Ruby on Rails

After some consideration, I have decided I am likely to go with Ruby on Rails for my assignment. Although this will require learning a new programming language I am confident that the tutorials out there on the web will guide me through building a product with RoR. I recently asked an industry professional who I know only as Bojimha for a brief description of what Ruby on Rails actually IS from his point of view:

Ruby is the programming language and Rails is the framework designed for deploying web apps (it has a lot of web functionality pre-programmed).

The Ruby language is a lot more user friendly as the syntax is easier to understand, like most good languages it is Object Oriented too which minimizes repetition etc. The Rails framework was created by a guy who built a web app then realised all the functionality could be used as a base for him and others to build upon and just add in their own customizations / unique stuff etc. So, in that sense it is widely viewed as enabling people to deploy web apps quickly.

RoR by no means is seen as the best thing out there by many (as many are more accustomed to older techniques and languages, ie set in their ways) in fact it probably has the lowest market share of all the web app languages, however this is steadily growing. You will find that there is almost a 50/50 split opinion on it, you find people either love it or dismiss it. I’m sure you will here the dreaded “it doesn’t scale very well” statement more times then you wish, and this in my opinion is false it all depends on how it is implemented. Big sites like Digg (i think), Twitter, Odeo and A List Apart all use RoR so that tells you itself it is quite well thought of by a lot of people.


There are a number of seemingly good sources out there that give a good breakdown of what is entailed in building a site or a web app using RoR. I found a very good introduction to RoR on (which apparently uses Ruby on Rails itself).

I was also recommended this book as a good starting point for putting all of this into context – specifically with a view to social networking.

Practical Rails Social Networking Sites (Experts Voice)

Practical Rails Social Networking Sites (Expert's Voice)


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