David Heinemeier Hansson created Rails in 2004 as a result of his work on Basecamp, a project management tool. Commonly referred to as Rails, it is a web application framework written in the Ruby programming language. Since then, Rails has become a popular choice for building web applications due to its ease of use, conventions, and vast ecosystem of gems, libraries, and tools available.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how Freelance Ruby on Rails developers work with HTML and CSS to create dynamic web applications.
HTML and CSS in Rails
Before we dive into the specifics of how Rails works with HTML and CSS, it’s important to understand what HTML and CSS are and their role in web development.
Hypertext Markup Language, or HTML, is the standard markup language used to create web pages. It defines the structure and content of a web page, including headings, paragraphs, images, and links. Cascading Style Sheets, or CSS, describe the visual presentation of a web page, including its layout, colors, and fonts.
Rails are designed to work seamlessly with HTML and CSS. In fact, Rails makes it easy to create dynamic web pages that are both visually appealing and easy to use. Rails provide a number of helper methods that allow you to generate HTML tags, such as links and form elements, typically written in HTML for views.
For example, if you wanted to create a link to another page in your Rails application, you could use the `link_to` helper method. Here’s an example:
This would create a link with the text “Home” that links to the root path of your application.
Rails also provide a number of helper methods for working with forms. For example, if you wanted to create a record for creating a new user, you could use the `form_for` helper method. Here’s an example:
This would create a form for creating a new user with fields for their name and email address, as well as a submit button.
Rails also makes it easy to use CSS to style your web pages. By default, Rails includes the Bootstrap framework, which provides a number of pre-built styles and components that you can use to quickly create visually appealing web pages.
If you want to create your own custom styles, Rails provides a number of ways to do so. You can include CSS files in your Rails application and link to them from your views, or you can use Rails’ built-in asset pipeline to compile and serve your CSS files.
The Model-View-Controller (MVC) Architecture
At the heart of Ruby on Rails is the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture. This is a design pattern that separates an application into three distinct components: the model, the view, and the controller.
The model represents the data and business logic of the application. It typically includes a database schema, as well as methods for accessing and manipulating the data in the database.
The controller is responsible for handling user input and making decisions about how to interact with the model and the view. It typically includes methods for responding to HTTP requests and rendering views.
A Rails application organizes the model, view, and controller into separate directories within the application‘s directory structure. The model code is typically placed in the `app/models` directory, the view code is typically placed in the `app/views` directory, and the controller code is typically placed in the `app/controllers` directory.
Rails designs the MVC architecture to promote separation of concerns and maintainability.
Breaking an app into separate components makes it simpler to modify and extend the app without affecting other parts of the code.
Routing in Rails
The use of routing maps URLs to controller actions, and this accomplishes controller action based on the URL of the request.
Routing in Rails is typically defined in the `config/routes.rb` file. This file defines a number of routes that map incoming requests to controller actions. For example, here’s a simple route that maps the root URL of the application to the `home#index` controller action:
This route maps the root URL of the application to the `index` action in the `home` controller.
Rails have advanced routing options like route constraints, named routes, and nested resources, not just simple routes.
In Rails, controllers are responsible for handling incoming requests and determining how to respond to them. Controllers have many methods (actions) that match user actions in the app.
A blog app’s controller might have actions for showing all posts, displaying one post, making a new post, and editing a post.
Controller actions do tasks, like getting data from the database or showing a view. Actions typically interact with the model to retrieve data and with the view to render the response.
The controller class typically defines controller actions as public methods in Rails. Here’s an example of a simple controller that includes an `index` action:
This controller defines an `index` action that retrieves all users from the database and assigns them to an instance variable that can be used in the corresponding view.
Rails views are responsible for rendering the HTML and CSS sent to the user‘s browser. Views typically include HTML templates that include embedded Ruby code to generate dynamic content.
You can organize views in Rails into separate directories based on the controller they belong to. For example, views for a `users` controller might be located in the `app/views/users` directory.
You can access data assigned to instance variables in the corresponding controller action in a view. For example, here’s a simple view that displays a list of users:
This view uses the `each` method to iterate over the `@users` instance variable that was assigned in the corresponding controller action.
In conclusion, Ruby on Rails is a powerful web application framework that is designed to work seamlessly with HTML and CSS developers. Rails uses the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture to separate an application into distinct components, making it easier to maintain and extend.
ails helps with HTML, CSS, routing, controllers, and views. Rails works with HTML/CSS to create dynamic, appealing, easy–to–use web apps.