10 Tips – Build Web Apps in Ruby

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10 Tips – Build Web Apps in Ruby       

Ruby is a dominant and dynamic programming language that has become popular in recent years. Rails is the web development version of Ruby, and it is also the most popular. Rails also values convention over configuration, which makes it a top favorite for most programmers who are not willing to configure many elements of a project that can be automated. Therefore, if you wish to develop you web applications using Ruby on Rails, here are a few tip that will save you time and enable you to develop efficient applications.

Save time with plug-ins

Plug-ins are like libraries in other programming languages. In Ruby, the plug-ins help you reuse code from other developers, meaning you do not have to reinvent the wheel. There are tons of plug-ins on the web, and you can end up writing an extremely shorter version of your application when using them. Some good places to locate plug-ins include Railsify and Core Rails.

Use RSpec for testing

Testing is the most time-consuming exercise when dealing with application development. However, on Ruby, testing is made easier by using automated testing. The automated testers help you run pieces of your program and ensure that it is working as expected. Rails has a default testing framework, but most people prefer using RSpec which is an alternative testing framework. RSpec’s main advantage is that it’s easy to use syntax that uses a lot of common English elements. Although some people have their reservations about automated testers, if you are good at using them, they can increase your confidence in the code since they offer an assurance that the code does what you need it to do as you develop it.

Keep constants in one location

Constants do not change their values once they are defined. Rails provides you with an initializing feature that helps you to store the constants in one location. Following this convention makes it easy for other developers to locate the constants.

Notably, this file should only be used to store global constants while private constants which are only accessed by a single class should be declared inside their respective classes.

Keep up with updates

Rails is always growing, and since it is an open source software, there are plenty of updates and new plug-ins being released each week. To ensure that your web applications are up to date and keeping up with emerging trends, you should monitor the active Rails online communities. The communities offer a great place to get new plug-ins, get help when you are stuck, and learn about new developments. GitHub is the most common and largest aggregator of these online communities.

Contribute to Open Source

Since most of the plug-ins you use were created by people in the Rails community, it would also be good for you to add to this collection. Apart from being altruistic, engaging in the development of the open source software enables you to sharpen your skills and learn new techniques from your colleagues. You also learn how to code in a team, which might come in handy should you choose to work for a software development company.

Use Rack to match frameworks and servers

Rack is a middleware platform that increases the functionality of Rails as well as other frameworks that run on this platform such as Sinatra and Camping. Rack enables Rails to be portable on different servers that support it such as Thin and Passenger. Rack also provides a caching layer for your software making it run faster.

Track exceptions

Exceptions are a common occurrence when developing software. Rails has an exception notification feature that notifies you when a running web application encounters an error. There are also plug-ins that offer better functionality such as centralizing the exceptions so that you can compare them and get a better idea on what is causing them and how to solve the problem.

Indexing

When developing online applications, optimization is essential to ensuring that people do not get frustrated when using them. Database indexing helps you improve the performance of your database since it makes it easier to locate frequently used data. By indexing your database, the write functions might be slower but fetching data will be significantly faster.

Image spriting

Image spriting is a common trick to minimize the time and bandwidth consumed when loading images. Spriting web images combines them into a single image that is easier to load. Therefore, to enhance the performance of your Rails applications, consider minimizing the pictures through spriting and incorporate the relevant code to display the required image.

Databases

Rails incorporates an excellent database, called ActiveRecord, that helps you to query the database without writing any SQL commands. However, although the library makes it easy to write code, it is at times better to query the database directly. Taking the direct method ensures that your database queries are reliable and it also increases the speed of execution.

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