While Ruby is primarily an object-oriented programming language, it also supports other programming paradigms such as the procedural and functional paradigms. There are currently several different implementations of Ruby including YARV (yet another Ruby virtual machine), JRuby, HotRuby, Rubinius, IronRuby, MacRuby, etc. These implementations are differentiated by their approaches to compilation and the programming languages used to create their interpreters. The latest stable release, version 1.9, is based on YARV.
Ruby is comparable to the Python programming language in terms of its simplicity and power. Like Python, Ruby employs dynamic typing, which allows the programmer to create a variable without using an explicit declaration statement to set its type. The variable derives its data type based on the value it is assigned.
Ruby’s simplicity is exemplified by its solution to the classic “Hello World!” programming problem. To print out something on your computer’s command prompt window, the basic Ruby command you need is “puts”. Therefore, to print out “Hello World!” you only require the following command:
puts “Hello World!”
Ruby’s web development framework, Ruby on Rails, has also become immensely popular among web developers. Based on the MVC (model-view-controller) architecture, this framework is under the hood of such popular web applications as Basecamp, Twitter, Hulu and Shopify.
All in all, Ruby is an exciting programming language to learn. It offers simplicity coupled with great power, thus it is no wonder that it has become so popular among programmers nowadays. Download the latest stable release from Ruby-lang.org and try it out. (Mainichi Japan)