In fact, the reason for writing this article now is because I came across at least three people in the past couple of days who have no idea what Ruby on Rails is. While I assumed it is common knowledge, it is not so. If you are one of the people who are curious to know the story behind this unique name, then you will have to read this. This beautiful name shows us how fast the web is changing and being construed as much more fun than ever before.
Ruby is a scripting language created by Yukihiro Matsumoto in the 1990s. It is an intuitive object-oriented open source language, which focuses mainly on simplicity and productivity. Many people enjoy the syntax which is elegant, and easy to read and write. It is a blend of the creator’s favorite languages, which are Perl, Ada, Eiffel, Smalltalk and Lisp. This new language balances the functional part of programming with imperative programming. In his own words, he has “made Ruby natural, not simple. Ruby is simple in appearance, but very complex inside, just like our human body.”
This server side programming technology is very portable and developed mostly on GNU/Linux, but also works on the different Windows operating systems, Mac OS X, BeOS, Os/2, DOS etc. It is similar to PHP and Python.
Coming to Ruby on Rails, it is a web application framework that is written in the Ruby language. It was created by David Heinemeier Hansson in 2004 and hundreds of other developers worked on improving it, making it highly popular today. It helps people develop speedy web applications and it is also a lot of fun to work on. Web applications that took weeks and even months to work on earlier, now take only a few days.
Several highly popular sites are powered by Rails now, including the well-known and powerful social networking site LinkedIn, which should give you an indication of how capable Ruby on Rails is. This application framework enables you to create dynamic, database-driven websites that are much faster and more robust than the ones created using other languages.
Many developers shifted from Java and PHP to Ruby on Rails, as they were attracted by its simple structure and the ability to work more efficiently.
Since it comes with all these excellent functionalities, this hosting is usually a little more expensive than the others; although, as time goes by and with the increasing competition, the prices have come down. But it is very important to keep in mind that while there are many web hosts that provide Ruby on Rails hosting, you will have to find a good host that has the capability of supporting this technology properly, even if it means paying a little more.
It is not easy for hosting companies to maintain Rails software as it is a relatively new framework. Most hosting companies are so used to operating Perl, PHP etc. that they are not used to the problems associated with Rails. This is what makes it crucial that you go with a highly reputed host who knows what they are doing.
Since the servers that run on Rails work best in a dedicated environment, it may not offer the best in the shared hosting scene, and there is the risk of servers crashing. This is the reason, experienced users and developers recommend using a dedicated server to get the best out of Rails applications.