2.1. Introduction

This book requires basic knowledge of HTML, plus the reader - you, in other words - should also have a basic understanding of programming. Yet even the inventor of Ruby, Yukihiro Matsumoto, states in his book The Ruby Programming Language[12] that:
It is easy to program in Ruby, but Ruby is not a simple language.
This chapter is a tightrope walk between oversimplification and a degree of detail that is unnecessary for a Rails newbie. After all, the objective is not becoming a Ruby guru, but understanding Ruby on Rails. I am going to elaborate on the most important points. The rest is then up to you. If you would like to know more about Ruby, then I recommend the book "The Ruby Programming Language" by David Flanagan and Yukihiro Matsumoto.


For a long time I made the mistake of trying to understand Ruby on Rails without knowing anything about Ruby. Ruby just looked so simple, so I didn't give it another thought. But because I did not have a basic understanding of Ruby, I was not able to understand Rails properly. So I kept shunting it into a virtual corner and carried on working with PHP instead. I only really got it after I had a closer look at Ruby. [13]

[12] The book is highly recommended for anyone who wants to understand Ruby. David Flanagan did great work together with Yukihiro Matsumoto (a.k.a. Matz).

[13] Today I am such a great fan of Ruby on Rails that I have even made the effort of writing a book about it to introduce it to you. ;-)

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