Ruby on Rails is an open source web application framework for the Ruby programming language. It is often referred to as “Rails” or “RoR”. It is intended to be used with an Agile development methodology, which is often utilized by web developers for its suitability for short, client-driven projects.
Like many contemporary web frameworks, Rails uses the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture pattern to organize application programming.
Ruby on Rails features several tools intended to make commonplace development tasks easier “out of the box”. Rails provides scaffolding which can automatically construct some of the models and views needed for a basic website. A simple ruby web server (WEBrick) and Rake build system are also included. By including these common tools with the Rails framework, a basic development environment is in effect provided with all versions of the software.
Framework structureRuby on Rails is separated into various packages, namely ActiveRecord (an object-relational mapping system for database access), ActiveResource (provides web services), ActionPack, ActiveSupport and ActionMailer. Prior to version 2.0, Rails also included the Action Web Service package which is now replaced by Active Resource. Apart from standard packages, developers can make plugins to extend existing packages.
Ruby on Rails is intended to emphasize Convention over Configuration (CoC), and the rapid development principle of Don’t repeat yourself (DRY).
Recent developmentsRails version 2.2 was released on November 21, 2008. The most notable features specified in 2.2 are an internationalization framework, thread safety, easy access to HTTP caching, compatibility with Ruby 1.9 and JRuby, and new documentation. Users can utilize the most recent unreleased versions, known as Edge Rails. These users are typically more advanced, and are willing to deal with an unstable architecture for access to additional features.
On December 23, 2008, Merb and Rails announced a commitment to work together. The Rails team announced they would work with the Merb project to bring “the best ideas of Merb” into Rails 3, ending the “unnecessary duplication” across both communities
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