some developers to prefer working with full-stack JavaScript solutions rather than Ruby on Rails for the sake of consistency and a unified language stack. 

The web development landscape has seen the emergence of several other frameworks and technologies over the years, such as Node.js, Symfony, Laravel, Django, Go, etc. The increased competition may have contributed to the declining popularity of Ruby on Rails as developers explore newer options.

3.

Performance Concerns – Concerns were raised over the perceived performance issues with Ruby on Rails, especially when compared to certain lightweight and highly optimised frameworks. While Ruby on Rails has been continuously improved, its perceived performance relative to newer options could impact its adoption.

4.

Learning Curve – Ruby on Rails, while known for its developer-friendly nature, may still have a learning curve, particularly for developers coming from different language backgrounds or those used to more minimalist frameworks.

5.

Market Demand – Over the years, Ruby on Rails has enjoyed consistent demand in the market, attracting developers and businesses alike due to its productivity, ease of use, and strong community support. Many web applications and websites have been built using Ruby on Rails, contributing to its popularity and adoption.

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However, as time passes, newer versions of Ruby on Rails are released with enhanced features, security updates, and improved performance. This leads to some developers focusing their efforts on the latest versions and technologies, which can make finding expertise in fixing legacy versions of Ruby on Rails more challenging.

Despite these factors, it’s important to remember that Ruby on Rails continues to be used successfully in various web development projects, and there is still a demand for Ruby on Rails expertise in many industries.  

7 crucial reasons why Ruby on Rails has not died and is far from dying.


Is the clock ticking for Ruby on Rails, signalling the end of an era? As the tech world whirls with new frameworks and shiny programming languages, some sceptics have begun to wonder if the once reigning champion of web development has lost its crown. While the debate rages on, it’s essential to uncover the truth behind the buzz and separate fact from fiction.

1.

Reason 1 – Active development and frequent updates

  • The Rails core team and contributors continuously work on enhancing the framework, introducing new features, and improving performance. Ruby on Rails has followed a consistent release cycle, with new versions released regularly. Each new major version typically introduces improvements, bug fixes, security enhancements, and additional features.
  • The Rails core team and contributors consistently strive to enhance the framework, introduce new features, and optimise performance. Ruby on Rails adheres to a reliable release cycle, regularly unveiling new major versions that bring various improvements, bug fixes, and additional features. 
  • Notably, the latest Rails version receives bug fixes, while the preceding version is dedicated to security updates. Check out this article from hey.com to know more details on how active recent releases in Ruby on Rails are. Hey.com is a resource exchange site where you can find articles about the latest releases by Ruby on Rails.

2.

Reason 2 – Emerging size and engagement of the Ruby on Rails community

  • The Ruby on Rails community is large, passionate, and highly engaged. This active community is vital in keeping the framework alive and relevant. Developers, enthusiasts, and businesses actively participate in forums, discussion groups, and conferences to share knowledge, ask questions, and offer support. The official Rails forum, Stack Overflow, Reddit, and other dedicated Ruby on Rails communities are hubs for discussions, questions, and knowledge sharing. 
  • The community organises numerous conferences and meetups worldwide. Prominent events like RailsConf, RubyConf, and regional Rails meetups allow developers, enthusiasts, and businesses to gather, network, and learn from industry experts and fellow peers. RubyGems is the package manager for Ruby, and Rails benefits from a vast ecosystem of gems contributed by the community. These gems extend the framework’s functionality, making it more versatile and powerful. 
  • Beyond Rails itself, the community actively develops and maintains associated tools and libraries. Examples include Capistrano for deployment automation, RSpec for testing, and Devise for authentication.

3.

Reason 3 – Continued support for dependencies

  • Ruby on Rails makes it easier for developers to complete applications faster by providing a vast library of dependencies known as gems. These gems cover various functionalities, such as authentication, data storage, and API integration. The active maintenance and regular updates of these dependencies ensure that developers can rely on stable and well-maintained components, saving time and effort in application development. 

    Gems are regularly updated to improve performance, fix bugs, and address security vulnerabilities. The RubyGems package manager simplifies adding dependencies to a Rails application. 
  • With a straightforward command, developers can quickly integrate gems and utilise their functionalities. This ease of integration allows developers to build complex applications faster, increasing their productivity. 
  • The Rails community develops and updates gems to support modern web development trends and technologies. For example, gems that facilitate the integration of front-end frameworks like React or Vue.js have been introduced to keep up with evolving client-side development practices.

For details about the most popular gems and their usage-related stats check out these details from rubygems.org 

Commonly used Gems in the Ruby on Rails universe
Gem NameDescriptionVersion
DeviseFlexible authentication solution for Rails applications4.8.0
CancancanAuthorisation Gem based on CanCan and RSpec3.1.0
SidekiqBackground processing library for Ruby6.3.1
RansackSearch and filter library for Rails2.3.2
ActiveadminAdministration framework for Ruby on Rails2.7.0
KaminariPagination library for Rails1.2.1
CarrierwaveFile upload solution for Rails applications2.2.1
WheneverRuby gem to schedule cron jobs easily1.0.0

4.

