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Ruby On Rails 3.2 Hits New Track Times

The development team behind the Ruby on Rails open source web application development framework has released its 3.2 version with a key emphasis on speed. Building on a code foundation first established in 2004, Ruby on Rails has always championed "rapid web page assembly" using the Ruby scripting language. Now with the 3.2 release, improvements have been focused on the processes executed in the "dev" development mode function of the software.

Ruby on Rails creator David Heinemeier Hansson blogged on rubyonrails.org that, "The most noticeable new feature is that development mode got a ton and a half faster. Inspired by Active Reload, we now only reload classes from files you've actually changed. The difference is dramatic on a larger application. Route recognition also got a bunch faster thanks to the new Journey engine, and we made linking much faster as well (especially apparent when you're having 100+ links on a single page)."

Heinemeier Hansson also notes that this is the first version to feature a tagged logger — a new script option that can be used to run multiple apps or, equally, to run an application for multiple users concurrently. An administrator can now filter log files in order to view specific activity with a specific application. So basically, for a multi-user, multi-account application, it's an option to be able to filter the log by who did what.

Speaking directly to Dr. Dobb's, Peter Cooper, editor of Ruby Inside, Ruby Weekly, and cohost of The Ruby Show said, "Rails has always been focused on developer performance rather than raw computational performance. This idea comes from Ruby, the underlying language Rails is built with, itself. There's even been a long-running joke of 'Can Rails scale?' with the inevitable and increasingly unfair answer of 'No' (you can even see this at canrailsscale.com). Yet, despite not focusing on raw performance, a lot of effort has been put into boosting Rails' performance in the last couple of years and things are better than ever. Rails 3.2 is just the latest leap forward in this process."

Australian-based analysis service BuiltWith Trends Pro specifies that it knows of 234,888 sites using Ruby on Rails at the time of writing. The most up-to-date Tiobe survey of languages (dated January 2012) ranks Ruby implementation (as a whole) down 0.34% from tenth to twelfth in its most recent communique at the expense (it appears) of JavaScript.

In terms of general market shifts, Tiobe records that, "Apart from Objective-C, C# made a considerable leap forward (+2.55%), followed by C (+1.15%), and JavaScript (+0.73%). On the other hand, 2011 was a bad year for last year's winner Python (-3.05%) and PHP (-2.13%). What about 2012? Is there any new programming language to hit the top 10 in 2012? We doubt so. Possible candidates are F#, Groovy, and R."

Heinemeier Hansson says that he has been running on 3-2-stable for a few months working on Basecamp Next, but heeds developers to remember that this is the last intended release series that's going to support Ruby 1.8.7. "The master git branch for Rails is now targeting Rails 4.0, which will require Ruby 1.9.3 and above. So now is a great time to start getting your app ready for the current version of Ruby," he added.

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