Off the Rails
DevSnack #48: Rails is a wonderful tool, but day-to-day it can be tempting to lean on a lot of the magic it provides without really understanding it. But Ruby started out as, and still is, a powerful scripting language with a vibrant community. Having been designed from the ground up with “programmer happiness” in mind, digging into pure Ruby can reveal some delightful gems (pun absolutely intended). I have also found that when I pause to dive head first into a pure-Ruby project, I come back to Rails more grounded, with a clearer sense of the mechanics under the magic. Part of our evolution as a Ruby on Rails Development Company is learning to focus not only on using the best programming languages out there but also on sharing our knowledge with the community.
It’s easy to forget that Ruby existed for over a decade before it was popularized by Rails. This fantastic interview with Matz himself by the guys at the Changelog (@changelog) goes deep into the history and influences of Ruby.
Web scraping, while messy, is still very much a viable data-collection tool. In this tutorial, Ruby developer Rob Miller (@robmil) shows how to leverage Nokogiri’s command-line interface and common Bash commands to scrape and parse data from a website without a public API.
#3 – About the Ruby squiggly heredoc syntax
One could do worse than follow the musings of Avdi Grimm (@avdi). His enthusiasm and curiosity for Ruby is infectious. In this tasty morsel, he explains the reasoning for a rather exotic bit of new syntax in Ruby 2.3. Like it or love it, it’s a trip.
Yes, back to the basics. So much of what distinguishes a Ruby-flavored method from its equivalents in other languages can be found in the Enumerable module. In this post from Joel Quenneville (@joelquen), take a deeper dive into what makes this module tick and makes all those yummy one-liners possible.
#5 – Rails vs. Sinatra
Time to spin up a new app? Before you tap out
rails new yet again, consider the under-rated, bare-bones Ruby web framework, Sinatra. This compare/contrast piece by PJ Hagerty (@) walks through the process of getting started and tapping into an external API with each framework. If nothing else, Sinatra’s bare-bones approach can be a great training ground, and help to develop a deeper understanding of some of the tools we take for granted in Rails.
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