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Ruby Programming – What You Need To Know

Posted by on Aug 26, 2015

Ruby Programming - What You Need To Know

What is Ruby?

Ruby is a programming language developed and designed by Yukihiro Matsumoto back in the mid 1990’s.  Ruby programming is dynamic, object-oriented, reflective and said to be the higher level of C++ programming language. For programmers learning a new high-level programming language, Ruby is a perfect choice to start with. Ruby is easy to use compared to other available high level languages. The design is as simple as Lisp, object-oriented like Smalltalk and practical like Perl.

 Early Years of Ruby

The name “Ruby” was proposed over an online chat conversation between the program creator, Matsumoto and his colleague Keiju Ishitsuka in February 1993. The were choosing between the name “Coral” and “Ruby” even before any code was written for the language. Eventually, Matsumoto chose the later. Matusomoto visualized Ruby as genuine object-oriented programming language that would be easy to use.

In December 1995, Ruby 0.95 was released in Japan. Two days later, three versions were released during the launch of ruby mailing list; the first mailing list for Ruby. The first release already featured what the creator promised years before – object-oriented. Other features include class inheritance, iterators, exception handling, garbage collection and closures.

Over the years, more stable versions were released compared to Ruby 0.95. Ruby 1.0 was released in December 1996, then two years later Ruby 1.2 was introduced. In August 1999, Ruby 1.4 was released and Ruby 1.6 a year later.

The latest version out today is Ruby 2.2, which was released in December 2014. Ruby 2.2’s notable update is the change in memory handling. This version also includes bug fixes, library updates and speed ups

Basic Features of Ruby

Ruby basics are fundamental features of any version of programming language.

  • Exception handling for ease of handling errors. This feature is also available in other object-oriented languages like Java and Phython.
  • Garbage Collector which automatically sweeps reference counts in extension libraries.
  • Allows loading of extension libraries.
  • Write C extensions using API.
  • Threading is OS dependent. This means that multi-threading is possible for all platforms.
  • Ruby can work on UNIX, Windows, Mac Os X, DOS, etc.

Developing with Ruby

Using Ruby for software development is a smart choice mainly because of how simple it is to learn the language. It is advised to make Ruby your stepping stone when learning how to code using high level programming.

Software programmers are all familiar with ‘Hello,world!”, the very first program any software programmer has to write. Using C++, it will take at least 5 lines of codes to write the program. In Ruby, in just takes one line, ‘puts, “Hello, world!”‘. Simpler right? Thanks to the pre-written frameworks and libraries of Ruby, coding is much simpler.

Because the great features of Ruby and how simple it is to use, many software are developed using this language. Thus, the demand for Ruby programmers is getting higher every year. As of the moment, Ruby is ranked 13 in the list of top programming languages most popular today. With this, many businesses are shifting to Ruby. Additionally Ruby is extremely light which makes it a relatively inexpensive platform to develop on. You can set it up on a budget VPS and you’re off.!

Learning Ruby is also a stepping stone to Ruby on Rails, which is a software framework for website development.