Begining with Ruby


#1

Hi All,

I am new to ruby and i want to develop an web service in ruby that will
be invoked by the PHP application and will return the output to the PHP
variable.

Please suggest me how i should proceed in terms of learning ruby and
developing my web service.

Any help or suggestion would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Gaurav


#2

Gaurav S. wrote:

I am new to ruby and i want to develop an web service in ruby that will
be invoked by the PHP application and will return the output to the PHP
variable.

Please suggest me how i should proceed in terms of learning ruby and
developing my web service.

Well, there are several different ways you could get your PHP front-end
to call your Ruby web service, such as:

  • REST (HTTP GET / POST / PUT / DELETE, usually with XML parameters)
  • SOAP
  • xmlrpc

I’m afraid I don’t know which of these has the easiest or most robust
PHP client support. However I personally wouldn’t choose SOAP unless it
was forced on me, as it’s a horrendously complex beast. (It’s fine as
long as the APIs are hiding the complexity; the problem is debugging it
when it isn’t working)

For the Ruby backend, there are a variety of web frameworks out there
that you can consider.

If you’re learning from scratch I’d suggest Rails, primarily because
there are plenty of excellent books you can buy. I have the PragProg.com
books: “Agile Web D. with Rails” and “The Ruby P.ming
Language” (*) and they suit me very well, but there are plenty of others
to choose from.

Rails supports REST natively, and SOAP as a plugin. However, Rails is
big so there’s a lot to learn, and a lot of HTML-generation
functionality may be irrelevant to you initially.

For a really simple REST backend you could consider Sinatra, as you can
write apps which are just a handful of lines of code. You’ll need to add
a database access layer of your choice - e.g. ActiveRecord from Rails,
or Sequel or Datamapper. Again, if you choose ActiveRecord then you’ll
find lots of Rails books with good coverage.

If you want to use xmlrpc then there is a simple xmlrpc server included
in the Ruby standard library. This should be fine under small loads, but
it may not scale as well as other solutions (since it’s based on
WEBrick, and as far as I know it doesn’t give you the options of using
mongrel / thin / rack / phusion passenger etc.)

Of course, once you’ve learned Ruby, you may find you want to ditch PHP
for the front-end and use Ruby there too :slight_smile:

BTW a similar question was asked here about 3 days ago, so have a look
at that too: http://www.ruby-forum.com/topic/175849

Good luck,

Brian.

(*) The old, first edition of the Programming Ruby book (for ruby-1.6)
is available for free on-line:
http://www.ruby-doc.org/docs/ProgrammingRuby/
This is a good starting point before you decide to invest in a newer
book.