Take a look at this 5 minute screencast showing you how to make a simple, AJAX-ified web application that loads images from flickr using the Ruby on Rails platform. Many new database-backed web services are using Ruby on Rails to accomplish things with ease compared to the older PHP methods. I'm not one to code when bored but RoR is an intriguing open-source framework. Browsing at job listings, it seems that RoR is more and more frequently becoming a recommended skillset.
There is even an informative screencast for building your own blog CMS from scratch in under 15 minutes. Very impressive. If you're just as interested in RoR development as I seem to be, take a look at this list of the top 12 RoR tutorials at digitalmediaminute.com.
Full-Stack Web Framework. Rails is an MVC web framework where models, views, and controllers are fully integrated in a seamless fashion. That means you automatically get all the benefits of an MVC design without the hassle of explicitly configuring each component to play well with the others.
<b>Real-World Usage.</b> The Rails framework was extracted from real-world web applications. That is, Rails comes from real need, not anticipating what might be needed. The result is an easy to use and cohesive framework that's rich in functionality, and at the same time it does its best to stay out of your way. <b>One Language: Ruby.</b> Everything from business logic to configuration files (there aren't many) are written in the Ruby programming language. With just one language, you hope it's a good one, and Ruby doesn't disappoint. Ruby is a full object-oriented language with clean syntax and it has a way of making programming truly fun. Using one language means you don't have to juggle between multiple languages and dialects as you're building your application. <b>Convention over Configuration.</b> Rails works hard to take care of all the repetitive and error-prone chores associated with starting to build a web application, and maintaining it over time. Rails uses simple naming conventions and clever use of reflection to make your work easier with near-zero configuration. <b>It's Productive!</b> At the end of the day, Rails is all about helping you stay productive. And in a world where being the first to market and keeping customers happy adds up to increased revenues for you, it pays to pick a tool aligned with those goals. Many real-world applications are already reaping the benefits.<br /><b><a href="http://developer.apple.com/tools/rubyonrails.html">Apple Developer Connection: RoR</a></b>
Workload Update: One game, one paper done. One game, three finals, one book and most of my history textbook to go.