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  • Ruby

What is Ruby Hosting?

Ruby is a general purpose programming language developed in the mid nineties. Ruby has a number of similarities to Perl and Python. It was influenced by Perl, Ada, SmallTalk and other programming languages.

It’s open source, licensed under both its own Ruby License and the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) 2-Clause. It was created with ease of use in mind and is intended to feel natural, but that does not mean that it lacks features.

Ruby is object-oriented, it supports dynamic typing and 'duck typing', features an interactive shell (REPL) and it is implemented on all major platforms, with a large standard library with comprehensive modules for HTTP, XML, OpenSSL, CGI, FTP, RSS and other widespread standards and technologies.

Ruby also features exception handling, first class continuations. custom dispatch behaviour, operator overloading, package management with RubyGems and much more.

Ruby on Rails

Ruby should not be confused with Ruby on Rails, which is sometimes just called Rails. Ruby on Rails is an open source framework for Web applications built using Ruby. Since it is written in Ruby, they are related and the common DNA results in a number of hosting implications.

The purpose of Ruby on Rails is to streamline and simplify the creation of Web apps by providing templates, databases, session management, and code reuse. The modular approach keeps developers from having to perform repetitive tasks and waste valuable time each time they create an application or dynamic website. Ruby on Rails uses the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture.

Rails gained traction in a relatively short time, after Apple integrated support with Mac OS v10.5 Leopard back in 2007. Since then, Ruby on Rails has become a popular alternative to Java in the development of agile and scalable Web applications. Notable services running Rails include Twitter, Hulu, Shopify, Scribd, Groupon, Basecamp and GitHub.

A conservative estimate of Ruby on Rails proliferation found that it is used on more than 600,000 websites, including a number of major sites and services.

While that may sound like a lot, Ruby is estimated to be powering just 0.5% of websites. However, it makes up for the meagre market share with big names.

Ruby and Rails hosting trends and user habits

Ruby hosting lets you manage packages from a user control panel included with shared hosting. Typically they include some amount of technical support.

A framework like Ruby on Rails will come pre-installed by the hosting provider. Plans that include Ruby are affordable for just about any business or individual programmer. Approximately 10% use free hosting, while more than 50% spend less than $100 per month on hosting.

There are a number of different options on the market and many developers have different preferences, but the Ruby space is still maturing and new options appear on a weekly if not daily basis.

Surveys indicate that three fourths of Ruby on Rails developers have been using the framework for less than five years and more than a quarter have been using it for less than two years. This means there are a lot of novices in the space, thus there is still a lot of experimentation, trial and error rather than clear industry standards.

The most popular version of Ruby used by developers is 1.9.3, while the most popular version of Rails is 3.2. The Ruby scene is vibrant and young – most developers deploy updated applications on a weekly basis and they usually use automated deployment tools, namely Capistrano. they use the latest available Ruby/Rails versions and the vast majority uses Git as their source control management system (SCM).

Mac and Linux dominate the Ruby ecosystem

The vast majority of Ruby developers relies on Mac OS X, while about a quarter uses Linux or Unix. The number of Windows users is negligible. The web server of choice is Nginx, followed by Apache. Once again Microsoft IIS has a negligible share.

This results in a disconnect, as a quarter of Ruby users tend to self-host. However, more than 40% use Cloud services, such as Amazon or Heroku. Basic VPS is used by less than a quarter of Ruby developers, while just 3.7% use managed hosting.

The majority of users prefers to rely on a basic OS install and handle the rest of the process on their own, but an increasing number is using cloud services.

Keen to get on board, VPS providers have started tailoring competitive packages in several price tiers, usually ranging from $15-25 per month for entry level packages to $100+ for more comprehensive packages with upwards of 100GB of storage and 2-4TB of bandwidth.

Ruby Hosting Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Ruby?

    Ruby is a general purpose, object-oriented programming language (OOP) that was developed in the 1990s by Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto.

  • What is OOP?

    OOP is a programming concept where everything is treated as an object. These objects inherit their characteristics from classes. Think of classes as the blueprints and objects as the house built from those blueprints. The blueprints outline the structure and characteristics. Using those blueprints, you can build as many houses as you need.

