\'It\'s like your programming back in Assembly\'

Shanti A. Braford is being forced back into PHP after getting jiggy with Ruby on Rails. He’s not liking it one bit:

Programming a web application in PHP feels a lot like reinventing the wheel, after having learned Ruby on Rails… Welcome to the world of a Rails developer who has drunk the Kool-Aid but has gone back to the world of PHP. You’re used to things just working so easily and intuitively, like magic almost, yet they don’t anymore… It’s like your programming back in Assembly after learning a high-level language like Java or something.

With this level of discontent, I sure hope he has deeper reasons for going back than not wanting to make a Ebay WS wrapper (should hardly take more than a few hours, tops) and a responder to a DHTML cropper (RMagick is wonderful).

Is the trade really worth it, Shanti?

'I set out to prove those Rails folks wrong'

Steven R. Baker was “…depressed by web development”, but he also pretty sure that “…sophisticated applications wouldn’t be any easier to build with Rails”. So what did he do? He gave it a try:

So I did what any self-respecting skeptic would do: I set out to prove those Rails folks wrong. I was asked to write a web application for customer and work order management. I decided that this would be a good chance to learn Rails, and prove those Rails folks wrong. Rolling with Ruby on Rails told me that I would write web applications ten times faster using Rails. I prepared a schedule as though I was writing the app with PHP, and quoted my client one quarter of the estimated time (three weeks). In the space of that three weeks I went from having not written a line of Ruby outside of text book examples, to developing a fully functioning (and mostly tested) Rails application for a client.

The borg is at work. Baker finishes off with:

In mid January, I set out to prove those rails folks wrong. Now I’m one of them. Prove me wrong.

'Broke down, saw the light, whatever you want to call it'

Rails is certainly going through rapid improvement. Marcel Molina used to joke on #rubyonrails that he was so busy refactoring his application to take advantage of all the new goodies coming out that he didn’t have time to do any real work.

The rapid improvement is increasing the number of people for whom Rails hits the sweet spot, though. Kellan Elliot-McCrea from LaughingMeme writes:

Broke down, saw the light, whatever you want to call it, but I finally whipped up my first Rails app last night.

When I first looked at Rails a few months ago, I liked what I saw but was frustrated by the extreme magicalness of the framework which baked a number of assumptions into your app I wasn’t willing to concede. Turns out Rails hit the sweet spot of being good enough, the sweet spot where people pile on and the framework has improved rapidly.

Did you look at Rails a few months ago and decided it wasn’t you yet? Perhaps it is now.

ruby-lang.org is getting redesigned!

I’m exceedingly happy to see the rapid progress of the team appointed to redesign ruby-lang.org. The old website served us well, but this redesign is going to make it even easier to declare 2005 The Year of Ruby.

While both designs are great, I’ve already fallen in love with John’s “Ruby Red” 3.0. The gem is beautiful, the composition is great, and hey, it features Rails on the front page ;). Nix the scoped search into just a single search box and add the participation stuff from clean and we’re definitely rolling.

Congrats to _why and the rest of the team behind this!

The story behind Rails at O'Reilly

Jason Fried from 37signals talks about the origins of Rails with Marc Hedlund from O’Reilly:

Ruby on Rails is the open source web application framework we extracted from Basecamp. When we built Basecamp we didn’t know we were building Rails at the same time, but that’s exactly how it happened. Basecamp came first; Rails was born from Basecamp. Basecamp was the divine chicken, Rails was the egg.

I had some natural hesitation about using Ruby at first (“What the #@!* is Ruby?”“Why don’t we just use PHP—it served us well before?”), but David cogently made the case and I bought it. I’m thrilled with the results.

I’m sure a few of the readers here are thankful that Jason decided to trust yours truly and bet on Ruby :)

Rails developer with Java chops wanted

Jason Wong from ionami in San Francisco wants to hire a Rails developer with Java chops to help him through the transition from Java to Ruby on Rails:

ionami is looking for one part time (20 hrs/week) with a migration to full time work, for a maintenance and development position. Here’s the catch. You have to know Java really well, and know your way around Oracle. Additionally, XML, XSLT, and JS would be helpful. Our client is expanding, and the work is heavy Java, but I’m also migrating the rest of our shop work to Ruby on Rails, where possible. We just acquired our first Fortune 500 Rails customer. So if you have Java chops, and want to do Rails work, send a resume to jobs at ionami dot com.

Swiss InfoWeek looking for Rails writers

Editor Andreas Ahlenstorf would like to print an article on Rails in the Swiss IT magazine InfoWeek:

I’m looking for somebody who would like to write an article about
Ruby on Rails for the swiss IT magazine InfoWeek, best one of Rails’
core developers :). The article must be written in german, so it
would be helpful if it’s somebody from Switzerland, Germany or even
Austria. Do you know one person in your team who’s predestinated to
do that?

Do you know Rails? And can write a readable German? Then get in contact with Andreas right away and help him increase the awareness of Ruby on Rails in Switzerland.

Collective Prose: Picture a coffee shop..

Vinu Murugesan just launched a Collective Prose. A pretty interesting application for experimenting with collaborative writing:

Collective Prose is a place “where you can share your thoughts, learn new things, tell stories, and share insight.” Anyone can share their thoughts by writing posts. Collective Prose uses tags to categorize these posts which makes finding related content easy. Also, people can save posts they find interesting so that they may get back to them later

Murugesan did Collective Prose with Ruby on Rails and tells his story in Building Web applications intelligently.

Let's Ajax, baby!

Just a heads-up. Honey, the next application from 37signals, is using a lot of Ajax techniques to get a spiffy and responsive interface. I’m already well underway in the process of refining the techniques and they’re just about ripe for extraction into Rails. Before Rails go 1.0, it’ll be the framework with the easiest support for Ajax on the block.