I had dived into ruby koans and was working on a blog post about object’s array’s and strings, might throw hashes in there too, when I decided I should do an overview of what everything is first.
Ruby is an Object orientated programming language. In Ruby, as I’ll go over in the next post everything is an object. An Object orientated programming language (the most popular being: java, python, c++, visual basic, .Net and of course Ruby) defines concepts as objects which take attributes and methods to describe what they do. Using Objects, which are actually instances of classes, together you can execute functionality and create computer programs.
Rails on the other hand, you will often hear Ruby on Rails together, is a “full-stack web application framework”. Full stack basically means you can do it all in one place.. other common “Stack’s” are LAMP (linux, apache, mysql, & php, perl or python) in this case they represent an operation system, a web server, a database and a scripting language. I will get to rails after I have a better understanding of how to use ruby at least to the point where I can look things up and figure out what’s happening.
If you are looking to get started learning as well I wouldn’t even bother downloading IDE’s and rails and text editors yet. I have a bunch downloaded because I thought that was the first step but there are plenty of web based tools and tutorials like Try Ruby or ruby koans where you don’t actually have to download anything to get started. Once you have decided that it is something you are going to pursue do a little bit of research into text editors and IDE’s to see which you would like to use. I have ruby mine and textmate but I think I’m going to switch to coda for a text editor, it’s a little bit more expensive than textmate but I’ll have to weigh my options.
Sadly it actually took me a little bit of time to figure out how to install all the Ruby gems using terminal in mac but you can download them here and if you need help installing the instructions are here.