Good Ruby/Rails Debate

By Deane Barker on October 10, 2005

The Ascendancy of Ruby: Someone made an innocent MetaFilter post about how much momentum Ruby has these days. The comments — both pro-Ruby and otherwise — have been heated and entertaining. Some good ones:

  • Ruby seems to be caught up in some sort of blogger-positive-feedback-loop, its practically viral marketing.

  • There’s also an undeniable youthful energy in the Rails scene that plugs nicely into the blog hype machine and spreads the Ruby mind-virus faster. At OSCON this past summer, the Ruby track was the “cool kids” track. They even staged a happening.

  • if you are a long time web app developer, developing in RoR feels like taking off leg braces and shoes made of large wooden blocks and running free in the wild wild web.

  • True engineers learn how to program in general, they don’t learn individual languages. Most of these languages are similar, just different libraries and syntax variations. Learn one, and the rest just fall into place. The right language to use is the one that gets the job done quickly and is easy to maintain. While the maintence aspect of all these languages is a little questionable, their certainly easy enough to use.

  • I have worked in Perl for many years, so my perspective on a hot-new dynamically-typed “agile” language is:so what! Ruby has an MVC framework for web apps. Now they just have 5-7 more years to go to re-create Perl’s CPAN archive before they can be as practically useful on as wide a scale as Perl is today.

The best of all:

We’re talking web apps here, people. ColdFusion is the fu

JRun Error

For the record, I worked on a Rails project for a while again today. It’s a blast. I’ll always love PHP, but Rails is something else. Its like if you spent years dialing in your PHP environment just perfectly — with the most perfect, comprehensive set of tools and libraries, and then have it all work out of the box. Perfectly.

But, let me say that Rails owes a lot to Ruby itself. It’s a gorgeous language to start with.