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State Of Ruby On Rails Web Development At The Beginning Of 2021

Ruby on Rails | April 4, 2022

As the needs of developers and users change, so does technology. As basic tools for building applications, frameworks are no different. What was convenient and popular yesterday may lose its need and relevance today.

Ruby on Rails, a framework written in Ruby and released in 2004, is often cited as an example of this change. The framework that was once one of the most popular is now considered outdated and dead by some.

Each year and every release have brought us something new. Let us show you, what is the state of Ruby on Rails on the threshold of the roaring twenties!

What’s new in Ruby on Rails?

Ruby on Rails will turn 16-year-old this year. Lots of changes have been introduced both in the language and in the framework. As a company, we have always been waiting for new releases. Many people involved in the development of RoR have ensured that it will be ready to meet the upcoming challenges.

Ruby on Rails in 2020

These release notes cover only major changes. For other updates, various bug fixes, and changes, see the changelog or the commit list in the main Rails GitHub repository.

Also, before upgrading an existing application, it would be good to have test coverage before doing so. Besides, prior to attempting to upgrade to Rails 6.1, you must first upgrade to Rails 6.0 and ensure that the application is still running as expected.

Key new features in Rails 6.1:

Ruby 3.0.0 is an upcoming open-source dynamic language update that is already available as a preview. Key features of the new version include parallel execution and type declaration capabilities.

What are they?

Parallel execution comes in the form of an experimental function called “Ractor,” which is an abstraction of parallelism, similar to the Actor model, designed to provide parallel execution without thread safety concerns. Developers can create multiple ractors and run them in parallel. These concurrent programs can be made thread safe because ractors cannot share common objects. Communication between ractors is maintained through message passing.

To limit sharing of objects, Ractor introduces several restrictions on Ruby syntax.

The specification and implementation are not being finalized or changed in the future, therefore this feature is marked experimental.

example of using Ractor

Ruby 3.0.0 also introduces RBS, which is claimed to be a language for describing the types of Ruby programs. It allows you to parse and process type definitions. Type checkers, including type profilers and other tools that support RBS, will better understand Ruby programs.

RBS is designed to support common patterns in Ruby programs. Extended types are supported, including union types, method overloading, and generic types. Programmers will be able to use the definition of classes and modules: methods defined in a class, instance variables and their types, and inheritance/mixing relationships.

RBS example

In version 3 of the language, a scheduler has also been added, which is at an experimental stage, to intercept blocking operations. Referred to as Thread #scheduler, this feature allows easy concurrency without modifying existing code.

These are currently supported classes/methods:

The current entry point for concurrency is Fiber.schedule {…}, however, it may be changed by the time Ruby 3 is released.

Other notable features

The current stable Ruby releases are 2.7.1 and 2.6.6.

Ruby on Rails and Ruby in 2019

In 2019 there were two major releases for Ruby on Rails. First, there were Rails 6.0 and then Ruby 2.7.0. Let’s see what changed.

Rails 6.0

We had known it would come. Some things were available independently before, but now they have all been picked and packed into.

Some say that with Rails 6.0 too many features come in the Rails’ core. They say they would see those features as optional gems instead. At the same time, others claim that these changes show the framework’s maturity.

Ruby 2.7.0

As usual, this one came at the. Among more changes, these four mentioned below are most important.

Since these two releases took place, new gems and versions have appeared. If you want to keep up with the RoR world, we highly recommend following the official that proves how active is still the development process of the framework.

Is Ruby on Rails dead?

Every year thousands of developers ask this question: Is Ruby on Rails hot, or is it stone-cold dead? CEOs and product owners are a bit less passionate about it, but they still want to know if this weirdly named framework is still relevant and a good choice to them? Some say that it’s the best your company can get to develop a sophisticated solution. Others claim it’s dead. (Whatever it means…)

It is probably not the last time we answer this question, but first, let’s take a look at the numbers and statistics of Ruby on Rails.

RoR developers are sure – Rails are still relevant in 2020. 

Given the numbers, why do some developers keep prophesying the death of Ruby on Rails? Maybe because it’s not new anymore. After almost sixteen years everyone in the industry has heard about RoR and its advantages. Moreover, the framework has matured with every new release. Of course, we’re all waiting for Ruby 3.0, but probably, it won’t be as game-changing as the emergence of Ruby on Rails years ago.

So, Ruby on Rails isn’t dead. Some of us simply got used to it, as the framework grew up. Is there anything wrong in being mature and fully reliable?

Who Else Makes Use of Ruby on Rails Web Development?

It is worth noting the fact that the Ruby programming language is mainly used by professionals. 

Therefore, even a beginner Ruby programmer is an experienced web developer with a lot of knowledge and experience. For the Ruby language, the most popular framework is Rails, over 90% of web applications that are written in Ruby use Rails.

