Of rubies and tracks

December 9th, 2004 § 5 comments

As I said I would do some time ago, I started to use Ruby to develop some of my Web applications, with Rails as the framework. I confess I’m more and more in love both with the language and the framework. Like Python, they don’t get in the way of programmers, which results in much more productivity and enjoyment. It’s a pity Ruby hackers like so much underscores in their method names. I could easily do without them.

Anyway, for Web applications, Rails is the best framework I’ve ever used. Things are always simple and intuitive, and I rarely need to resort to the documentation to understand how something is done. I had an epiphany when I saw how easily I could add authentication to an application that was already working.

Now it’s my friends who must bear with me as I preach to them the virtues of Ruby and Rails in our instant messaging sessions. But, seeing how Rails reduces the time needed to code a Web application, I can’t help myself. A friend of mine, for example, was complaining to me about how long it takes — and how tedious it is — to create simple forms in PHP, with the same boring authentication and validation rules. In Rails, this task can be accomplished with a single method invocation and a couple rules in another method. The framework takes care of the rest.

Is there anything simpler than that?

§ 5 Responses to Of rubies and tracks"

  • Ronaldo says:

    I’m, first and foremost, a Smalltalk fan. I consider it the language that comes closer to perfection than any other. Seaside is a great framework, and its Ruby port, Borges, is also very nice. But I would still say that Rails is better because it’s simpler and somewhat more mature than the others. Also, it’s easier to run in environments where you have no or almost no control over the installed software.

    I believe that both frameworks (Rails and Seaside) will slowly become mainstream in years to come, either by gaining language acceptance or by ports to other languages. Rails may have an advantage due to the image-based nature of Smalltalk, but the concepts in Seaside are more powerful so both are interesting.

  • Hi Ronaldo, I saw David H.H. mentioning you on his blog and stopped by just to say that there is one more brazilian here using Ruby on Rails very seriously and intensely. I am actaully implementing my masters degree thesis with it. As for work, I have my own start-up company that develops great e-Learning web-based software using .NET.
    I agree with you 100% on Ruby+Rails easy-of-use and productivity gains. I wonder if I’ll ever do anything with ASP.NET ever again… 😉 Best regards from Rio de Janeiro.

  • I’d like to hear your comments on Jotweb http://jotweb.tummy.com/

    It uses Python for scripting, TAL for markup, cvs for version control, and memcached for caching.

    I’d like to hear how it compares to RAILS.

    Thanks! Evelyn

  • Ronaldo says:

    Sorry about taking so long to answer your comment. I was very busy in the past weeks, and let my list of unanswered e-mails grow too long.

    Anyway, I can’t quite compare Jotweb to Rails because I never used it, but I have some suggestions about the site. It was too hard to find things there. That’s one of the things in which Ruby and Rails excel. Everything is easy to find. So, I’d start with that. Jotweb may actually be a great framework but people won’t discover that unless they can try it easily.

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