Advantages of Ruby
Ruby is Productive and Fun
The Ruby programming language was designed to make programmers productive and happy. Here’s what the designer of Ruby says:
For me, the purpose of life is, at least partly, to have joy. Programmers often feel joy when they can concentrate on the creative side of programming, so Ruby is designed to make programmers happy. I consider a programming language as a user interface, so it should follow the principles of user interface.
Yukihiro Matsumoto (a.k.a. “Matz”), 2000, emphasis added
What are the principles of good user interface? Here are the three principles with supporting quotes by Matz:
- Principle of Conciseness: “I want computers to be my servants, not my masters. Thus, I’d like to give them orders quickly. A good servant should do a lot of work with a short order.”
- Principle of Consistency: “... a small set of rules covers the whole Ruby language. Ruby is a relatively simple language, but it’s not too simple. I’ve tried to follow the principle of ‘least surprise.’ Ruby is not too unique, so a programmer with basic knowledge of programming languages can learn it very quickly.”
- Principle of Flexibility: “Because languages are meant to express thought, a language should not restrict human thought, but should help it. Ruby consists of an unchangeable small core (that is, syntax) and arbitrary extensible class libraries....”
Ruby is Fundamental to Rails
The Ruby on Rails framework (often simply referred to as Rails) allows developers to create powerful, dynamic web applications quickly and easily. Rails itself is written in Ruby, and writing a Rails application consists primarily of writing Ruby code. So a solid understanding of Ruby is necessary to develop clean, efficient, bug-free Rails applications.
Developers new to Rails and unfamiliar with Ruby can wire together a simple web applications or apply small modifications and variations to an existing web application. However, to break out of the limits of cookie-cutter development, a developer needs to understand Ruby.
Chad Fowler, a well-known Rails consultant, says it well:
The path to Rails enlightenment is completely based on learning and mastering Ruby. … Because when you master Ruby, all these Rails tricks are just transparent.
Chad Fowler, February 9, 2007, emphasis added