Over the past 16 years, Ruby on Rails and its community have had ample time to mature, improve, and move forward. It also had plenty of time to build on the trust of developers and investors, breathing life into famous products like MyFitnessPal, Airbnb, Kickstarter, Basecamp, Dribbble, Goodreads, GitHub, GitLab, Fiverr, COOKPAD, Couchsurfing, Zendesk and possibly thousands of other projects you may have never heard of. Want to see proofs? Have a look at 50 Best Ruby On Rails Companies Websites. 

All of this happened despite people saying that “Rails doesn’t scale” or “Rails can’t be used for serious problems.”

All these companies usually long for new Ruby on Rails developers to be hired, expanding the use of the framework.

Ruby on Rails Community In 2021

What is really great, however, is how Ruby on Rails developers love giving back to the community. 

As mentioned before, the framework has almost 5000 contributors on GitHub — it is really an impressive number, especially comparing it to around 2950 contributors of Django, the most popular Python framework.

“No developers” statement is an absolute myth. There are developers and you can find them very easily. Of course, there are fewer of them than in PHP, but the average level is “a cut” higher – many of those who call themselves PHP-programmers are actually just layout designers with a superficial knowledge of the programming language who are not able to write even the most simple web application. 

In general, Ruby on Rails developers tend to have solid experience in the field

If you compare Ruby with Java, then the number of developers is comparable, but compared with .NET, Python, and Perl, there are many more Ruby ones.

On top of that, the Ruby on Rails community is also well-known for its openness and helpfulness. Ruby is broadly considered a great programming language for beginners due to the simplicity of the code. 

RoR community is very active in contributing to this technology. More than 50% of Ruby devs contribute to open source projects at least once a year.

Besides, it is also chosen by rookies because of a huge number of Ruby and Rails-related blogs, repositories, wikis, and other sources. Thanks to this, the problems in the development process can be resolved faster, making the final product available for the final release earlier.

There are quite a few places where you can safely start your We ourselves highly recommend:

Also, you can follow the core team members:

Looking for some great Ruby on Rails experts to read and follow on social media? Read our 40 Ruby on Rails Experts, Bloggers, and Influencers to Follow in 2021 blogpost!

The Best Choice Around Here

Despite almost 16 years since the first release of Ruby on Rails, the framework is still widely used among professional developers. Actually, as the stats show, the number of its enthusiasts keeps growing every year. 

At the beginning of 2021, Ruby is something far away from just a fun and easy to learn programming language for those starting their software engineering career. 

More importantly, it is one of the most viable solutions for creating a great, user-friendly website or web application. 

Still doubting in this statement? Let’s show you the next info:

Quick Planning + Development

You don’t have to perform deep research in order to find out a number of experts offering Ruby on Rails consulting as well as Ruby on Rails development agencies offering to create your product efficiently. Ruby and Rails allow delivering finished websites and web apps fast without hurting their stability or performance. Also, costs of building MVP and Time to Market are low.

Growth Goals

It can get even more interesting if you look at what Ruby on Rails creators are preparing to deliver in the nearest future. Ruby itself is heading towards the so-called 3×3 goal — it is planned to become even 3 times faster than Ruby 2. 

Best from a business standpoint

This will of course incredibly change the Ruby on Rails Web Development, making it even more interesting from a business standpoint. 

Except for the upcoming improved performance, there are also all the other great things one should remember about Ruby and Ruby on Rails, such as:

Yes, there are other solutions that are good. Let’s take a glimpse on PHP. It’s as old as the mountains and probably won’t surprise you with anything. But it won’t surprise your customers either. Then, if you want to build something extraordinary, Ruby on Rails is your best chance.

If you’re dealing with much more complex challenges, you might think about employing Django. This framework written in Python is one of the best solutions for database-heavy applications. 

However, unless you’re going to build a gargantuan system designed and developed by experts who know each and every secret of Python’s syntax, Ruby will be a better and most cost-efficient solution.

Should You Use Ruby On Rails In 2021?

There are no simple answers when choosing a tech stack for a new project. If you’re just learning about Ruby on Rails, check the Ruby on Rails Guide we have prepared. There’s a massive amount of knowledge there, that will help you decide. 

But, if you’re an old stager, here are some last comments for today.

Use RoR in dramatically different enterprises

Are you planning a new e-commerce project? 

Good. Choose Rails, just like the Internet giants like Shopify and Groupon (RoR is great for e-commerce and marketplaces).

Aiming to revolutionize a more orthodox industry? 

Follow the steps of platforms like Couchsurfing, Airbnb, and Slideshare — they all make use of Ruby on Rails.

Maybe you are just planning to take your company into the 2020s as soon as possible and make its website more suitable for new clients? 

Ruby and Rails are ready for you in this situation as well.

We highly recommend going through some of our favorite Ruby on Rails Web Development case studies. They will surely show you the scope of possibilities RoR can provide to both small start-ups and big corporations.

Ruby on Rails is getting better and better

After almost 15 years, it’s a really mature and reliable framework. We know it because we’ve worked with RoR for many years. 

If you’re looking for a trustworthy contractor, let us know how we can help your business grow.

This content was originally published here.