Ruby-On-Rails Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Hovhannes Avoyan, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: Ruby-On-Rails

Ruby-On-Rails: Blog Feed Post

The First Mobile Ruby

Whar are the primary benefits of the Rhodes framework?

Our open source framework Rhodes contains the first implementation of Ruby for every major smartphone operating system: iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and Symbian. The primary benefits of the Rhodes framework are: the productivity and portability enabled by writing interfaces in HTML once (and compiling to native smartphone apps), access to device capabilities from a common library used on all smartphone devices and the ability to easily incorporate synchronized data for offline use.

But that said, we may have been underestimating the benefits that Ruby has for mobile development irrespective of the Rhodes framework which uses it. Ruby has compelling advantages for building smartphone apps that are worth describing in their own right:

  • scripting language. Everything from implied (duck) typing to easier creation of classes and functions to built in support for regular expressions result in much higher productivity
  • economy of expression. Ruby apps are often less than a third of the size of equivalent Java apps.  This helps to make apps easier to maintain even after the initial productivity boost.  We’ve found that the best mobile apps are small apps.  HTML for UIs helps enormously to minimize code size.  Ruby for controllers helps make sure that economy gain isn’t lost.  The result is that Rhodes apps are usually less than 20% of the size of underlying SDK apps (e.g. Objective-C apps)
  • rich ecosystem.  On GitHub, RubyForge and elsewhere Ruby gems and plugins abound. The success of Ruby on Rails has spurred a huge industry of addon capabilities that can be leveraged by mobile developers using Rhodes as well
  • pure object-oriented design. This makes it easy to build both an overall framework on (such as Rhodes or Rails), and also develop libraries for

If you’re not using Ruby today for web development, we strongly urge you to consider it (our RhoSync server is a Ruby on Rails app of course).  Ruby on Rails can be used productively by relative Ruby novices (although being a programmer comfortable with the Model View Controller pattern certainly helps conceptually). If you’re not using Ruby for mobile development, we’d encourage you to consider the Rhodes framework.  If you’re uncertain about your ability to do so without Ruby skills, we’d encourage you to try it regardless. As an MVC framework most of your UI will be done in the views as HTML templates anyway.  Our RhoGen app generator creates the Ruby code for the controller, which does basic Create, Read, Update and Delete of synchronized data on your phone right out of the box. But you can also use this controller code to learn Ruby, modifying and extending the code slightly as time goes on.

Since we first shipped Rhodes last December, we’ve been happy to see other mobile Ruby implementations emerge.  Pragmaticomm has developed a mobile Ruby for Symbian.  We’d like to eventually merge our Ruby with theirs.  Charles Nutter has an Android version of JRuby well on its way to completion.  Once it is complete we’ll take a look at the size and perhaps adopt it. I also talked with Matz at this year’s EuRuKo about factoring out our mobile Ruby implementations and getting it merged with general 1.9 development (this would save us ongoing work of course).

Otherwise today Rhodes is the only way to do Ruby development on the leading US smartphone operating systems: iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile.   But because of the advantages of Ruby listed above, I have no doubt that will change and all smartphone operating systems vendors will eventually ship their own mobile Ruby implementations.  That’s OK as we really are the “open mobile framework” company not the “mobile Ruby” company.   But helping you developers build apps faster by providing you that mobile Ruby implementation now instead of years into the future is an exciting privilege.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Adam Blum

Adam Blum is CEO of Rhomobile. He came from Good Technology and while spending millions on enterprise mobile application development he realized there was a need for a framework for enterprises to build mobile applications easily and cost-effectively empower their workforce without training their programmers to learn different programming languages and building apps from scratch. He has spoken at Interop in Las Vegas and at Ruby events all over the world.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and Bi...
Cell networks have the advantage of long-range communications, reaching an estimated 90% of the world. But cell networks such as 2G, 3G and LTE consume lots of power and were designed for connecting people. They are not optimized for low- or battery-powered devices or for IoT applications with infrequently transmitted data. Cell IoT modules that support narrow-band IoT and 4G cell networks will enable cell connectivity, device management, and app enablement for low-power wide-area network IoT. B...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and sh...
What are the new priorities for the connected business? First: businesses need to think differently about the types of connections they will need to make – these span well beyond the traditional app to app into more modern forms of integration including SaaS integrations, mobile integrations, APIs, device integration and Big Data integration. It’s important these are unified together vs. doing them all piecemeal. Second, these types of connections need to be simple to design, adapt and configure...
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical...
Contextual Analytics of various threat data provides a deeper understanding of a given threat and enables identification of unknown threat vectors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David Dufour, Head of Security Architecture, IoT, Webroot, Inc., discussed how through the use of Big Data analytics and deep data correlation across different threat types, it is possible to gain a better understanding of where, how and to what level of danger a malicious actor poses to an organization, and to determin...
Nicolas Fierro is CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions. He is a programmer, technologist, and operations dev who has worked with Ethereum and blockchain since 2014. His knowledge in blockchain dates to when he performed dev ops services to the Ethereum Foundation as one the privileged few developers to work with the original core team in Switzerland.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...