.NET'ers tell Scoble why they left for Rails

Microsoft’s Robert Scoble is concerned about the exodus of developers like Phil Ripperger that are leaving .NET for Ruby on Rails. Phil put it like this:

Scoble, as a web developer who is now doing freelance work for a living, my framework of choice is Ruby on Rails. Mostly for the reasons listed here. And also because Microsoft’s web development technologies have lost their appeal. I can remember being blown away by ASP.NET when I first saw it. I now feel even more strongly about Rails. And when I talk to businesses and friends who are developers, I make sure they know about Rails.

Sure, I know about the new Visual Studio, ASP.NET 2.0, the new SharePoint, and the new SQL Server. And I just don’t care. Microsoft needs to capture some of the 360 magic and use it on their web development technology or they will continue to lose developers like me.

Scoble is inviting people to tell him and Microsoft why .NET and family just isn’t doing it for them any more. If you have a good story to share, do let them know.

How picking Rails over Java affects bidding

Stuart Halloway explains in numbers how picking Rails over Java affects the bids he puts in for consulting jobs. Since the actual programming is only one part of the bid, Rails naturally only has a chance to affect that part. But still, the approach that Stuart takes in differentiating between the two is quite interesting.

For applications that Justin consider “within the sweet spot of Rails”, the bid will usually be 30-50% lower. For stuff outside that sweet spot, the bid will still be about 10% lower than the equivalent Java one.

New book: Rails Recipes by Chad Fowler

Chad Fowler threw off his Enterprise shackles a while back and ventured into a new and better life doing Ruby on Rails full time. As the co-founder of RubyCentral, co-creator of RubyGems, and co-organizer of RubyConf and RailsConf, Chad is seriously well positioned to teach you a thing or two about Ruby and Rails.

And that’s exactly what Rails Recipes is all about. Small, concrete guides to doing specific things with Ruby on Rails. And at projected 350 pages, it’s going to be packed with goodies for sure. I’ll be working together with Chad to ensure that the recipes include a good number of 37signals favorites, so you can benefit from all the tips and tricks that make Basecamp, Backpack, and the rest of the suite sing.

Chad is aiming to have Rails Recipes out as a beta book on February 1st.

Rails training in Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Seattle

Marcel Molina’s Ruby on Rails Bootcamp was a sell-out smash hit at the Big Nerd Ranch a while back, so they’ve reeled him back in for another show going March 6th through 10th. Last time, Marcel even showed off lots of fancy new 1.1 features even before the official 1.0 release was dry. So you know its bound to be good next time as well.

But if Atlanta or a whole week isn’t your game, Geoffrey Grosenbach is doing a 3-day Rails training course in Seattle on January 23rd and Los Angeles on January 30th. Geoffrey is the man behind the Rails Podcast, Nuby on Rails, and the wonderful sparklines package.

Ruby for Rails: Ruby techniques for Rails developers

David A. Black is a pillar in the Ruby community, a co-founder of RubyCentral, toastmaster at RubyConf, and an all-round awesome Ruby programmer and friend. I’m very pleased to see that Manning went ahead with his “Ruby for Rails” proposal and now advertises the book for release in April.

This is an important book for the growth of Ruby on Rails as a platform. Lots of people are learning Rails first and then diving into Ruby as they need to. This book will target exactly that kind of people. Someone who’s getting into Ruby because of Rails and then wants to know more about the language as they progress.

Manning puts the pitch like this:

A new level of programming power and versatility awaits Ruby on Rails developers who master not only the conventions of Rails but the workings of the Ruby language itself. Because Rails itself and all Rails applications are written in Ruby, the knowledge of Ruby this book gives you will dramatically improve your Rails programming. You’ll gain an intimate understanding of how familiar Rails idioms actually work. And you’ll find expanded possibilities for your applications using custom-written Ruby.

The other great thing about this book is that it’ll most likely be available as a PDF. Like the Pragmatic Bookshelf, Manning has long been pushing ebooks, which means its one of the only publishers I’ll actually pick up titles from on a regular basis. Hopefully “Ruby for Rails” marks just the beginning of a broader selection that goes beyond the almost Java-exclusive focus they’ve had in the past.

So if this sounds intriguing, please do sign up to be alerted of the books release. I’m sure Manning is using interest like that to determine how to proceed with further projects in the Ruby world.

RailsConf 2006: Now accepting talk proposals

Crack your knuckles — Chad Fowler has announced that talk proposals are now being accepted for RailsConf 2006. Talks are around 50 minutes each, and speakers will receive free admission to the conference.

Don’t miss your chance to speak at what’s shaping up to be one of the most important gatherings of the year. Submit your proposal now (and subscribe to the RailsConf RSS if you haven’t already).

Rails 1.0: Party like it's one oh oh!

15 months after the first public release, Rails has arrived at the big 1.0. What a journey! We’ve gone through thousands of revisions, tickets, and patches from hundreds of contributors to get here. I’m incredibly proud at the core committer team, the community, and the ecosystem we’ve raised around this framework.

Rails 1.0 is mostly about making all the work we’ve been doing solid. So it’s not packed with new features over 0.14.x, but has spit, polish, and long nights applied to iron out kinks and ensure that it works mostly right, most of the time, for most of the people. Yes, we still have pending tickets, but we will always have pending tickets. If I had accepted that fact back in February, we would probably have been at 2.0 now ;).

Alongside 1.0, we’ve also been working on a new web site, which premieres today as well. It’s a 37signals-powered redesign that streamlines and decrufts us into a much cleaner profile that hopefully will make it even easier for people to get excited and try out Ruby on Rails. It’s online at www.rubyonrails.org and includes two brand new screencasts.

So this is a major milestone for Rails, but we’ve not even begun to think about slowing down. Rails 1.1 is already pretty far along in development and will see some of the biggest upgrades of any Rails release. Hopefully some time in February. But in the mean time, enjoy one oh!

To install Rails 1.0:

gem install rails —include-dependencies

To learn about upgrading a Rails application not already running 0.14.x: Upgrade to 1.0

The only thing you need to do to upgrade from 0.14.x is update your Javascripts using “rake update_javascripts”. You’ll be rocking along with Scriptaculous 1.5 and Prototype 1.4.

Happy 1.0, everyone!

Rails Studio: Dave Thomas and Mike Clark hits Denver

The first Rails Studio was a sell-out, run-away success, so naturally Dave Thomas and Mike Clark are up for it again. This time they’re hitting Denver, Colorado from January 19th through 21st. So if you’d like to learn Rails from two of the best instructors in the business, sign up today. They might not have seats for you next week!