Benefits of Programming in Ruby

Melanie Gross
Jul 6, 2009
Updated • Mar 30, 2012

There are several programming languages that to-be programmers (or current programmers) can choose from. For first-time programmers, choosing a programming language can be difficult. There are many programming languages that are dying out, just aren't popular, or are just generally hard to learn. It would be a shame for any first-time programmer to purchase books to learn a language to find that it is too difficult. It would also be a shame to learn a programming language that has no application at work. Ruby is a great programming language because it offers a great feature called Ruby on Rails. Rails is a web framework that can be used by programmers to speed up development.

The programming language, Ruby, was created in the mid 1990’s in Japan, by Yukihiro "Matz" Matsumoto. Ruby is based on Perl, Smalltalk, Eiffel, Ada, and Lisp and was written to create a programming language that, according to Matsumoto, "was more powerful than Perl, and more object-oriented than Python."

One of the goals of Ruby is to allow the simple and fast creation of web applications. The language itself satisfies this goal. Because of this, there is much less tedious work with this language than many other programming languages. Ruby is also free of charge. It is also free to copy, use, modify, and distribute. Since Ruby can be modified, programmers can make necessary changes and can code without feeling restricted. Another feature of Ruby is its mark-and-sweep garbage collection which allows programmers the ability to code without having to worry about the need to maintain reference counts in extension libraries. Also, if an operating system allows for it, Ruby can dynamically load extension libraries. Ruby currently ranks as the 9th most popular programming language in the world. There are many online guides where Ruby programmers to-be can learn how to program in Ruby.

Ruby on Rails, often simply called Rails, is an open source web application framework that was designed for Ruby by David Heinemeier Hansson and was released in July 2004. Ruby on Rails makes use of an object relational mapping layer known as the ActiveRecord. Because of this, programmers do not have to specify database column names in class definitions. Rails will retrieve this information on its own from the database based on the class name. Rails also has a testing framework built in which allows programmers to write test cases which helps them create more reliable, robust code.


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  1. GsCurrentAffairs said on December 26, 2010 at 10:31 am


    Thanks for excellent write ups which helped us run our site better.

    To explore ruby more kindly provide a tutorial on how to install it on localhost and hosting provider in do-it-yourself format.


  2. john c said on July 7, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    Just found your article here Actually, I really love Ruby however my wife always encourage me to learn drupal.

  3. Philip MacIver said on July 6, 2009 at 10:55 am

    While general points of this article are valid I think that you may have gotten the whole “framework” vs “language that the framework is built on” confused.

    I can see how this is easy to do as many people new to rails often associate the framework to the language itself. Is it correct? No. Is it understandable? Yes. But by perpetuating this idea it only serves to harm the community as a whole.

    I would say that before you write articles on a topic like this you should do a bit more research first.

    1. “One of the goals of Ruby is to allow the simple and fast creation of web applications.”, No! This is the goal of rails the framework. I think you might be getting “ruby” vs “ruby on rails” confused with the type of language that php was/is produced to be.

    2. “released in July 2004”, No. This is just nitpicking really, but it was not released in 2004 this was when it was developed. I wasn’t released until the following year.

    3. “Rails also has a testing framework built in”, debatable. Rails is not the one that provides the testing framework, this is actually provided by ruby itself. Rails just has hooks to allow the whole process of writing and running tests a lot easier, and incorporate it into the process flow of building a web application.

    I agree with the previous poster, Leonardo, in that you are misrepresenting ruby and rails in this article.

  4. Rarst said on July 6, 2009 at 10:47 am

    >Ruby is a great programming language because it offers a great feature called Ruby on Rails.

    Ehm, and that was supposed to explain its greatness? :)

    I am not familiar with Ruby and even with some programming experience I have trouble making sense what Ruby is from this post. And you had probably scared the hell out of newbies. :)

    btw as for me best for-newbie language is AutoIt. It is simple enough to code without much experience and extensive enough to be useful for automating many boring tasks.

  5. Leonardo Borges said on July 6, 2009 at 10:38 am

    When did Ruby on Rails stop being called a framework and turned into a feature of the language? WTF!

    Ruby’s goal is to easily create web applications?!?!?!?!

    Honestly, there are tons of benefits to using ruby. But you’ve just listed none.

  6. tekkie said on July 6, 2009 at 10:17 am

    Valid point Re virgin programmers. If you’ve got to learn something, start with the best possible option at the time.

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