Welcome!

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
All in Mobile is a place where we continually maximize their impact by fostering understanding, empathy, insights, creativity and joy. They believe that a truly useful and desirable mobile app doesn't need the brightest idea or the most advanced technology. A great product begins with understanding people. It's easy to think that customers will love your app, but can you justify it? They make sure your final app is something that users truly want and need. The only way to do this is by ...
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 ...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Big Data Federation to Exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO, colocated with DevOpsSUMMIT and DXWorldEXPO, November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Big Data Federation, Inc. develops and applies artificial intelligence to predict financial and economic events that matter. The company uncovers patterns and precise drivers of performance and outcomes with the aid of machine-learning algorithms, big data, and fundamental analysis. Their products are deployed...
The challenges of aggregating data from consumer-oriented devices, such as wearable technologies and smart thermostats, are fairly well-understood. However, there are a new set of challenges for IoT devices that generate megabytes or gigabytes of data per second. Certainly, the infrastructure will have to change, as those volumes of data will likely overwhelm the available bandwidth for aggregating the data into a central repository. Ochandarena discusses a whole new way to think about your next...
CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
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 hierarchical architecture that distributes "compute" within the network specially at the edge can enable new services by harnessing emerging technologies. But Edge-Compute comes at increased cost that needs to be managed and potentially augmented by creative architecture solutions as there will always a catching-up with the capacity demands. Processing power in smartphones has enhanced YoY and there is increasingly spare compute capacity that can be potentially pooled. Uber has successfully ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...