What is Ruby? The programming language "Ruby"

At the moment there are a huge number of programming languages, each of which has its own peculiarities and patterns. In this article we will discuss one of them.

History of Ruby

Ruby as a programming language has existed for a very long time. Work on the first edition of this incredibly popular language began today in the distant 1993, and the first official version dates back to 1995. The creator of the language, Yukihiro Matsumoto, was a programming enthusiast since the days of the students, but the idea of creating his own instrument appeared much later. So what is so remarkable about this programming language that today it occupies one of the leading positions in the world software development arena?

The Ruby programming language is an interpreted high-level language, with dynamic typing and a thread-independent implementation of multithreading. It has its own garbage collector, and the syntax features it is the closest to languages such as Perl. With the development of the ecosystem, this platform also borrowed a lot from Smalltalk, Python, Lisp and other programming languages. Very important for the existence and continuous development is also the fact that the language of "Ruby" and its implementation are completely free. This means that anyone can offer their changes, and if they are accepted by the community, they will enter the next version of the language.

Philosophy of Ruby

When creating his brainchild, Matsumoto, as a dedicated fan and enthusiast of object-oriented programming, created a certain philosophy for programmers who want to learn his language. So, the Ruby programming language is designed to create simple, and at the same time, understandable applications. Ruby's main focus is not on the speed of the program, but on the simplicity and readability of the code.

Therefore, this platform very often chooses as an input for teaching programming. The main principle on which this language is based is the so-called "least surprise" principle - this means that the program should behave as expected by the author (programmer). Another important part of the ideology of language, which the creator brought, is its great variability. The same result can be achieved in various ways and functions. Thanks to this, each programmer can solve the problem the way it thinks is most correct and convenient. This largely influenced the popularity of language among professionals in the field of information technology.

The main characteristics of the language

What is "Ruby" as a programming language? This is primarily an object-oriented language. There are no primitive types - all structures and data units are objects (unlike the same Java language, there are primitive data structures). Each function in "Ruby" is a method. Many properties and features are brought by creators from other programming languages, so you can safely say that Ruby (language) has absorbed the best of many other languages and technologies.

So, for example, the Ruby ecosystem has its own garbage collector, the idea of which was adopted from Smalltalk and Java, and which can work with all objects in the system. This mechanism allows the user of the application and the developer to clear the memory of objects that are no longer needed. The garbage collector allows the developer in most cases not to be distracted by managing the memory of the application, but to focus on functionality and ease of use.

Language Paradigms

Answering the question about what "Ruby" is as a multi-paradigm language, you can unexpectedly find yourself in the heat of a dispute. After all, this language allows you to use any of the programming paradigms equally successfully: procedural programming style, object-oriented or functional approach. The developer is free to choose for himself the paradigm that is closer to him, and his set of tools from this will not become more limited or weaker. The Ruby programming language only encourages this choice.

Reasons for popularity

In many ways this language became popular due to the simplicity of the development of various additions to it. Therefore, the number of frameworks and libraries is constantly growing, and the tasks that they solve on their own allow developers to bring the product to the ready state in the shortest possible time. Very often "Ruby" programming is associated with the development of web applications and support for the operation of various sites and Internet platforms. This language was taken up by its simplicity and speed of development. After all, alternative platforms (for example, Java) require much more knowledge and experience to solve the same tasks.

Popular frameworks

If we talk about popular frameworks that exist on the market today, then among them is worth highlighting Rails. Many people, answering the question about what "Ruby", intuitively mean RubyOnRails. This set of software components has become an industry standard among developers. It is constantly maintained, developed and supplemented by a community of programmers, while remaining free. This framework describes the components of the web application within the MVC (Model-View-Controller) template, and provides ready integration with the application server and an interface for accessing the database. These 3 components, in fact, allow in a few hours to write and run on the Internet a simple blog or a private web page.

In the Ruby programming language, you can even create native mobile applications, thanks to the RubyMotion library. It allows you to run the Ruby code on iOS, OS X and Android platforms. It was created by a private group of developers, so it is necessary to pay for its use, but it once again confirms the rich possibilities of the language.

Importance of writing tests

Another important component of the Ruby language ecosystem, and its web-oriented part, are frameworks and libraries for writing tests. RubyOnRails preaches the philosophy of BDD (behavior-driven development), which means that first the programmer creates a sequence of tests that describe the expected behavior of the program, and then creates the code that must successfully pass these tests. The unspecified standard in this area is RSpec - this framework allows you to write test cases on an understandable even for inexperienced developers.

Ruby gems

Thanks to the detailed standard that all Ruby packages and libraries must match, the development of add-ons is not difficult. Therefore, among the so-called gems (from the English - a gem), you can find modules to solve almost any problem - from integration with social networks and third-party services to ready-made platforms for e-commerce. All you need to use a third-party library is to describe the dependency of your project on some library located in a remote or local repository, and the next build will automatically load this library into the application. This also simplifies project migration between developers, since there is no need to manually share the dependencies for the project build.

Therefore, if you are asked again about what "Ruby" is, then you can confidently state that this is a powerful and universal programming language that is surely suitable for both experienced developers and beginners who want to master the difficult craft of programming. There are tools for creating any applications - from desktop programs to mobile services and web platforms.

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