Mk 27 wrote:
I have never used mySQL because perl’s Storable or BerkeleyDB modules
always did me fine for cgi stuff. I am going to be learning rails, so I
supposed I will have to learn mySQL anyway, but I was wondering: is it
exclusively web based, or could I use it to produce database files for
use in a (non web app) ruby script?
I think you’re talking about two independent things.
(1) Data storage for a ruby application. There are a whole bunch of
options for this, SQL and non-SQL, many of which have already been
mentioned. Of the non-SQL alternatives, one of the simplest (written in
Ruby) is Madeleine. One for coolness and speed is CouchDB (you talk to
it via HTTP).
(2) Rails is a web framework, that is, a toolkit for writing web
applications. Quite often these have some sort of data store on the
back, but this is not mandatory.
A default Rails app will be configured to use ActiveRecord to talk to a
sqlite3 SQL database, but you can point it to a different SQL database,
or disable ActiveRecord entirely in config/environment.rb:
config.frameworks -= [:active_record]
and then use whatever non-SQL persistence mechanism you like.
As for whether Rails is “exclusively web based” - no, some of the
components which comprise Rails are useful by themselves - in particular
ActiveRecord. So you can write a non-Rails, non-web application which
still uses ActiveRecord to talk to a SQL database.
There are several other SQL abstraction layers available, but the
advantage of ActiveRecord is that it is a component of Rails, which
means there are lots of excellent books you can buy to make your
learning process easier.
Hope this makes sense!