Why Rails Helped Everyone

By Deane Barker on September 23, 2007

7 reasons I switched back to PHP after 2 years on Rails: For some some odd reason, this post is very obscene, but still interesting. This guy set out to re-write cdbaby.com in Rails.

But at every step, it seemed our needs clashed with Rails’ preferences. (Like trying to turn a train into a boat. It’s do-able with a lot of glue. But it’s damn hard. And certainly makes you ask why you’re really doing this.) Two years (!) later, after various setbacks, we were less than halfway done.

He finally went back to PHP, and did it from scratch in two months. He actually starts off the post with the most important concept:

I spent two years trying to make Rails do something it wasn’t meant to do, then realized my old abandoned language (PHP, in my case) would do just fine if approached with my new Rails-gained wisdom.

I agree with this. Rails, even if you don’t like it, raised the bar for everyone. I coded in Rails for a little while, but I still came away with a ton of knowledge that I now apply to other languages.

I played with an iPhone the other day (thanks Adam). It’s magnificent — every bit as good as everyone says. But the most exciting thing about is how it will raise the bar for other manufacturers. We will see much better phones out of everyone because the iPhone exists.

I feel the same way about Rails. This may not be exactly correct, but I really feel like Rails gave birth to things like CakePHP. Rails thrust the framework, the Active Record pattern, and strict MVC into the limelight and made it very cool.

Even if you’re not a Rails developer, you’ve benefited from it.



  1. A friend of mine had the same experience. He got excited about RoR, decided to build an application in it, and then ended up re-writing the whole thing in PHP as he had originally planned.

  2. I feel the same way about Lasso. I see a lot of sense in rails but I am not sure about the convention over configuration part.

    I’ve been coding lasso for the last ten years and have learned a lot from Rails and brought it back to the lasso community but have not been able to make the jump there are just too many things about Lasso that I love, um like the native unicode support. Might be why Lasso is so popular in Scandinavia.


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