How is Ruby different from Ruby on Rails?
Ruby and Ruby on Rails are closely related but serve fundamentally different purposes. Ruby is a dynamic, object-oriented programming language, whereas Ruby on Rails, often referred to as just “Rails,” is a web application framework built using Ruby.
To draw an analogy, consider the relationship between Python and Django. Python is a versatile programming language that can be used for a wide range of tasks including data analysis, machine learning, and web development. Django, on the other hand, is a high-level web framework built on Python, specifically designed to aid in web application development. Similarly, while you can use Ruby for various programming tasks, Ruby on Rails streamlines and simplifies the process of building web applications.
Ruby’s design philosophy emphasizes developer happiness and productivity. It is known for its elegant syntax, which is natural to read and easy to write. The language offers features like dynamic typing, garbage collection, and an interactive shell, making it a powerful tool for various applications beyond web development.
On the other hand, Ruby on Rails, capitalizes on Ruby’s strengths and provides a structured environment for developing web applications. It introduces conventions and best practices that reduce the amount of boilerplate code, emphasizing the principles of “Convention over Configuration” (CoC) and “Don’t Repeat Yourself” (DRY). This means developers can focus on building unique features rather than setting up foundational elements repeatedly.
While Ruby is the foundational language providing the syntax, logic, and core functionalities, Ruby on Rails is the framework that offers tools, libraries, and conventions to make web development faster and more efficient using Ruby.