As you've probably guessed by the title of my article, I still consider Ruby on Rails as a relevant technology that offers a lot of value, especially when combined with ReactJS as it's frontend counterpart. Here's how I approach the topic.
For programmers, building a website from scratch requires maximum effort, skill and creativity. You definitely need the building process to flow with ease while you enjoy the work. Basically, this gives you ample time to ensure that you develop a website app with complete features and fewer issues.
Gone are the days when you would spend months to build a web application. Ruby on Rails technology has made this absolutely easy for web developers.
There are several gem versions that can be used to build web projects. It is just a matter of using the right gem to complete the relevant task on your Rails application. Find out the eleven commonly used gems in this article.
1. Rails Best Practices
In order to ensure that your Rails code retains quality, you can use this gem. It helps you with the analysis of codes and tracing of potential software issues. Then it offers specific recommendations to improve the codes. It supports Object- Relational Mapping (ORMs) aspects like active record, mongoid and mongomapper and various template processors (erb, haml, rabl etc). You can get version 1.19.3 as the latest in the market.
2. Binding of Caller
This gem is an important tool for removing debugging errors from your rails code. The issues you may experience when writing codes can give you bad results. Such errors may include typos or incorrect gem integration.
The good thing about this gem is that in case your application crashes, you will still be able to use its detailed error page screen to help you sort out the bugs. However, this gem should not be used for setting up production applications.
It is important for the developer to keep short codes, which are straightforward and easy to use and maintain. This is one of the important principles that are behind the Ruby on Rails technology. View helpers will help you achieve this.
Draper is a gem that helps developers to create objects using the logic extracted from Rails-helpers. These helpers can be frustrating most of the times. They are inclined to procedures rather presenting objects. But Draper will make your web application interesting by incorporating object presentation. It is a decorator; it can transform the object by adding, replacing and extending the object’s behavior.
Brakeman is a static tool that can scan through your Rails project and single out any security weaknesses. It then reports those issues through notification warnings. Sometimes these notifications may be too many even if there were no issues.
It is an important tool which is used by web developers who work on applications that will be used to save personal information and/or financial details of users.
One of the advantages of this gem is that you don’t need to configure it again once you install it. Secondly, you can also run it during the process of app development.
Peek was built by GitHub. It is mainly used for reporting metrics inside your application. This helps web developers to get insights about the application being worked upon. You can see information about the current branch, cache, database queries etc. These pieces of information can be found in a bar displayed on top of your application as shown below.
Peek enables the web developers to even write their own performance metrics and integrate them into peek. This is a huge advantage since it allows users to implement creativity when they create customized extensions and plugins.
Elasticsearch is a common gem that was built for the purpose of text searching. It is usually installed in web applications to enable them for search. It helps you to implement the storage of transaction data, indexing catalogs of goods etc. Vital statistical data can be extracted using elasticsearch. It is compatible with Ruby 1.9 or higher versions – an advantage over other libraries.
The error screen will always pop up every time when building a web app. With BetterErrors, you have the substitute to the standard Rails error page. This gem does full stack tracing and it examines the source code for errors. It can also be used for web development with the Rack platforms. It provides some useful information in non-HTML requests.
Ransack remains to be one of the most powerful search engine tools used by many developers. Its functionality allows the developers to come up with operationally simple, greater search forms. It has an amazing popularity when it comes to handling advanced searches on the Rails models.
9. Active Admin
Active Admin provides web developers with an ample time to create nice administration interfaces. It also allows the export of data to CSV, JSON, and XML with relative ease. As an extra feature, it is possible for developers to customize full-text search engines with Active Admin.
The login functionality happens to be a key aspect for developers working on applications for social network or e-commerce. And Devise provides proper authentication for Rails code. It uses MVC Rail stack structure that allows user verification, storage and resetting of passwords. It is this gem that helps to trace the metrics such as time stamps and the expiration of user sessions etc.
As you can see, gems are at the heart of any activity of the web developer. They are pre-requisites for building your application on Rails. There are different gems which are made specifically to solve different software development issues. It is imperative to note that a single functionality can be performed by two or more different gems. The gems discussed in this article are just a few among many others which haven’t been highlighted.