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<eRuby: Getting Started with Ruby on the Web ⁄ >

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Ruby is the interpreted scripting language for quick and easy object-oriented programming. It has many features to process text files and to do system management tasks as languages like Perl or Python do. Ruby is simple, straight-forward, extensible, and cross-platform portable language that has a syntax that is easy to understand. One of the strengths of Ruby is that it strives to be powerful but not complicated. Ruby has advantage over other OOP languages in that it can be used to code procedurally.

Here we show how to setup a windows development PC and a shared web host so you can start developing Ruby web applications in the same way you do PHP, embedded in HTML. Embedded Ruby, eRuby, is easy to learn and has features that make it more useful than other web scripting languages. Now you can use eRuby to create robust web applications and websites. This article will have you doing Ruby on the web in minutes.

Using Ruby on the web
What is eRuby?

eRuby is an extension to Ruby that allows you to use the power of Ruby and embed its code into HTML files. The way eRuby does this is by inversing the HTML code into print statements before sending the code on to be interpreted. Code in the HTML file is translated into a mix of single and multi-line commands. This is all sent to the Ruby CGI interpreter for processing.

Why not Ruby on Rails?

I could not very well write this without mentioning Ruby on Rails. Rails is probably the main reason that Ruby is becoming popular outside of Japan. But Rails is not the only way to use Ruby on the web. Rails also has many drawbacks in that it removes almost all of the portability of Ruby. Deploying a Rails application is complicated, time consuming task and just not something that you will want to do on a repetative basis. Rails also is a lot of work if you just want to do a single webpage application that contains everything. Web hosting companies are also a large factor in using Rails. To do Rails properly you need to have ssh knowledge and be prepared to do some command line manipulation of files. The needs of Rails makes a shared hosting environment difficult to set up and administrate. One of the most troublesome of the Rails drawbacks for me and the reason that I decided to go with eRuby is the that Rails was taking up all my time with Rails problems and troubleshooting. I was learning a lot about using Rails but not much of the Ruby programming language. Someone suggested we go with CGI instead and while researching this we found eRuby.

eRuby is a much easier way of using, learning and getting the power of Ruby on to a website. With eRuby deployment is a easy as uploading your files to your web server. This is to say deploying an application or webpage is no harder in eRuby than it's counterparts like PHP or ASP. I honestly believe that if Ruby popularity is going to increase that eRuby will be the reason. Unlike Rails eRuby has a very shallow learning curve and does not require a lot of effort by web hosting companies to set up.

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