back to article Uncertainty for Ruby and Rails despite changes

The launch of a low-cost Ruby on Rails integrated development environment from SapphireSteel Software based on Microsoft's Visual Studio comes at a turning point for both the Ruby language and its associated Rails framework. But quite what the turning point will be is open to question. On the one hand Sun's director of web …


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  1. breakfast

    Life after Rails

    When the hubbub about Rails has died down a little, Ruby will still be a great language for working with. A lot of people seem to think that Rails is Ruby but it's just an application written in the language. A very good application that makes web development easy for the people who choose to learn to use it, but in time something else will fill it's space as the faddish web platform because that's how these things go- something is new and exciting and then later people get tired of it.

    Meanwhile whole areas of the internet need something to write about, something new and exciting, so you get articles like this either in favour of or sceptical about whatever new technology is currently in fashion, has recently been in fashion or looks like it may soon be in fashion, written by people who have never used the technology in question and have no useful first-hand experience to speak of so end up reporting on developer catfights rather than the genuine merits or otherwise of the technology in question.

  2. Jeff Dickey

    Life will be better after Rails

    Ruby is a great general-purpose language that has been ruthlessly waylaid (Railroaded?) by Rails. After Rails either dies its currently eminently justified death or is transformed into a much less self-glorifying, more useful tool, we should start to see more visible, useful 'neat stuff' done with Ruby, culminating in a battle royal between Ruby and Python aficionados feeling out the relative strengths of their languages for different types of applications. (Perl 8 is expected to join this free-for-all sometime after 2030.)

    In the meantime, Rails apologists should remain mindful of the First Law of Holes and The Hammer Conundrum. Respectively, 'When you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is, STOP DIGGING!'... and 'If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.' This poses difficulties with, for instance, bolts and nuts.

  3. Chris Thomas
    Thumb Down

    Zed is a lame assed Donkey

    Right, a rant about a nobody,

    The RoR community is small, very small, in fact, most people I talk to, know very little about it, compared to PHP, or Java, or C, or C++ it is incredibly tiny, that said, they have a good idea and it's rapid ability to create something useful has made it useful for a lot of people.

    The fact that some people noted in the article failed and went back to PHP in the case mentioned says something about how you might like to think you can cut glass with a hammer, reality states that this is not quite the case, RoR has a use, it's ability is limited by the methods it was created by and the aim it was designed to fix.

    This is pretty obvious.

    PHP was designed (ROFL!!!) to do whatever people wanted to do when they write webpages, it was less designed as evolved, but well, even though there are some hilarious design defects, they are work-aroundable (new word? bonus points?) and you can live with them, but RoR is more like a straight-jacket, because that is how it was designed, it was designed to do _something_ good, fast and better than the alternatives, you cannot blame RoR for not being able to do something it was not designed to do, because that would be stupid.

    However that doesnt mean that Ruby by itself it limited by RoR, obviously RoR is a subset of the Ruby language, so to speak, which is designed to solve a particular problem, whereas Ruby could be compared to PHP, being a general language, designed (or evolved in PHP's case) to solve many problems that RoR was not designed to do.

    All of this is pretty obvious so far.

    Zed's problem seems to be that he cannot live with other people, he's created a good piece of software and believes it gives him the right to shout his stupid mouth off, this is pretty obviously wrong. Zed needs an employer, therefore zed has to follow rules and if he doesnt (which he seems not to) he becomes unemployed (which he has been, a lot it seems) and therefore becomes poor (which he seems to be) because he is unemployable (because he cannot keep his mouth shut).

    He has the bare faced cheek to compare himself to Joel Spolsky, who you can read about here:

    Now, many people might like to rate joel highly, or lowly, but I like to think my code will not appear on anytime soon, so when I say that joel has some good resources on his site for programmers and managers alike, I like to think my opinion is right, he may not be right about everything, but he happens to be right about things I agree with. You might not agree with me, but ok, I will put my code where my mouth it. I am the developer of Esftp for Eclipse, you can find it here

    Determine yourself if you will, whether I am capable of telling you left from right.

    All in all, I rate joel quite highly and however as we all are human and make mistakes, I believe he does everyone a good job in telling us things that we might agree with or how to be a better programmer.

    That doesnt mean that you, or I, could not write something similar, or we could NEVER write something like joel does, I am sure that there are people who could do a similar job. But Joel just stands out because unlike people who could do it, but don't, joel has done it and it's readable by you right now. So rate that sentence as highly or lowly as you like.

    Now, compare this to what Zed has done.

    <big silence>

    he is a big fish in a small pond, he writes a single piece of good software, throws a whole bitchload of shit around like he is God and thats about it. omfg, zed, are you f**king serious? Zed is a nobody, just like I am a nobody.

    The world is full of good programmers, what sets me apart from zed is that whereas I might bitch about PHP, or give guidelines to what I believe it right, sometimes in the same way as zed might, I wouldnt do what he has done.

    What I find unbelievable really, is that people give him the light of day, where there are far more deserving people around who would do a better job, given the motivation to do what he has done.

    So, zeds dead baby, who cares, just a rant from a nobody. Not even a good nobody.

    PS. Zed, if you are reading this, I live in barcelona and if you wanna come here and organise your little boxing ring, I'll take you up on the offer JUST TO SEE if I could beat your sorry ass :D LOL

  4. Fabio Akita
    Thumb Down

    The author is misinformed

    Ok, the Zed Rant wasn't pretty. But then again, EVERY community that involves human beings have conflicts. Big news.

    Derek's case seems more likely to be mismanagement. Just that simple. I've seem much more complicated scenarios than his. He was the wrong man with the wrong tools. Just that.

    The Twitter case was naysayers looking for a good excuse to bash against Rails. This case was settled in 48 hours and gave birth to solutions as Dr. Nic's Magic Multi Connection.

    More than that: all of these happened several months ago. Where were you living? Jupiter?

    Of course there will be competition. And this is good. First it demonstrates that Rails was right all along, as now everybody wants to copy our features. Second, competition makes Rails itself run faster. You're aiming at a moving target, just remember that.

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