Ruby on Rails, often referred to simply as Rails, is an open-source web application framework written in the Ruby programming language. It was created by David Heinemeier Hansson and first released in 2004. Ruby on Rails is designed to simplify and accelerate the development of web applications by providing a set of conventions, best practices, and ready-to-use components.
Key features and concepts associated with Ruby on Rails include:
- Model-View-Controller (MVC): Ruby on Rails follows the Model-View-Controller architectural pattern. This separation of concerns helps developers organize their code by dividing it into three main components:
- Model: Represents the data and business logic of the application.
- View: Handles the presentation and rendering of data for the user interface.
- Controller: Manages the flow of requests and responses, handling user interactions and business logic.
- Convention over Configuration (CoC): Ruby on Rails encourages developers to follow a set of conventions and sensible defaults. This reduces the need for extensive configuration, making it easier to get started and maintain projects.
- Don’t Repeat Yourself (DRY): The DRY principle is a core philosophy of Ruby on Rails. It promotes code reusability by eliminating duplication, encouraging developers to write code once and reuse it as needed.
- Active Record: Ruby on Rails includes an Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) framework called Active Record. It abstracts database interactions by mapping database tables to Ruby classes and providing a rich set of methods for querying and manipulating data.
- Scaffolding: Rails offers scaffolding, which generates code for common tasks like creating, reading, updating, and deleting (CRUD) database records and generating views, controllers, and models.
- Routing: Rails has a powerful routing system that maps incoming HTTP requests to controller actions. Developers can define routes using a DSL (Domain-Specific Language) and specify how URLs are structured.
- Gems: Rails leverages the RubyGems package manager to extend its functionality. Developers can easily add third-party libraries and plugins (known as “gems”) to their Rails projects to add new features or functionality.
- RESTful Architecture: Rails encourages the use of Representational State Transfer (REST) principles for designing web applications, making it easy to create RESTful APIs and adhere to REST conventions.
- Active Support: Rails includes a library called Active Support, which provides utility classes and extensions to Ruby’s core classes. It simplifies common tasks and adds useful functionality to the language.
- Community and Ecosystem: Ruby on Rails has an active and passionate community of developers, which has led to a vast ecosystem of gems, plugins, and extensions. These resources extend Rails’ capabilities and cover a wide range of application needs.
Ruby on Rails is well-suited for developing a wide range of web applications, from small prototypes to large-scale, production-ready projects. Its emphasis on developer productivity, elegant syntax, and convention-driven development has made it a popular choice among web developers for building robust and maintainable applications.
To learn Ruby on Rails for free go to rubyonrails.org