Ruby is the programming language on the tip of everyone’s tongue these days. The power and ease of software development with Ruby has helped make an upstart web framework called Ruby on Rails the hottest web framework around. Some may argue that the Web 2.0 wave is riding the Rails on Rails wave, as more and more Ruby on Rails powered web sites pop up on the internet.
This article will give a brief introduction to Ruby on Rails and show you how to get your first simple Ruby on Rails web application up and running. In Part 2 of this article, you will connect your web application to the MySQL database and add CRUD (Create, Read, Update, and Delete) support to the web application.
Ruby: A Scripting Language Gem
It is hard to imagine anyone in the programming world these days who has not heard of Ruby. The ever-increasing popularity of the Ruby on Rails web framework is helping to make Ruby the language of choice for rapid application development and testing. Ruby is an interpreted scripting language that provides quick and easy object-oriented programming and contains some neat features such as closures, blocks, and mixins. Ruby is also highly portable, running on Unix/Linux, Windows, and MacOS. For those wanting a more thorough introduction to Ruby, you can read W. Jason Gilmore’s article on Ruby.
Rails: The fast Train to Web Application Development
The one thing you may have noticed is that you have not written a single line of code, yet you have a running (empty) web application. With other web application frameworks in languages such as Java, .NET (C# and VB.NET), and PHP, you would need to create directory structures, configuration files, and other web application artifacts. That is the beauty of Rails; it does most of the initial setup work for you, leaving you with the task of writing your application and business logic.
This article has provided a brief introduction to Ruby on Rails. We showed you how to get up and running with Ruby on Rails in a short time. In Part 2 of this article, you will connect your web application to the MySQL database and add CRUD (Create, Read, Update, and Delete) support to the web application.
- Ruby: http://www.ruby-lang.org/en/
- Ruby on Rails: http://www.rubyonrails.org/
- An Interview with David Heinemeier Hansson: http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/network/2005/08/30/ruby-rails-david-heinemeier-hansson.html
- RubyGems: http://rubygems.rubyforge.org/
- MySql: http://www.mysql.com/
- SilvaSoft, Inc. weblog: http://jroller.com/page/silvasoftinc
About the Author
Dominic Da Silva (http://www.dominicdasilva.com/) is the President of SilvaSoft, Inc., a software consulting company specializing Java, Ruby, and .NET-based web and web services development. He has worked with Java since the year 2000 and is a Linux user from the 1.0 days. He is also Sun Certified for the Java 2 platform. Born on the beautiful Caribbean island of Trinidad and Tobago, he now makes his home in sunny Orlando, Florida.