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What is Ruby on Rails?

train ruby on rails

One of the most interesting software developments in coding circles is Ruby on Rails.
The name comes from two things: Rails (an open-source web application framework), and Ruby, the dynamic, object-oriented general purpose programming language that Rails is written in. Put the two together and you get Ruby on Rails.

Rails is server-side, and attempts to simplify the task of constructing complex websites, while Ruby is a modern, streamlined language known for achieving elegant performance through the writing of uncluttered, minimalist code.
It’s great for learning about both the foundations of many of the older programming languages, as well as some of the more modern aspects of newer languages for web development.
Iit’s all about striking a balance. Rails, as a full stack framework, imposes certain limitations on the developer as its methodology facilitates how the entire process should unfold, which can be either a blessing or a curse for coders.
To further understand this methodology, you should understand the notion of Convention Over Configuration
‘Rails has opinions about the best way to do many things in a web application, and defaults to this set of conventions, rather than require that you specify every minutiae through endless configuration files.’

Ruby on Rails is Simple and Complex at the same time.

Despite Ruby being a high level programming language, Ruby on Rails is run with simple rules. If you choose to explore RoR, you will see those simple rules are visible throughout the entire coding process, beginning with the writing of the first line, and ending with the launch of a complex website.

DRY Comments – and We Don’t Mean Frasier

The old joke in engineering circles goes, ‘I need to learn how to make dry comments’. This isn’t about having Frasier like wit, but a principle of software development called DRY, an acronym for ‘Don’t Repeat Yourself.’
Essentially, DRY states that ‘every piece of knowledge must have a single, unambiguous, authoritative representation within a system.’
‘By not writing the same information over and over again, our code is more maintainable, more extensible, and less buggy.’
In-keeping with this idea of precision and simplicity, Ruby successfully combines and integrates many of the important parts of older technologies like:

  • The elegance of Smalltalk.
  • The accessibility and ease of learning of Python.
  • The pragmatism of Perl.

(For further detailed information on these programming languages, visit Smalltalk.org, Python.org, or Perl.org, respectively.)

As Ruby is a dynamic general purpose programming language that is object-oriented, many parallels have been made to Smalltalk, Eiffel, Ada, and Java. The programming language originated in Japan and is currently experiencing huge growth globally, especially in the US and Europe.

If you’re curious about improving your own coding skills Ruby is accessible and quick to learn, and has the benefit of having a helpful community composed of all types of coders, from practising experts to curious novices.
A budding coder must always ask themselves, before beginning their journey towards expertise, is this coding language suitable for me? Is this the technology I want to utilise for my project?

If you ever find yourself wanting a deeper insight into the programming languages being used today, the Code Institute offers an in-depth, interactive learning experience, taught by experts in the field. The course focuses on not only teaching the fundamentals to get you started on your journey to fluency, but teaches you how these strategically designed, intelligently coded technologies work together, and perhaps even how they might work with you.