Ruby on Rails offers a convenient development ecosystem for creating outstanding web applications. It’s fast and reliable. A massive community of talented Ruby on Rails developers supports it. Did you know that GitHub and Shopify also trusted Ruby on Rails and used it in their apps?
Ruby was really popular 6-7 years ago but later on, it went on a decline. Nowadays it is surprisingly popular as well. So, what is the power of Ruby on Rails? Why is it so popular? Let’s figure it out.
What is Ruby on Rails? Quick Definition
To define Ruby on Rails (RoR) we should first understand what do Ruby and Rails mean separately. Ruby is one of the popular programming languages that was created in the 1990s by Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto. This is a general-purpose language (like Java or C) however, it is best known for its benefits in web programming.
Rails is a robust software library that extends Ruby. Rails was developed by David Heinemeier who also named it Ruby on Rails (but it is often called just Rails). The emergence of Ruby on Rails in 2005 seriously influenced web app development thanks to innovative features (seamless database table creations, migrations, the scaffolding of views, etc.) Technically, Ruby on Rails is defined as a package library called RubyGem. It is installed with the help of the command line interface of the OS.
As a powerful open-source web development framework, Ruby on Rails provides developers with a timesaving alternative to develop code. It is aimed to offer a ready-made solution for repetitive tasks such as developing tables, menus, or forms.
Ruby on Rails combines the Ruby programming language with CSS, JS, and HTML to develop web applications that execute on a web server. Rails is categorized as a back-end or server-side web app development platform as it runs on the webserver. You may find similarities of Ruby on Rails with PHP on Laravel and Symfony, or with Python on Django.
RoR is designed to support Agile development to deliver flexibility and productivity for developers. Its key advantage lies beneath the elegance and compactness of the language, however, we’ll describe its strengths a little later in this post.
Ruby on Rails as the Revolutioner in the Web Development World
After its initial introduction, Ruby o Rails represented a fresh approach to building web applications. The great thing that Rails brought was the convention-over-configuration software design paradigm. It simplifies developers’ work on many levels. For example, by eliminating the need to write boilerplate code.
Django was introduced in the same year, and together with Rails, they propagated the use of the MVC pattern and good development practices (for example, the DRY principle).
Web development with Rails unshackled development teams from the routine parts of the coding, letting them focus on business features and apps’ logic. Additionally, it increased productivity and helped devs deliver MVPs much faster.
The Most Common Misconceptions About Ruby on Rails
There are many myths and misconceptions about RoR that grew around the framework and the language it’s based on. Here’re some of them:
Ruby on Rails = slow performance
Actually, Rails has slower runtime speeds than Golang or Node.js, for example. However, it becomes noticeable only with huge products with large-scale traffic. So that, Rails is not the culprit behind the slow speed when this is not a huge app with a lot of users and requests. Even huge apps written in Rails can be fast thanks to its well-thought-out architecture and infrastructure.
Ruby on rails = scalability challenges
It is also the wrong way to blame only the framework for scalability issues. In order to make the app serve requests quickly, each element in the server system architecture (not only the Web app’s backend) should be correctly configured. Such scaling options as code optimization, service-oriented architecture, and horizontal scalability are available with Rails.
Mature Ruby on Rails is boring
Any new framework with innovative capabilities goes viral and gather hundreds of users and contributors all over the world. When few years pass, the hype logically dies down. New stuff becomes mature and less exciting. However, maturity does not necessarily have to be boring. In this case, maturity means stable, refined code as well as maintainable web applications.
RoR Examples. What Are the Most Famous Ruby on Rails Web Applications?
Ruby on Rails is used for building such great websites and applications as Twitter and Shopify. If you’re looking to learn RoR, here’s some inspiration for you – a set of popular Ruby on Rails website examples:
Airbnb is one of the most popular hospitality services among travelers. This handy RoR web app was launched in 2008. Its main idea is to connect travelers and people willing to rent their apartments. The app provides more than 65K locations in 191 countries all over the world.
This famous system was designed to facilitate project management. The first version of Basecamp came out in 2004 and now this is one of the most demanded solutions for project managers and cross-functional collaboration. The tool is available for any user willing to improve the efficiency and productivity of its project.
Crunchbase is often titled as the Wikipedia for startups. This solution made with the help of Ruby on Rails seems perfect in case you want to find out who stands behind innovative companies or invest in the projects you love the most. Crunchbase’s back end was written with Varnish for page caching and has since evolved.
SlideShare is another well-known solution, designed to host slideshows and presentations. It is popular in the areas of education projects and web-conferencing. SlideShare enables us to upload and share presentations in different formats including PDF or PowerPoint.
You probably know this popular platform for code developers. The tool was launched in 2008 with the aim to host IT-projects and facilitate developers’ collaboration. GitHub is free for open-source software projects and paid for private ones. Now GitHub is considered the biggest code repository in the world.
Ruby on Rails was also used to build Dribble – a web app for designers. It was founded in 2009. The tool unites designers including graphic designers, web designers, illustrators, icon artists, and other creative individuals. Additionally, customers may find here illustration experts or design projects that will satisfy different requirements.
Kickstarter is a global funding platform for creative projects. The web app made with Ruby on Rails unites the global community to present the ideas and to invest in creative projects. Its crowdfunding platform was launched in 2009. It became the starting point for such great projects as Oculus Rift and Petcube.
Everybody knows Bloomberg. But not everyone is aware of the fact that the financial software tools it provides were built with the help of RoR. Bloomberg offers analytics and equity trading platform, data services, and news to financial companies. Its media platform covers the breaking news from the world of international politics, technological novelties, and more.
YellowPages allows searching for local listings for businesses and contacts. This is the original source people use to find and connect with local businesses.
Couchsurfing is a fun and useful platform for the travel community. You can use its functionality to find the better places, travel around the world, explore your city, and even host new friends. There is no monetary exchange between members and there is no expectation by hosts for future rewards. So that we can sincerely say that Couchsurfing is an example of the gift economy.
The Ruby on Rails tool offers home cleaning services and connects cleaners with homeowners. Helping targets several markets, including France, Germany, the UK, and Australia. The app includes a wide range of functionalities, such as tools for cleaners and homeowners, sign-up, account management, and so on.
There is no doubt that Ruby on Rails has become the top trend for the development of web apps in recent years. It is a handy and trusted solution to create miscellaneous websites. Hence, the number of organizations using RoR apps rapidly increases.
Now you know what the power of RoR is and how many powerful web applications were created with the help of Ruby on Rails. Despite we mentioned only 11 in our post, there are hundreds of them. Do not hesitate to explore them!