Ruby on Rails

By: AJay sharma

Ruby on Rails is a web application framework released in 2004 that aims to increase the speed and ease of web development. Often shortened to Rails, or RoR, it is an open source project written in the Ruby language.

Philosophy

The fundamental Ruby on Rails principles include Don't repeat yourself (DRY) and Convention over Configuration.

"Don't repeat yourself" means that information is located in a single, unambiguous place. For example, thanks to ActiveRecord, the classes' definitions don't need to specify column names; Ruby can retrieve this information from the database, so defining it in code and in the program will be redundant.

"Convention over Configuration" means the developer just need to define the configuration which isn't conventional. For example, if there's a class History in the model, the corresponding table in the database is histories, but if the table doesn't follow the convention it must be specified manually. So, when you design an application beginning from zero without a preexisting database, the following of the Rails conventions means you use less code (however, the behavior can be configured if the system must be compatible with an inherited previous system).

History

Ruby on Rails was extracted by David Heinemeier Hansson from his work on Basecamp, a project-management tool by the web-design company 37signals. It was first released to the public in July 2004.

Rise in Popularity

Ruby on Rails has experienced a surge in popularity.

Hansson attributes this to the productivity advantages of such "opinionated software." If they code along the Rails conventions - largely derived from Hansson's opinion on how software should work - developers can accomplish their goals with less code. For example, less effort is spent on specifying where data (files, class names, database tables) are located, since Rails knows what to look for.

Technical Overview

Like many contemporary web frameworks, Rails uses the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture for organizing applications.

Ruby on Rails strives for applications with less code, through guiding principles that include "Don't repeat yourself" (code should never be redundant) and "Convention over configuration" (programmers only need to specify when their setup differs from the norm).

Rails provides out-of-the-box scaffolding, which can quickly construct most of the logic and views needed for a basic website, the WEBrick web server and other helpful development tools.

Rails is also noteworthy for its extensive use of the Javascript libraries Prototype and Script.aculo.us, for Ajax and visual effects.

Ruby on Rails Pre-Requisites

Rails works with a wealth of web servers and databases. For web server, we recommend Apache or lighttpd, running either FastCGI or SCGI, or Mongrel. For database, you can use MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, Oracle, SQL Server, DB2, or Firebird. Just about any operating system will do, but we recommend a 'nix-based one for deployment.

If you need hosting, There are a number of them available but we recommends http://www.xaphost.com offering fantastic plans with a knowledgeable staff. Whether you need shared or dedicated hosting, these guys are experts in Ruby on Rails.

Ruby on Rails Resources

Here's a list of few books, which can help you in your way of exploring Rails :

http://www.pragmaticprogrammer.com/titles/rails/index.html
http://pragmaticprogrammer.com/titles/fr_rr/
Ruby on Rails: Up and Running
Ruby Cookbook.

Here's a list of some exciting sites on RoR :

http://www.RubyonRails.Org
http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruby_on_Rails
http://www.manning.com/black
http://www.radrails.org/

If you are looking to get an application and/or website developed on Ruby on Rails, but don't posses the neccessary skill sets, then we would be more then glad to help you, http://www.xaprio.com.

Simran
Xaprio Solutions

With Inputs from Wikipedia and RubyOnRails.Org

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