Reason 4 – March with the latest trends and varied range of tools

  • Ruby on Rails has shown remarkable adaptability to embrace the latest trends in web development. The community actively explores new tools and technologies, such as WebPacker introduced in Rails version 6.0 for asset compilation and socket connections for real-time communication etc. Ruby on Rails has also evolved to support multi-database connections, allowing developers to establish connections to multiple database instances within a single application.
  • Ruby on Rails has demonstrated its ability to embrace and incorporate modern web development trends seamlessly. The framework has kept pace with the evolving industry landscape, supporting practices such as API development, single-page applications (SPAs), and microservices. 
  • Ruby on Rails benefits from a rich and diverse ecosystem of tools and libraries that complement the framework. These tools cater to various aspects of development, including testing, deployment, debugging, and performance optimisation. 
  • Rails applications can be easily deployed using tools like Capistrano, which automates the deployment process. This streamlines the workflow, reduces the risk of errors, and allows developers to focus on building features rather than managing deployment intricacies.
  • Ruby on Rails developers have access to various performance optimisation tools and gems. Tools like Rack MiniProfiler and Bullet help identify and resolve performance bottlenecks, ensuring that Rails applications deliver a smooth and responsive user experience.

5.

Reason 5 – Famous applications –  They are still on Ruby on Rails!

  • Several well-known and high-traffic applications continue to run successfully on Ruby on Rails. Examples include GitHub, Airbnb, Shopify, and Basecamp etc. These applications serve as a testament to the scalability, reliability, and performance of the framework, assuring developers and businesses that Ruby on Rails is a stable and viable choice for their projects.

6.

Reason 6 – A well-maintained documentation? Ruby on Rails has got you!

  • Ruby on Rails offers extensive and up-to-date documentation. This is a crucial aspect for any development team considering a technology stack. Clear and thorough documentation simplifies the learning curve, allows for quicker onboarding of new team members, and facilitates efficient troubleshooting. The commitment to maintaining high-quality documentation underscores the continued dedication of the community and core team to support developers.

7.

Reason 7 – Support for major third-party service integrations

  • Ruby on Rails seamlessly integrates with numerous third-party services, making it easy to incorporate powerful functionalities into applications. Services like NewRelic for performance monitoring and Stripe for payment processing are examples of how Ruby on Rails enables developers to build robust and feature-rich applications without reinventing the wheel.

So what to expect – Whether it’s dying, dead or yet to die in the near future?

Ruby on Rails is far from dead, and its pulse in the tech world continues to beat strong. As one of the pioneering web development frameworks, Ruby on Rails has built a vast and dedicated community over the years. Despite the emergence of new contenders, its resilience lies in its solid foundation and adaptability. With continuous updates, improvements, and a thriving ecosystem, Ruby on Rails remains a powerful choice for building web applications.

Numerous high-profile companies still rely on Rails to power their platforms, cementing its position as a robust and dependable option for development. As the future unfolds, it’s hard to predict definitively what awaits, but for now, Ruby on Rails shows no signs of slowing down, and its legacy appears destined to endure the test of time.

How to find the right team to build my application?

Ruby on Rails remains far from obsolete and continues to flourish in web development. Despite emerging new technologies and frameworks, Ruby on Rails boasts a steadfast and committed community of developers and enthusiasts. 

The enduring popularity of Ruby on Rails can be attributed to its emphasis on convention over configuration and its developer-friendly syntax. Notably, numerous prominent companies still rely on Rails to power their web applications, attesting to its stability and effectiveness.

Selecting the right application development team is paramount when embarking on your project. The success of your endeavour heavily relies on the expertise, experience, and capabilities of the team you choose.

A proficient team will adhere to best practices, maintain coding standards, and prioritise security, culminating in a robust and dependable application that minimises the risk of technical issues or vulnerabilities. To make sure you end up choosing the right application development team to build your application, check out our article on how to choose the right application development team.

Wondering if your Ruby on Rails application could be a right fit to be built by Mallow? Check out our article on Is your Ruby on Rails application right fit to be built by Mallow.

Still wondering where to start with? Feel free to get in touch with our team

Author

Manivel

Manivel is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Mallow Technologies, with over two decade of experience in the field of application development. His driving vision when co-founding Mallow was to empower businesses to unlock their potential through the strategic utilisation of technology. Over the years, he has solidified his reputation as a reliable technical partner and advisor to clients spanning various sectors. Manivel's unique proficiency in ideating and delivering customised application solutions has played a transformative role in facilitating the success of numerous enterprises amidst the ever-evolving digital landscape.

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