What is Ruby?

Ruby is a dynamic, object-oriented programming language that is free and simple to use. Ruby is different from static programming languages such as C++ or Java because a user does not need to define types of variables or declare internal interpretation. Ruby saves time and increases productivity by automatically recognizing and converting certain types of data inputs.  

Additionally, dynamic a typing option allows users to change the design without having to change types across the program because the interpreter is able to make type decisions during runtime.

Ruby is equipped with an automatic mark­and­sweep garbage collector tool that can clean all objects, removing the need for maintaining a reference count. This tool prevents memory leaks and increases the stability of the program by flushing dynamically allocated storage through program execution. Unlike programming languages such as C++ where users need to release allocated memory, Ruby automatically sets predefined periods to reclaim memory.

What is Ruby’s Language Structure?

Ruby is an object-oriented scripting programming language that is similar in structure to Perl or PHP. Object-oriented programming approaches treat every feature in Ruby projects as independent objects that store and provide access to information. Even the data in Ruby is treated as an object. Ruby also differs from other object-oriented languages, however, because it only includes support for a single inheritance, which means sub-classes must be pulled from one patent alone. Each Ruby expression usually takes one line which does not need to be terminated. Ruby users can use semicolons at the end of statements for the style, but these are not required for Ruby programs to work.

Ruby supports several OOP concepts such as mixins that simulate multiple inheritances in Ruby’s single parent system or singletons that allow users to override object creation. Ruby also supports overloading as a method for overwriting calls by new definitions.

How to Install Ruby and its Tools on a Computer?

Ruby is a readily available software solution that can be downloaded from the Internet free of charge. It is recommended that all versions of the program be downloaded from the official website https://www.ruby-lang.org or other trusted sources. Downloading, installing and running ruby usually takes around ten minutes in total. Ruby offers several tools which can be more or less complex depending on their size and requirements. For example, PostgreSQL or MySQL interfaces will need their specific databases.

Is Ruby Equipped with Debugging Tool?

Ruby is equipped with a debugging tool that can be accessed through the command line. The debugging tool has many useful commands of which some are listed below: 

Command                                                       Use

Break                                       Set breakpoint at specified line or method

Watch                                      Set a watchpoint for an expression

Catch                                       Set a catchpoint for an exception

Delete                                      Delete breakpoints or watchpoints

Display                                     Set display expression to be printed when program stops

Undisplay                                  Unset display

Cont                                         Continue program execution

List                                           List line of source code

Finish                                       Execute until selected stack frame returns

Trace                                       Turn trace mode on or off

Quit                                         Exit debugger

Var global                                Show global variables in current stack frame

Var local                                  Show local variables in current stack frame

Var instance                             Show instance variables of the given object

Var const                                 Show constants of the given object

Method instance                       Show methods of the given object

Method                                    Show instance methods of the given class or module


What are Objects, Classes, and Methods in Ruby?

To better understand that Ruby is an object-orientated programming language, it is necessary to define some essential terms such as objects, classes, and methods.

Object are containers that hold specific variables and functions.

Classes can best be described as object factories. Classes usually take the following form:


Class MyClass()

def initialize() end

def MyMethod1 end

# Other Expressions

# Mayhap a CONSTANT


Methods are defined as pieces of code that return a value.

Ruby also has several built-in classes and methods.

Ruby language supports inheritance which enables classes to inherit functionality from each other. While the parent class is usually called a superclass, the child class is called a sub-class. Sub-classes are defined as children by marking them with the less than (<) symbol.


Feldt, R., Johnson, L., & Neumann, M. (2002). Ruby Developers Guide. Rockland, MA: Syngress.

Flanagan, D., & Matsumoto, Y. (2008). The Ruby programming language / David Flanagan and Yukihiro Matsumoto. Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly, 2008.

Gutschmidt, T. (2004). Game Programming with Python, Lua, and Ruby. Boston, MA: Course PTR.

Sheong, C. S. (2008). Ruby on Rails Web Mashup Projects: A Step-by-step Tutorial to Building Web Mashups. Birmingham, UK: Packt Publishing.

Sheong, C. S. (2010). Cloning Internet Applications with Ruby: Make Your Own TinyURL, Twitter, Flickr, or Facebook Using Ruby. Birmingham, UK: Packt Publishing.


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