Chapter 7. Work with Ajax and Ruby on Rails
If you haven't yet worked with Ruby on Rails ( RoR), you're in for a great treat. Ruby on Rails is a web development framework that makes it very easy to create database-driven web applications. (A framework is a software structure that provides developers with scripts, packages, and objects with which they can build their own applications.) Ruby on Rails uses the programming language Ruby, including an embedded version of Ruby for HTML or XML templates that is similar to JavaServer Pages (JSP) or PHP. Rails is the name of the framework (or set of packages, such as the ActionController class) that programmers use to develop web applications with this toolkit.
Ruby on Rails can run on the Apache web server and another open source server called lighttpd; it also has a handy built-in web server, WEBrick, which we will use in this chapter. Ruby on Rails only found its way into the general development community in the summer of 2004. However, its ease of use, elegant design, and numerous built-in featuressuch as Ajax and virtually automated object-relational mapping (ORM) with many popular databaseshave impressed the software developer crowd. Prototyping a functional database-driven web application using RoR is faster and more efficient than using other frameworks or doing it from scratch.