'Agile development seems natural'

Joe O’Brien is teaching Ruby on Rails to the consultants at his company and is especially enjoying how the language and framework two-pack makes agile development so natural:

Ruby and Rails have captured my heart and mind, not only because of the simplicity of the language itself, but also because of how much easier I can use agile development techniques without feeling as if I’m doing something outside the norm. No, I’m not saying agile development with Java is impossible, but I’m saying with Ruby and Rails, agile development seems natural, and almost a part of the language.

We call that “best practices by invitation”. By generating test stubs, having wiring for mocks ready to be dumped in, following a consistent directory structure all makes it easier to do the right thing. Less chores, more benefits.

Rico does scrolling table on top of Prototype

Sam Stephenson and I met the Sabre team at the O’Reilly/Adaptive Path Ajax Summit a few months back. Their presentation of a scrolling table was part of their very nice line-up of widgets build on Ajax. Talking with Bill and Darren, we got speaking about cooperation, which has now lead to their framework called Rico being build on top of Prototype.

And now they have their LiveGrid widget ported to this framework that let’s you build long lists of endless scrolling (thousands of results without paging). They got an example with Yahoo Search and one with a plain data table. They currently only work in Firefox and IE, so no Safari (but that’s gotta be coming as Bill switched to the Mac at home).

Bill has a long post entilted Death to Paging! – Rico LiveGrid Released that further explains the workings of the widget. Good stuff, guys. Keep it coming.

'Rails is one of those economy changing tools'

Pelle from Stake Ventures augments Joe Kraus’ It’s a great time to be an entrepreneur with the notion that on top of cheaper hardware and free infrastructure, we also have better frameworks today:

It is a lot easier and quicker now to bring a new service from concept to launch. One of the biggest things helping this is the emergence of new practical web frameworks like Ruby on Rails . This allows single person or tiny teams to incredible things in very short time.

There are other similar frameworks where you could do similar things quickly, but really Rails is one of those economy changing tools that is and will cause a lot of turmoil in the world of web applications.

Productivity improvements are a big part of the push from the bottom. Skipping the need for scaling up in people makes it much easier to get off the ground. $100K is quite a lush sum if all you need is three people for a couple of months.

Ruby on Rails making inroads in corporate America

Bank of America must surely be the archetypical corporate America company. The kind that puts the e, n, t, e, r, p, r, i, s, and e in Enterprise. Ruby on Rails is on their radar. An innocent job posting from Monster.com lists “Ruby (on Rails)” as a “Nice to Have”. Not too shabby, cabby. The technology adoptive curve is certainly getting compressed. The jump from early adopter to mainstream is growing shorter.

Going from ColdFusion to Ruby on Rails

Michael Buffington from Adaptive Path talks about his experience going from ColdFusion to Ruby on Rails. Here’s a choice bit:

I’d say it took me less than 10 hours to build wordPhoto.org, which includes image uploads, thumbnail generation, email notifiers, a user login system, extensive data validation, clean urls, and various Ajax tidbits. That’s super impressive.

Two more Rails jobs: C3 MediaGroup, Sprout

Another set of companies looking to hook up with Rails developers:

  • C3 MediaGroup: Looking for e-commerce web app development and OOP/Ruby/Rails experience to develop an ecommerce component for our site using Rails.
  • Sprout: Start-up looking to hire a Rails developer for building their email-handling-for-small-companies app.

ASP.NET vs Rails analysis from a veteran

On a the topic of ASP.NET vs Ruby on Rails on the ruby-talk mailing list, Christian Romney wrote a long analysis over his experience with the two. Here’s my choice bit:

I disagree that ASP.NET is more productive than RoR. I have been FAR more productive with RoR after just a few months of learning Ruby and a few weeks of using RoR than I am with .NET even though I’ve been coding on the MS platform for 10 years, with half of that time spent almost exclusively working on web applications.

Romney especially likes Active Record and the “architectural guidance” of the framework. But there’s definitely also some love for .NET where he especially likes the transaction support and enterprise features like message queueing. Read the full thing.

43places: Where do you want to go?

The Robot Co-op follows up on 43things with 43places that narrows the scope from goal to destination. Record where you want to go, meet others with the same destination in mind, and read stories from people who’ve been. It’s a great idea. And a great follow-up to 43things. Congratulations on the launch. Now, what to do in Hawaii?