The first stable version of Ruby was released in 1996, which makes it a pretty old programming language in terms of the computer history. Still, it’s one of the most popular and most used languages, because it is designed to satisfy human, not machine needs. As a Ruby on Rails development company, in this blog post we’d like to illustrate that statement and cover the reasons of why Ruby is so great for both the developers and product owners.
Maintained by Community
While people often unite around any great thing, the Ruby community has gone much further. Not only it lends a helping hand to newbie developers through numerous courses, books and places to discuss things, but also creates different frameworks, tools and libraries for your advantage.
Of course, you have already heard of Ruby on Rails, one of the most popular web frameworks taking advantage of the conventions aimed to write less code and avoid repetition. Still, there are many tools solving different tasks, and each of them fits perfectly for it purposes. Here’s a list we’ve managed to recall immediately:
- RubyMotion — A Ruby implementation that allows you to create native Android, iOS and OS X apps.
- Volt — A Ruby framework that connects the server and the client, allowing to keep the data always up-to-date on all clients; runs on the front and back end.
- Grape — A REST-like API micro-framework allowing to build lightweight APIs with a simple DSL and without the need to use large web frameworks like RoR.
- Lotus — A Ruby on Rails alternative (one of so many) that follows the Domain Driven Design approach.
Other than that community also offers gems, which are the open-source libraries created for different needs. For instance, Squeel and DataMapper are great ORM libraries that help to manipulate the data using the object paradigm, and Resque and Sidekiq are gems that help you to manage background jobs in your application.
Ruby is much about good code quality and tools for ensuring it. Moreover, some courses are already aimed on helping you learn Ruby through writing tests, so that you could know immediately not only how to write code, but also how to test it.
No wonder Ruby community offers many testing frameworks that we here at RubyGarage take advantage of. Here’s our top 3 list:
- Minitest — a standard library that ships with Ruby providing a complete suite of testing tools
- RSpec — a behavior-driven development framework for validating the development of your app
- Capybara — simulates the browser and thus the way a user would interact with a website.
Created for Developers
Of course, we couldn’t mention the actual reasons and ways Ruby is so great for its end users — developers. Let’s see what we have here.
Ruby supports metaprogramming.
It is basically a technique allowing to write code in Ruby that… writes other code. Done with various tricks and tools like ghost methods, introspection, class macros, etc., it not only provides more flexibility to developers, but also helps them to save time and write less code (though it may appear to be more complex and harder to test eventually).
Ruby is faster to write.
Although Ruby may not be the fastest language in terms of running and processing requests, yet the stats show that the speed of writing the code and generally creating the products is 30-40% higher compared to other languages. And we confirm that data based on our experience as well.
In Ruby, everything is object.
When you create an object from a class, it can get its own class known as a singleton class (some for methods). Due to that each object can be indeed individual and have it’s own methods and properties, while other languages often have unnecessary and annoying constraints on that matter.
Ruby’s syntax is elegant.
Earlier we mentioned that a lot of tools in Ruby are aimed on ensuring the quality of code. However, it all starts with syntax that makes your code clean and uncluttered. In comparison to other languages you may find that conditional statements can fit one line instead of three, make multiple assignments, avoid brackets in method calls and do so much more!
Lots of tools and modern development approach make Ruby one of the most appealing languages for developers. However, there’s also a great community that creates a specific programming culture around that language — a culture of clean and easy-to-understand code, a culture that motivates to be the part of the cutting-edge technology, a culture of fun that results in creating numerous online courses, eBooks, webinars and everything else to not just use Ruby, but enjoy doing it.
So it is Ruby and its community that now not only change the way we do business and create apps, but also make a significant impact on the IT industry.