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Learn about Ruby on Rails

What is Ruby on Rails? It is the hippest web programming language of the decade. It is a free, server-side, web application framework that allows you to create dynamic web pages and web applications very rapidly. Ruby on Rails code is interpreted by the web server which then outputs a web page to the browsers that access it. It is becoming more and more popular as people begin to recognize its power to quickly design and implement web applications. The fundamental Ruby on Rails principles include Convention over Configuration (CoC) and Don't repeat yourself (DRY).

Ruby on Rails' Capabilities

What is Ruby On Rails - Logo

Ruby on Rails uses the Ruby programming language, and can be used on Windows or Linux variant servers but is particularly loved on Mac OS machines. Ruby on Rails can be used for any typical web programming function such as managing email, connecting to other web sites or servers, processing form information, storing information in a database, creating cookies in a web browser, and much more. It can connect to almost any type of database in the world but most commonly is used in conjunction with MySQL.

Ruby on Rails' Syntax

Syntax is the wording and way that the language has to be used for it to work. Ruby On Rails can take a while to learn if you are used to a typical language like PHP, but after you have some experience with it, you will be able to do most tasks more quickly than with other languages. Here are some important things to know about Ruby on Rails:

Ruby On Rails directory structure
  • Filenames. Ruby on Rails uses a specific directory structure so you always know where certain files should be. The different types of files include controllers, views, models, and helpers.
  • Delimiters. Because Ruby on Rails can be embedded with HTML you need to specify what part of the page is Ruby on Rails code and what part is just static HTML. To do this, you use <% and %>. For example: <p><%= "Hello World!"; %></p> would print "Hello World!" within a paragraph tag so you would browser would see <p>Hello World!</p>.

Ruby on Rails uses the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture for organizing application programming. It provides scaffolding which can quickly construct most of the models and views needed for a basic website. You can code Ruby on Rails in any text editor.

If you are interested to learn about Ruby on Rails from its creators, they have some great webcasts and other resources. You can also try OnLamp's great introduction to "What is Ruby on Rails", or read Sitepoint's ruby and Rails articles. We also recommend that you learn about Ruby on Rails using a book from the library or one of the following:

If you are looking for some web hosting to use Ruby on Rails on, check out our Hosting Wizard.

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