Ruby Class: Understanding and Identifying the Differences

ruby classRuby on Rails, also known as Rails, is a web application framework that serves as that backbone or base of development for several very popular web-based applications such as Twitter. Ruby on Rails is a part of the Ruby programming language first developed in the mid-1990s, though many iterations since have made Ruby a very popular and easy to use object oriented programming language that you can learn in 10 easy steps right here on Udemy.

All object-oriented computer programming languages include basic features such as data encapsulation, data abstraction, polymorphism – or a single interface in Ruby allowing the same message to be sent to what are called “objects” yet get back different results or replies – and inheritance, or the relation between two classes, which also make up the Ruby programming language and Ruby on Rails open source web application. There’s plenty of other great information on learning about Ruby on Rails right here on the Udemy blog, so be sure to check out that too.

Ruby Objects and Classes

Ruby is called an object-oriented programming language because its entire mode of operation revolves around objects and classes. Without objects, in other words, Ruby simply is unable to exist. However, no object in Ruby can be created without a class or several of them serving as the blueprint for the object that the Ruby programmer wants to control or manipulate.

More traditional computer programming languages rely on what are called “actions” and logic as written into the language by the programmer. In other words, an original style computer programming language takes data or information that’s inputted or entered by the programmer, processes and considers that data and then spits out or produces an output of data in response to the query, question or data first entered by the programmer or user entered.

In object-oriented programming languages such as Ruby and the Ruby on Rails web application development, though, a shortcut was developed to allow programmers to directly manipulate data objects rather than waste time defining or creating the logic needed to manipulate them. By directly manipulating all the inputted objects that make up a particular Ruby program the programmers is able to ensure that only the particular classes making up the various inputted objects, which could be whatever it is the programmer desires to be created, are accessed, thus ensuring a higher level of security and a lower level of data corruption. In short, Ruby’s objects and classes create a more stable and secure programming environment. But what is a Ruby class in particular?

Ruby Class

A class in the Ruby programming language basically serves as the template or blueprint for the objects that are manipulated. Suppose that the bicycle you own and regularly ride is an example of the class of objects known as “bicycles.” Certainly, there are many, many different individual examples of bicycles, though each bicycle in and of itself is an object.

Therefore, a Ruby class serves as the blueprint from which individual objects, or bicycles in our example, can be created. A class within Ruby is also composed of many different characteristics. Sticking with the example of a bicycles class, each one has handlebars, a seat, pedals, chain, frame and so forth. All the individual characteristics in a Ruby class are known as data members. For Ruby programmers really serious about honing their Ruby and Ruby on Rails skills, offers advanced programming training that will get you up and running with Ruby on Rails in no time.

Class Characteristics and Functions

Bicycles as a class, with a bicycle being an object, have their characteristics that distinguish them from other classes of vehicle, such as the different characteristics that separate bikes from cars. Using the bike as an example, the class as well as the object would each feature those handlebars, pedals and other items. However, each class in Ruby also has different functions. For a bicycle, a function might include riding on trails such as a mountain bike or speeding on a velodrome or track, like a track bike would do. Every bicycle, or class, has a set of functions that complement or go along with its characteristics. A class in the Ruby programming environment, then, would be defined by its characteristics and functions.

Creating a Ruby Class

Ruby classes and Ruby objects are the foundation and building blocks of the programming language and you must learn how to create them in order to create a program based on Ruby. A class in Ruby is always created by entering in the keyword “class” and then the name of the class, like so:

class  Bicycle

The word “end” tells Ruby that you’ve finished defining the blueprint class for the objects that you’ll be manipulating. There are four variables – Local, Instance, Class and Global – that help define and shape each class and, from the class, all the objects.  Classes and objects are the basics of Ruby and Ruby on Rails and beginners really can learn their creation and manipulation relatively quickly by making use of one of several basic Ruby programming courses offers.

Learning Ruby and Ruby on Rails

Once you learn how to define and then create classes in Ruby you’ll easily be able to create the objects that you’ll be manipulating, though several other steps, including the all important “data modeling” are necessary, though none are particular strenuous or difficult to understand. In most ways object-oriented programming is far more efficient and easier to grasp than older style logic-oriented programming. For now, think of a Ruby class as a building block upon which the entire Ruby program you write and create rests. Ruby and Ruby on Rails offer those desiring to program a fairly straightforward path to doing so. And if you really want to get up and quickly programming in Ruby or in developing web applications using Ruby on Rails – also relatively easy to grasp – offers basic beginners, with no coding experience required, Ruby training you should take as soon as possible.