What is Ruby on Rails?

My hosting provider says they support Ruby on Rails on their “features list”. What is this and do I need it?

When you decide to build a Web Application there are a number of routes you can go down. First of all you need to decide on which language to use. There are a number of different ones, but some are particularly well suited for building web applications. You also need to be aware of a number of development frameworks that are available, mainly because they make your job a whole lot easier because you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you need to do something.

Ruby on Rails is one such framework. Ruby is the development language you use and Rails is the development framework that saves you all the time when you’re building something. I found a great article on Web Hosting Rating that described it pretty well:

Ruby on Rails includes a number of useful features. There are functions designed for the validating of form data, program templates, distributing and receiving email, formatting the date and time, managing cookies and sessions and much more. It also include supports support for AJAX which enables the creation and implementation of interactive features. AJAX (Asynchronous Javascript and XML) describes the combined use of Javascript, the Document Object Model and XML to assemble web content via web browsers directly from a remote server.

All in all, Ruby on Rails offers a simple and effective platform for web development. It employs some of the latest and best technology that aid tremendously in the creation of dynamic content. For this reason, Ruby on Rails has quickly become a popular choice for developers of many different experience levels. It is highly likely that this technology will remain prevalent in the area of application building far into the future.

That pretty much described it to a T. Web Host Rating has become a great source of information for me. Not only does it expose a number of different web hosts and what their pricing structure is, but it also has a pretty good set of articles on hosting that cover a whole host of subjects.

Anyway, back to Rails. If you’re planning on building a website and don’t have a preference as to what language and framework you use, it’s worth checking out. It’s a pretty powerful way to to build your web application.

2 thoughts on “What is Ruby on Rails?”

  1. It really depends on your strength programming language. ruby on Rails is not the only framework in existence that makes rapid application development easy.

    You can choose from: cakePHP; multiple python frameworks (Django, Pylons, turbo Gears); or Ruby based, Merb/Ruby on Rails.

    Ruby on Rails pre 2.0 wasn’t threaded so one instance of a request tied up a single server instance, hence the slowness. the other frameworks never had that problem.

    While Ruby on Rails was probably the “easiest” to work with there were way too many ways to do the same thing, which was far to confusing. However, the simpler choices of the other frameworks to do something made it much easier to remember what to do.

    Add to it they were faster performance wise being multi-threaded, especially the Python frameworks, the choices were easy for me as a PHP developer who had to learn Python at the same time as ROR.

    My recommendation if you are new to the MVC model and have experience with PHP then go with cakePHP. MVC is a completely different mindset.

    Then work up to Python as a general programming language as it really beats running PHP in CLI. As a web programming language it sustains with PHP and can be much quicker if programmed right.

    Rails doesn’t work in command line, that’s for Ruby. ROR for web, well just look at what Twitter is moving to, Python. 😉

  2. @Scott: Thanks for your comment.

    I’ve been curious about ROR for some time, but all my coding at the moment seems to be PHP for WordPress plugins or themes. I will look at cakePHP as it sounds great.

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