How I learned to let go, and got back on the rails

Posted on 05 Jun 2011

Many many years ago I produce a website in Rails. It was OK. I certainly didn’t totally hate it. That was back in the very early days of Rails 1. The website did ticketing for a one off event and it ran quite nicely once I’d fought a bit with apache. Once the event was over, and the hangover cleared (I got paid in tickets) I put Rails back in a box marked ‘for hipsters and web-designers’ and went quietly on my way back to PHP, Java, and all that lot.

So several years passed by, and I found my self at a conference talking to people about actual proper development work involving large chunks of extremely sensitive and complex data (we’re not talking about tweets here). I was surprised to find out they were producing the whole thing with ruby on rails, and planning all sorts of fancy integration, even portlet spec stuff and thinking in enterprise scale reliability.

One of the things I like about rails, and also one of the things I hate about it is that it’s proponents just have to change everything. Coffee script is now a default, haml, sass, come on… these are solved problems! Or are they? I’ll hand it to them,

I know you’re not forced to do it their way all the time, which is nice, but let’s face it, framework users tend to tend to their defaults, unless they really really like spending their time making glue and fighting dependency battles.

In any case, with a few weeks back on the rails, I’m finding it to be one of the fastest prototyping framework I’ve found.

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profile for Simon Elliston Ball at Stack Overflow, Q&A for professional and enthusiast programmers