Enhancing Programs With Ruby on Rails

Jul 27, 2011

Enhancing Programs With Ruby on Rails

Article by Jon Caldwell

New ideas are not easily accepted by everyone and creating a plan of introduction may help you start the process. Here are a few basic steps to introduce Rails:

Highlight the interesting points and advantages of using the Rails technology. Know your audience. Be aware of what they need and how Rails could meet them.

Explain how Rails differ from other technologies that are in competition with it. Discuss real applications made with Rails, its development and performance and the system requirements. Don’t just talk about it, show a screencasts about it. Demonstrate how to use the Ruby technology, showing them how easy it is to use.

The choice of technology being used by customers is governed by what they consider as the standard. They don’t risk using those programs not considered to be the regulars, and developers by giving in to them they are selling their customers short. Open source framework such as Ruby on Rails is very agile but people are not that keen to use them for they don’t feel safe. However, vendors have found ways to introduce them and developers have learned how to use them. Constant use have led them to appreciate the RoR and are now convinced of its effectiveness and are enthusiastic with the accomplishments they have achieved.

Writing the best program would still be useless if people are clueless as to how it is managed. If you want to be successful in writing programs in Ruby, you should first learn how to run them. Two of the options available for running Ruby are: run commands as arguments that are passed to the ruby executable from a saved file, or from the Interactive Ruby shell; or, run Ruby programs as desktop and web applications. It is harder to make a decision regarding the method of sending the Ruby application to your users than the task of writing the Ruby program.

As with any other computer language, writing codes, mostly using IRB, is the best way to learn Ruby. If you have written a number of lines, place it in a file and run it. After you’ve figured out how it works, learn about the unit testing framework, try to discover the machinery that makes it work. Another way is to get involve in discussions and if you come across unanswered questions, do research, deliberate and come up with an answer. It would also be helpful if you let the program reveal itself to you, accept it as a simple program and could give you a straightforward solution to a problem.

From the users’ perspective, the main difference between the Ruby programming language and that of the mainstream enterprise technologies is dynamic typing. This means that the need for clearly telling which type of an object it will reference is not needed as oppose to static typing wherein we tell the compiler that a certain variable will only be used to refer to objects of a specified type. On the other hand, in dynamic typing there is no compiler to tell us that we’ve made a mistake, like delivering the wrong type of object to a method, but we’ll get a runtime exception when we perform that specific piece of code.

About the Author

Jon Caldwell is a professional content manager. Much of his articles can be found at http://basicrubyonrailsprogramming.com