When it comes to open source web application frameworks, one of the most well known is Ruby on Rails. Written in Ruby, it is a fullstack framework that makes use of well known software engineering patterns such as the active record pattern and model-view-controller or MVC.

History of A Ruby on Web Developer

David Heinemeier Hansson was the original Ruby on Rails developer, working from his Basecamp, a project management tool by 37signals, which is now a web application company. Hansson released Rails as an open source software in July 2004 but didn’t share commit rights until February 2005. By August 2006, a milestone was reached when Apple announced it would use Ruby on Rails with Mac OS X v10.5 ‘Leopard’, released in October 2007.

Version 2.3 was released in March 2009 with a number of major developments including templates that allowed developers to create a skeleton application with custom gems and configurations. Rails 3.1 was released in 2011 and featured a reversible database migration along with streaming and asset pipeline. The most recent update, 4.2 was released on 19th December 2014 and included web console, foreign keys and asynchronous emails.

What is Ruby on Rails?

Like many web frameworks, Ruby on Rails uses the model-view-controller pattern to organise the programming of applications. In the default configuration, a model maps to a table inside a database and a Ruby file. A controller is a component of Rails that responds to requests from external sources and can provide more than one action. The default configuration doesn’t connect directly with the internet but through a front-end web server, with Mongrel being popular originally but from 2008 onwards, Passenger is the most commonly used. Ruby on Rails is known for its extensive use of JavaScript libraries.

What is open source?

At the heart of Ruby on Rails is the concept of open source, a development model that promotes the universal access to software via a free license. The idea behind open source was that new copyright, licensing, domain and consumer issues were created.

This license allows users to access to design or blueprint of the software and can be edited or altered by anyone. Open source became a major area with the rise of the internet and need for the retooling of computer source code. By opening the source code to anyone, a diversity of production models, communication paths and interactive communities were all born.

Open source normally refers to a computer program and open source code is a collaborative effect where a number of programmers each add their own improvements to the original code then share these changes back to the community. Another person will then add another development and so on.

A number of large, formal institution have developed around the creation of open source software including the Apache Software Foundation, who have supported projecting including the framework behind big data Apache Hadoop and the open source HTTP server Apache HTTP. But at its heart, open source is still about peer production by collaboration that is available to the public with no charges involved.

By Kar

Dr. Kar works in the interface of digital transformation and data science. Professionally a professor in one of the top B-Schools of Asia and an alumni of XLRI, he has extensive experience in teaching, training, consultancy and research in reputed institutes. He is a regular contributor of Business Fundas and a frequent author in research platforms. He is widely cited as a researcher. Note: The articles authored in this blog are his personal views and does not reflect that of his affiliations.

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