Book Image

Cloning Internet Applications with Ruby

By : Chang Sau Sheong
Book Image

Cloning Internet Applications with Ruby

By: Chang Sau Sheong

Overview of this book

Most users on the Internet have a few favorite Internet web applications that they use often and cannot do without. These popular applications often provide essential services that we need even while we don’t fully understand its features or how they work. Ruby empowers you to develop your own clones of such applications without much ordeal. Learning how these sites work and describing how they can be implemented enables you to move to the next step of customizing them and enabling your own version of these services.This book shows the reader how to clone some of the Internet's most popular applications in Ruby by first identifying their main features, and then showing example Ruby code to replicate this functionality.While we understand that it connects us to our friends and people we want to meet up with, what is the common feature of a social network that makes it a social network? And how do these features work? This book is the answer to all these questions. It will provide a step-by-step explanation on how the application is designed and coded, and then how it is deployed to the Heroku cloud platform. This book’s main purpose is to break up popular Internet services such as TinyURL, Twitter, Flickr, and Facebook to understand what makes it tick. Then using Ruby, the book describes how a minimal set of features for these sites can be modeled, built, and deployed on the Internet.
Table of Contents (13 chapters)

Chapter 1. Cloning Internet Applications

This book is about copying. Copying has an unpleasant reputation in these copyright and intellectual property sensitive times, but it's probably unknown to many, that it has an illustrious past. When we were babies, the main way we learnt was through copying what our parents did. If you have young children you soon learn to your regret the first time you utter any insalubrious words and how quickly your child copies your exclamation and mannerisms. Our number system was copied from the Arabs (that's why they are called Arabic numerals) but it was first used by the Indians from the Indian subcontinent, and subsequently copied by the Arabs in the Middle-East. The English language regularly copies words from other languages. In fact the word 'copy' comes from the Old French word copie which comes from the Medieval Latin word copia.

That is not to say infringing copyright is the right thing to do when someone else has spent tremendous effort in coming up with the original. However, it should be recognized that not all things are copyrightable, patentable, or can be trademarked, and that is for a good reason. Ideas for example are generally not considered as intellectual property. Copyright is the protection of expressions of ideas, not the protection of the ideas themselves. Patent law is used for the protection of inventions for a limited time in return for the disclosure of the invention. Again it is not a protection of ideas; the concept of patent law is to promote the liberation of the idea in exchange for limited monopoly. Google is well known to have dominance in the search engine market but it doesn't mean it has monopoly on search engines. Anyone else is free to write his/her own search engine (though taking part of Google's search engine code to write your own search engine is copyright infringement).

This idea of copying is the basis of the book you are holding. In short, the premise of this book is to learn how each of the popular Internet applications we clone work through copying the ideas behind them.

In this chapter we will cover:

  • A brief description of the type of people who would like to read this book

  • The popular Internet applications described in this book and why we chose them

  • The various technologies used in this book, including Sinatra, DataMapper, and Haml