Welcome back to RUBY3.dev! Only…it’s not! Rather, a very warm welcome from Fullstack Ruby. Why the name change?
Well, a couple of reasons—the first of which is that your humble author (that’s me!) is not just a “Ruby developer” but a “web developer” as well. Yes, I’ll admit it: I don’t just write Ruby because I like assembling command line tools or crafting data processors or solving algorithmic puzzles. I like building websites. And I like building tools for building websites. I’m a web developer. It’s in my DNA.
So running a blog that’s generically about Ruby couldn’t hold my attention for too long. Thus I had to simultaneously narrow the focus all while expanding it to the broader web industry.
The second reason is that today, right now, right this very minute, is the absolute best time to be a fullstack Ruby/web developer. And tomorrow will be even better! Never have we had such a robust arsenal of tools at our disposal for building sites and apps that encompass both the backend and frontend in novel and exciting ways. Let us enumerate just what’s so great about the Ruby landscape at this juncture:
- Turbo: in many ways a straightforward evolution of Turbolinks, Turbo—as a cornerstone of Hotwire (aka HTML-Over-the-Wire)—brings a new layer of interactivity to the frontend which leverages the backend templates and processes you already know and love. Instead of having to write two apps (a frontend app and a backend API), you just write one app, and Turbo provides the baseplate of “glue code” for composing your frontend out of backend “parts”. Whereas fullstack web development used to be primarily a “page-based” notion, it’s now fully modular. Turbo even works on static sites! Whoa.
- StimulusReflex & CableReady/CableCar: StimulusReflex has taken the Rails world by storm as a launching pad for “reactive” programming which leverages WebSockets for fast two-way communications and broadcasts. It utilizes Stimulus (also part of Hotwire) as well as CableReady, a lower-level fullstack toolkit for generating and performing dynamic DOM operations. Of personal interest to me is CableCar, a feature currently in beta which lets you build and execute CableReady operations via any standard request/response. Paired with mrujs, a new swiss-army-knife library by Konnor Rogers, it makes advanced Ruby-based form handling a breeze.
- Serbea: after literally decades of Ruby’s most popular template language, ERB, remaining entirely unchanged, Serbea is an exciting new take created by yours truly. It combines ERB’s power & flexibility with the expressiveness of handlebar-style languages like Nunjucks or Liquid, and it offers a native directive for rendering view components. I use it on all my projects these days—yes, even in Rails—and can’t imagine ever going back to plain ERB.
- Bridgetown: sure, I’m extremely biased. What can I say? As lead maintainer of Bridgetown, I believe it’s the best platform upon which to build public-facing websites. By taking full advantage of the power of Ruby, and combining it with nearly all of the next-gen techniques enumerated above, you can create sites which start out as blogs, landing pages, portfolios, stores, educational resources, etc.—then grow into fullstack applications with authentication, paywalls, payment processing, headless CMS integrations with live previews, and more. We’re still in the alpha days of what I call the DREAMstack (Delightful Ruby Expressing APIs & Markup), but everything listed above is under active development. Come 2022, this dream will officially turn into reality.
So that’s the primary goal of the Fullstack Ruby blog going forward: to talk at length and in depth about all of the above futuristic technologies. And not just here on the blog, but on a new podcast as well entitled—shocker I know—Fullstack Ruby. 😅 Keep an eye out for the first teaser episode in early December.
From Ruby-ist to Browser-ist
“Ruby is simple in appearance, but is very complex inside, just like our human body.”
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