Ruby is a dynamic, general purpose and object-oriented programming language which merges the syntax of Smalltalk with Perl. This programming language was developed with an aim to render productivity and convenience for the programmer by minimizing the issues with user-experience. First developed in the year 1990 in Japan by Yukihiro, Ruby has become very popular nowadays, as it has a number of advantages over other languages. The earliest version was Ruby 1.0 and recent edition is Ruby 2.0.
There are a number of programming languages which aspiring programmers (or even existing programmers) can select from. In case of beginners, selection of a programming language can be a difficult task. Some programming languages are gradually losing their popularity as they are usually tough to learn and do not have much applicability. One of the prime reasons for the growing popularity of Ruby is because of its striking feature known as Ruby on Rails, that serves as a convenient web framework, enabling programmers to accelerate the development process.
Ruby on Rails leverages an object related mapping layer called as the Active Record. Owing to this, programmers are not required to indicate the names of the database columns within class definitions. The information is automatically retrieved by Rail from the database which is based on the name of the class. There is also a testing framework enabling programmers to come up with test cases that lead to the creation of more robust and reliable code.
One of the major goals of Ruby is to facilitate the rapid and simple development of web applications. This programming language itself has the capability to satisfy this goal. Hence, Ruby involves much less tedious job as compared to other programming languages. Moreover, it comes free of cost and can also be used, copied, distributed and modified at no cost. Since Ruby offers space for modification, programmers are able to go for requisite changes without any hindrance. Another striking aspect of Ruby is its garbage collection mechanism which allows programmers to code without requiring maintenance of any kind of reference counts within extension libraries. In fact, extension libraries can be dynamically loaded in Ruby in case the operating system facilitates the same.
A Brief Comparison of Ruby with other languages
Ruby vs. PHP: Although PHP is object-oriented; often this aspect is not used. But when it comes to Ruby, it was developed from the beginning as an object-oriented language and is tough to utilize through any other means.
Ruby vs. Perl: Perl was designed to render a number of tools, paradigms and language features. However, most programmers prefer to work with a single paradigm and a number of unused features tend to create confusion for them. Ruby does not have any set of rigid rules and has its own set of conventions that can be used by programmers to explore the natural way of working it out with Ruby.
Ruby vs. Java: The most obvious difference between Java and Ruby lies in the methodology of code execution. In case of Java, the code needs to be translated into a virtual machine language prior to execution. For Ruby, the present implementations can be interpreted without the need for prior translation to a virtual machine language.
Ruby vs. Python: In terms of Syntax, Ruby offers more freedom than Python. In order to make everything regular and clear, Python avoids symbols and allows only a single statement of code for each line. Such restrictions make every Python code look alike and it is difficult to differentiate between two Python programs developed by different programmers. Ruby, on the other hand, maintains a free syntax, allowing manifold statements on each line and enabling programmers to indent the code whenever required.
Ruby, with its Rails web development framework facilitates the use of programming frames such as model-view-controller (MVC) which enables superior modularization and organization of code. As compared to other programming languages, Ruby offers more efficient programming within a shorter time span.
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