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#1 Skaggles  Icon User is offline

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Ruby Web Development: More Than Just Rails

Post icon  Posted 17 October 2011 - 05:25 PM

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Often, when people think of Ruby web development they think of Rails. What some don't realize is that Rails is a web development framework among other options; each with it's own benefits. Here are a few of the ones I've come across and used:

Rails

Most Ruby-based websites will use Rails, and rightly so. Rails allows for rapid development of production-quality web applications. It focuses on RESTful web development using the MVC architecture. You can use Rails to generate full-scale sites in minutes using it's scaffolding--which is basically templates. It also works well with many mainstream databases and, by default, uses SQLite3. I'd say that Rails is great for most all web applications, especially those that are database intensive. One of the most popular sites that uses Rails is Twitter.

Sinatra

Another popular Ruby web framework is Sinatra. Unlike Rails, Sinatra web development takes a little more time to get up and running, but that's because you tend to code more of the tools that a web framework, like Rails, already has built-in. That is not to say that Sinatra is inferior to Rails because I actually prefer to use it when doing small web applications that have little-to-no database usage. That's mainly because I don't see the point of using a framework like Rails (which has all the database stuff ready to go) when I'm not even using a database. The fact that Sinatra doesn't come with a lot of built-in tools actually allows it to be quite customizable to fit with most web development projects. Keep in mind that there are a number of extensions also available for use with Sinatra. Shameless plug: Here's a site I've made that uses Sinatra as a web framework: http://checkmark.heroku.com -- note that it has no database interaction.

Jekyll

Jekyll has been growing in popularity among bloggers. The interesting thing about Jekyll is that it's a static-site generator. This means that your HTML pages (often written using ERB) and your blog posts (often written using Markdown) are converted into static HTML pages and stored server-side. Static sites can often load fast, due to their static nature and, through tools like Disqus, can still be useful in terms of blogging and more. Static sites have been making a comeback since the days of old and several ex-Wordpress bloggers have been migrating to Jekyll. There's even some great documentation online about making that transition--I've actually made the transition myself. To see what Jekyll is capable of, check out some of these Jekyll-powered websites: https://github.com/m...kyll/wiki/Sites

These may not be all the web frameworks available for Ruby, but they are the ones that I've used and had experience working with. Feel free to share your experiences with these or other web frameworks for Ruby. I'd like to have a list of options available for those interested in Ruby web development.

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#2 Skaggles  Icon User is offline

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Re: Ruby Web Development: More Than Just Rails

Posted 17 October 2011 - 07:14 PM

In addition to those listed above, I've also come across Ramaze, Camping, and Merb. I have not experience with any of these, but I am going to make it a point to try them out over the next couple weeks and see what they have to offer as well.
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#3 noahgibbs  Icon User is offline

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Re: Ruby Web Development: More Than Just Rails

Posted 18 December 2011 - 10:28 PM

Also Padrino, which is sort of halfway between Sinatra (extremely simple) and Merb (less simple). Good for low-featured apps that aren't *quite* as basic as you'd use Sinatra for.
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#4 Skaggles  Icon User is offline

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Re: Ruby Web Development: More Than Just Rails

Posted 19 December 2011 - 05:30 AM

View Postnoahgibbs, on 18 December 2011 - 09:28 PM, said:

Also Padrino, which is sort of halfway between Sinatra (extremely simple) and Merb (less simple). Good for low-featured apps that aren't *quite* as basic as you'd use Sinatra for.


Thanks for pointing out Padrino. I'm going to have to look into that one.
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