The Many Languages of Web Development
Before going ahead with creating your own Rails application, here's an overview of the different languages you'll encounter
Getting started with web development involves learning about many different technologies. You need to learn about the whole "stack" of languages involved in creating a website, from the language the server uses to the one used to display a web page. Within each specific domain, you will still come across multiple languages and variants. Here's a quick overview of the stack of languages used in general web development and specific ones used in Ruby on Rails.
The Language Stack
The table below summarizes this information.
|handle data||SQL||Structured Query Language|
|structure page||HTML||HyperText Markup Language|
|style page||CSS||Cascading Style Sheets|
|run code on server||Any Programming Language|
Alternative Languages within each Domain
The above languages are essential for creating web applicationsAssuming they use a standard database, etc., but developers can also use additional languages within a domain to get more features or a more concise syntax. These "more-powerful" language variants are then converted into one of the above basic languages. For example, in Ruby on Rails it's common to use the languages in the column 3 as a substitute or in addition to the original language in the column 2:
|handle data||SQL||Rail's ActiveRecord||Uses concise Ruby to generate SQL|
|structure page and content||HTML||Ruby ERB
|Ruby is needed within an HTML page to communicate with Rails.
(Haml is optionally used to generate HTML)
|style page||CSS||Sass||A variant of CSS that provides more features|
(Beginners should learn the above languages in bold.)
While there are still many different languages to learn, you can focus on one at a time, building something with each one before moving on to the next. Before you know it, you'll be familiar with the full-stack that websites are built with!