A Brief Introduction to Ruby On Rails

Ruby on Rails is the new kid on the block when it comes to programming. The other languages – PHP, Perl, Java and so on have been around for many years. Ruby’s only about 5 years old, having been extracted from Basecamp’s sophisticated programming by David Heinemeier Hansson.

Now, while other folks refer to it as Rails, around here, things go Ruby’s way, so don’t go getting confused if you hear someone else calling it differently.

Ruby is built on a pattern based on models, views and controllers.

The models are the part of the app that hold all the data. They describe the problem the app is trying to fix, as well as giving the app a structure to do that in.

The views are appearance templates that render data so the user can work with them, as well as managing all the visual and representational logic in the app.

Finally, the controller is the man in the middle, processing requests from users at the view point through to the model in the back end. It controls the flow of information and process in both directions of the app.

When Heinemeier Hansson extracted this programming methodology, he did it with a view to increasing programmer productivity – not app performance. This means it’s really not everyone’s cup of tea… meaning that the number crunchers don’t love it because it’s not necessarily going to give them the quickest return, but programmers and devs love it because it’s so much better to work in than the older, clunkier languages.

Yes, it’s a bit slower than those titans, but it’s getting faster and faster with every iteration and I think the programming community is only going to grow to love it more and more.