  • What are the advantages of OOP?

    Because objects inherit their characteristics and behavior from the classes that spawn them, they can be created and discarded as needed. They also can interact with each other, store data and perform functions.

  • How much does Ruby support OOP?

    Ruby takes the concepts of OOP and applies them to a greater extent than many other languages. Everything, even snippets of data, can be treated as an object with methods and variables.

  • What are some of the key concepts of Ruby?

    Mr. Matsumoto designed Ruby after being disappointed with other programming languages available at the time. He designed Ruby to be natural in a way that mimics life, simple on the outside and complex inside. This gives Ruby a flexibility that makes it popular with programmers. In particular, Ruby is designed to give the programmer freedom to remove or redefine parts of Ruby as needed. Even essential parts of Ruby can be modified.

  • How much does Ruby cost?

    Ruby is completely free and open source.

  • What is Ruby used for?

    Ruby is used in a wide range of applications. NASA uses it to conduct simulations, Lucent uses it in 3G wireless telephony and Google SketchUp uses it for its macro scripting API. Basecamp, by 37signals, is written entirely in Ruby.

  • Is Ruby used for web development?

    Yes, Ruby is a popular choice for developing web applications.

  • Are there good web development frameworks for Ruby?

    Yes, Ruby on Rails (RoR) is an open source web application framework that enables Ruby to be a powerful web development language. RoR includes a number of principles designed to allow rapid development. One of these is Convention over Configuration (CoC), which means that only unconventional aspects of the application need be specified. RoR also incorporates the Don’t Repeat Yourself (DRY) philosophy, designed to reduce information redundancy in the code.

  • How popular is Ruby?

    Ruby consistently ranks in Top 10 lists of best languages to learn, or most popular languages in use. This is largely due to its versatility, flexibility, and powerful features. Add in RoR, and Ruby becomes an incredibly powerful language for rapidly building and deploying web applications, making Ruby programmers in high demand.

  • Would Ruby be a good choice to learn?

    Given its ongoing popularity, its widespread uses, its open source nature and its relative simplicity, Ruby is an excellent choice of language to learn.

  • How stable is Ruby?

    Ruby, as a programming language, is used to create a number of high-profile applications, including mission-critical applications that require a high degree of stability. At the same time, however, RoR sometimes receives criticism for advancing at such a rapid rate that stability is sacrificed. For most developers, keeping with the latest stable releases is enough to ensure maximum stability.

  • What are some good alternatives to Ruby?

    PHP and Python are two languages that most directly compete with Ruby. Both of them are general-purpose programming languages that are widely used for web development.

  • Ruby vs Python: Which is better?

    As with many things, there is no clear-cut right or wrong answer. In many ways, Python and Ruby are very similar and there is a great deal of overlaps in their uses. In spite of that, there are things that each one is slightly better for. Python, for example, may be a better choice for general programming or creating scripts for use on your local computer. Ruby, in contrast, may be a better choice for web application development, especially in combination with RoR.

  • Ruby vs PHP: Which is better?

    Ruby and PHP more directly compete with one another, since both are used so heavily in web development. In spite of that, each one does have advantages in different areas. PHP is an extremely simple language to learn and deploy and enjoys an almost ubiquitous presence on web hosting servers. There are, however, some complaints about the quality of PHP code. Because PHP evolved and changed over the years, adding features and abilities that were not anticipated at the outset, this sometimes led to bad code or inferior ways of implementing features. Ruby, on the other hand, was designed from the ground up to address the kind of shortcomings that other languages suffered, making it a very progressive, forward-thinking programming language. Add in the RoR framework and Ruby is easily one of the most robust languages for web development.

  • What do I need to know about Ruby and web hosting?

    Because Ruby is free and open source, Ruby is widely supported on Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux. There are a number of frameworks available for the various platforms to assist in the creation of native applications using Ruby. Since the majority of the Internet’s web servers run Linux, it is a simple matter to support it. Even so, not all hosting plans support it by default, but it should be fairly easy to install it, especially on VPS plans and dedicated servers.

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