History of Ruby Programming Language

The history of the Ruby programming language - the essentials

A man was created for creativity, and I always knew that I loved to create. Alas, I am deprived of the talent of an artist or musician. But I can write programs. I want the computer to be my servant, not my master, so I must be able to quickly and efficiently explain to it what to do.” (Yukihiro Matsumoto, creator of the Ruby language).

Sooner or later, everyone who wants to follow the path of a programmer faces the question of choosing the sphere of software development (web, desktop, mobile, game, system, etc.) and the corresponding tools (programming languages, frameworks, development environments). And here, as in construction, the materials and tools you use play an important role. In fact, they largely determine what will ultimately be built, how quickly, what properties it will have, etc. Do you consider whether to learn Ruby or choose some other programming language? If you face difficulties when programming, you can always turn to programming experts from AssignmentCore. These are specialists whom you can pay to do a coding assignment for you. Each professional should learn the history and the peculiarities of the language before he/she takes a decision to learn it. Here is everything you need to know about the Ruby language.

Distinctive Features of the Ruby Programming Language

Ruby is a programming language that was introduced in 1995 by the developer Yukihiro Matsumoto, also known as Matz.

Here are the characteristics of Ruby:

  • High-level - developer-friendly, with strong abstraction and use of natural or human language constructs;
  • Dynamic - data types are determined at the stage of program execution. This increases the speed of development;
  • Interpreted - Ruby code is processed by the interpreter at the time of execution without preliminary compilation. This provides platform independence and reduces the size of executable programs.

It’s a general-purpose programming language. Unlike domain-specific programming languages, general-purpose programming languages ​​are not created for use in specific areas. Yukihiro Matsumoto started working on Ruby in the early 90s. Matz knew Perl and Python but decided to create a new object-oriented programming language. Matsumoto didn’t like Perl, as in his opinion it was a toy and even esoteric language. According to Matsumoto, Python was not object-oriented enough. Matz is a fan of the object-oriented approach, so he started working on a truly object-oriented and simple language.

Matz introduced the language in 1995. Ruby has become popular with Japanese developers. Already in the first versions of Ruby, there were distinctive features that have survived in the language up to this day. These are object-oriented design, use of classes and inheritance, mixins, iterators, closures, a garbage collector, exception handling. In the late 90s, Ruby documentation and the English-language forum ruby-talk appeared in English. This made the language popular outside of Japan. Matz says that he created Ruby to make developers happy. To understand what we are talking about, you need to get acquainted with the features of this language.

The Principle of Least Astonishment and Other Ruby Characteristics

According to Yukihiro Matsumoto, he wanted to make a programming language he would enjoy working with himself. Matz also wanted the language to help programmers be productive and to do more with minimum effort. Finally, the language had to minimize surprises. This has transformed into the principle of least surprise, according to which the program should behave as the programmer expects.

As noted above, Ruby is classified as an object-oriented programming language. The phrase “everything is an object” can convey how entities, including primitives, are considered in this language. All calculations are performed using methods that are called on objects. For example, to calculate the value 5 + 4, the + method is called on instance 5 of the Integer class with an object argument of 4.

Ruby On Rails Has Brought Popularity to the Ruby Language

Until 2004, Ruby was not widely known in Europe and the United States, however, thanks to its capabilities and a large number of supported platforms, Ruby slowly but surely multiplied its followers. The real surge of interest in Ruby was provoked by the emergence of Ruby-On-Rails (RoR) - a framework for developing web applications.

An important feature of Ruby is its block support. This construct takes a parameter and returns a value. Blocks can be passed as optional arguments to methods. The block is called using the yield (e) expression, which passes the value e to the block. Ruby syntax is similar to Perl. Blocks can be defined using parentheses or keywords. Classes and methods are defined using keywords. There is no difference between statements and expressions. A semicolon or line break is used to indicate the end of a statement. Unlike Python, Ruby doesn’t count indentation.

As noted above, Ruby is a general-purpose programming language. That is, it can and is used to solve different problems in different industries. However, Ruby has a niche in which it is used the most. This is web development. Ruby has become a popular language for building web applications thanks to Ruby on Rails. This framework was introduced in 2005. It has influenced web development in general and other frameworks in particular. There are innovative features, including seamless integration with the database, migrations, creating views to accelerate development. These capabilities were later incorporated into other frameworks including Django, Laravel, and Phoenix.

Ruby currently represents the implementation of almost all the most promising technologies and approaches to programming, such as test-driven development (TDD), a full-fledged model for implementing the MVC concept, working with databases through ORM (ActiveRecord), Design Patterns, using the convenient JavaScript-framework Prototype (for easy work with AJAX), working with a distributed version control system Git, and, of course, its use in SaaS development (Cloud computing).

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