All About Ruby On Rails
In the months after it’s initial release, Ruby on Rails went from being an unknown programmers tool to a worldwide development phenomenon. Not only did it win awards, being named TIOBE’s language of the year in 2006, but it became a framework of choice for implementing a wide range of Web 2.0 applications.
No longer was Rails the preserve of the hard-core developer. Within a remarkably short span of time, even big multinational companies were developing their web applications on Rails.
Why Did Rails Get So Popular?
There are many reasons for the sudden burst in popularity that Rails enjoyed. To begin with, a lot of developers were frustrated with the shortcomings of the technologies in use. From Java or PHP to .NET, developing was hard, time consuming work. Rails, they soon discovered, was a lot easier.
But making things easier wasn’t enough. Developers needed to know that their applications would stand the test of time. That they could use the best in modern, professional techniques, and know that what they developed was solid.
They soon discovered that Rails wasn’t just something for stringing together simple sites.
What Makes Rails So Easy?
Rails contains all the functionality that developers need for every aspect of their work. All Rails applications use the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture, common to Java frameworks. But Rails takes MVC further. When you develop in Rails, all the pieces of your application interact in a standard way, with a specific place for each piece of code. According to developers, it’s like starting out with the skeleton of your application already in place.
Another big part of development are the tests. All programmers write tests, because every piece of code needs to be tested. And Rails has the testing support built in from the start. As you add functionality, Rails automatically creates test infrastructure for it, allowing you to test at any time, without having to write special code for it. Because it’s so easy, Rails applications actually get tested. And because Rails is written in Ruby, (a modern, object-orientated scripting language), which allows clear and concise coding, it’s easy to read your code even months later.
Rails is DRY
Rails is driven by a couple of key concepts, which some say have made all the difference when it comes to effectiveness, ease of use, and reliability. First of all, Rails is DRY. Dry means, “Don’t Repeat Yourself.” Rails thinks that every piece of information in a system should be expressed just once, and in only one place.
Thanks to Ruby’s concise code, you’ll find very little duplication in a Rails application. You say what you need to say in a certain place, (usually determined by conventional MVC architecture), and then you move on. Compared to other web frameworks, where a single change to the front end could mean a dozen changes in the code, the Rails methodology was a revolutionary step.
The other key concept of Rails is “Convention over Configuration.” Rails has intelligent defaults for almost any action that holds your application together, and if you follow the conventions, it means less code, and cleaner code too. But if you need to override them, Rails makes that easy too.
Rails To The Future
Rails is new. Very new, in terms of web development. And Rails isn’t trying to catch up to old frameworks. On the contrary, Rails is helping to define the new standards for the web. With easy integration of external features, single command deployment, and active community involvement, Rails is helping to drive the future of the internet.
And that is why we use it.