Ruby on Rails

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Understanding the Basics of Ruby on Rails

Ruby on Rails, often simply referred to as Rails, is a server-side web application framework written in Ruby under the MIT License. It is a model-view-controller (MVC) framework, that provides default structures for a database, a web service, and web pages. It encourages and facilitates the use of web standards such as JSON or XML for data transfer, and HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for display and user interfacing.

The Rails framework was developed by David Heinemeier Hansson while working on the code base for Basecamp, a project management tool by 37signals. He released Rails as open source in July 2004 but did not share commit rights to the project until February 2005. Since then, it has been downloaded millions of times and has become a popular choice for software development services.

Exploring the Key Features and Benefits of Ruby on Rails

One of the key advantages of Ruby on Rails is its philosophy of Convention over Configuration (CoC), which means that the programmer does not have to spend a lot of time configuring files to get setup, Rails comes with a set of conventions which help speed up development. Another principle of Rails is the Don’t Repeat Yourself (DRY) principle, which states that “Every piece of knowledge must have a single, unambiguous, authoritative representation within a system.”

Ruby on Rails also offers a consistent structure for building web applications. This structure makes it easier for developers to switch between different Rails projects, as each project will tend to follow the same structure and coding practices. This consistency also helps in maintaining the code and makes the software development process more efficient, especially when outsourcing software development.

Practical Applications and Best Practices in Ruby on Rails Development

Ruby on Rails has been used in a wide range of applications, from small personal projects to large-scale commercial applications. Some notable examples include Twitter, GitHub, Shopify, and Airbnb. The framework is particularly well-suited to rapid prototyping, as it allows developers to quickly build and test new features.

When it comes to best practices, one of the most important is to keep the code DRY. This means avoiding duplication and ensuring that each piece of code has a single, clear purpose. Another best practice is to follow the MVC architecture, which separates the application into three interconnected parts. This separation allows for more efficient code organization and easier maintenance, which is particularly important when outsourcing projects.

Libraries of Ruby on Rails

Ruby on Rails comes with a rich set of libraries, known as gems, which extend the functionality of the framework. These libraries cover a wide range of functionalities, from authentication and authorization (Devise, CanCanCan) to file uploads (CarrierWave, Paperclip) and payment processing (ActiveMerchant).

In addition to these libraries, Rails also includes several tools that help with software development. These include ActiveRecord, a powerful Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) system; ActionPack, a library for handling and responding to web requests; and ActiveSupport, a collection of utility classes and standard Ruby library extensions.

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