Ruby at both extremes of your website
Q: How is Ruby used on the web?
A: At both extremes.
Here's a web server ... serving documents and programs (on the right) to browsers (on the left).
On the server
, here is Ruby on a Rails Framework on the right. Requests to the Web Server are passed to the routing section of Rails, then routed to the appropriate controller. The controller accesses data from the model, and passes it to the view, from which the response is returned.
Ruby can also be used through the Common Gateway Interface - there's a standard CGI class, and we've got a "hello world" source example [here] on our web site.
The CGI module includes header handling, forms, data escaping functionallity, cookies and sessions.
Beyond the client,
here are Watir and Selenium ... and Cucumber too. They're not used to generate web pages - their used to test a web site, running that site via a browser to a programmed test pattern.
There is also a standard net/HTTP module which provides programs with the ability to make use of web resources via what is in effect a browser written in Ruby. There's an example of that in use here on our web site.
the net/HTTP module includes a wide range of data and method handlers to support both GET and POST method request gnereation, simple authentication, and response handling.
Read the next article about Ruby for web site testing here
Read the next article about Ruby as a server language in the Rails framework here (written 2011-09-10, updated 2011-09-11)
Associated topics are indexed underR114 - Ruby on the Web 
Web and console - same principle, same code - Ruby example - (2013-02-14) 
Ruby on the web - a simple example using CGI - (2012-06-22) 
Some TestWise examples - helping use Ruby code to check your web site operation - (2012-02-24) 
3 digit HTTP status codes - what are they, which are most common, which should be a concern? - (2011-09-11) 
Answers on Ruby on Rails - (2010-01-30) 
Ruby on Rails - a sample application to teach you how - (2010-01-30) 
Ruby to access web services - (2008-11-16)
Some other Articles
Sorta sorting a hash, and what if an exception is NOT thrown - RubySundays - and over eatingExceptions - a fail-safe way of trapping things that may go wrongRuby at both extremes of your websiteSigils - the characters on the start of variable names in Perl, Ruby and FortranSearching through all the files in or below a directory - Ruby, Tcl, PerlHow many days to Christmas?What is on the Melksham Agenda?Automed web site testing scripted in Ruby using watir-webdriver
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