How to Build a Web App with and Without Rails Libraries

Ruby on Rails is a web framework that contains many libraries you’d need to create and deploy a successful web application. We often take for granted the ability to run rails new to create a fully functional web application with tons of built-in features. For many of us, that’s good enough since the goal of Rails is to magically have everything work without needing to know what’s happening under the hood.

In order to fully appreciate Ruby on Rails in all its glory, we’ll first need to understand the problem it’s trying to solve. Let’s picture a world where Rails doesn’t exist. It’s hard, I know.

How would we build a web application only using the standard Ruby libraries? In this article, I’ll break down the key foundational concepts of how a web application works while building one from the ground up. If we can build a web application only using Ruby libraries, why would we need web server interfaces like Rack and web applications like Ruby on Rails? By the end of this article, you’ll gain a new appreciation for Rails and its magic…

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