Ruby is an open source, object-oriented programming language created by Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto. Designed to provide a programming language that focuses on simplicity and productivity, the creation of Ruby drew its inspiration from Lisp, Smalltalk and Perl. Although naturally object-oriented, Ruby can also be applied using procedural and functional programming styles.
Ruby was borne out of Matz’s desire to come up with a scripting language that was more powerful than Perl and more object-oriented than Python. Ruby has been used in a number of high-profile applications, including: Simulations at the NASA Langley Research Center, Simulations for a Motorola research group, As a micro scripting API for Google SketchUp, As a means of implementing the reactive control for the Siemens service robot at the MORPHA project, and As the sole programming language used to develop the project-management website known as Basecamp. Ruby is primarily an object-oriented programming language. In fact, in Ruby, every value, including numeric literals as well as the values true and false, is an object. Encapsulation within an object is taken very seriously. In order to access the internal state of an object, one must use an accessor method. One of the most noticeable peculiarities in Ruby involves method and function invocation. Parentheses, which are normally found in methods and functions of other programming languages, are not required here, especially if no arguments are needed. To quicken application development, Ruby may be used in conjunction with an IDE (Integrated Development Environment). This will enable a programmer to write, run and debug programs with relative ease. Ruby can be run on Windows, Linux, Mac or Solaris. Ruby programs and libraries, typically released as gem files, are mostly distributed using the RubyGems packaging system. As an open source programming language, Ruby is free to download, use, copy, modify and distribute.