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Article:
  What Is Ruby on Rails
Subject:   Ruby on Rails is only one option
Date:   2005-10-27 01:33:34
From:   teejay
Response to: Ruby on Rails is only one option

I'll call your bluff on this. I know Class::DBI pretty well, I use it heavily because I am Lead Developer and Maintainer of the Maypole MVC Framework :)


Class::DBI not only matches but betters ActiveRecord, the availability of plugins and subclasses offer far more than ActiveRecord can, and it offers significantly more flexibility. Not once I have I seen some Rails, catalyst or other project using an ORM feature and thought 'that is neat, I wish CDBI could do that', it is far more likely to be the otherway around.


Hibernate is also more than competitive with ActiveRecord, if very different.


Furthermore Rails templating system simply cannot match Template Toolkit. Template Toolkit has been around for years longer, has dozens of plugins and even books about it.


Rails doesn't deliver best-of-breed anything, or break new ground other than in marketing and killer apps.


Once the hype of the type in this article dies down, Rails will have to compete on it's merits and is likely to be found wanting by users who have tried the alternatives.

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  • Curt Hibbs photo Ruby on Rails is only one option
    2005-10-27 04:07:09  Curt Hibbs | O'Reilly AuthorO'Reilly Blogger [View]

    > Class::DBI not only matches but betters
    > ActiveRecord, the availability of plugins and
    > subclasses offer far more than ActiveRecord can,
    > and it offers significantly more flexibility.

    Fair enough.

    > Hibernate is also more than competitive with
    > ActiveRecord, if very different.

    Hibernate is more flexible than ActiveRecord. This is both its blessing (when you need it) and its curse (when you don't).

    > Furthermore Rails templating system simply
    > cannot match Template Toolkit. Template Toolkit
    > has been around for years longer, has dozens of
    > plugins and even books about it.

    The point is not being best-of-breed. The point is being focused on its target and avoiding feature feature creep.

    > Rails doesn't deliver best-of-breed anything,
    > or break new ground other than in marketing and
    > killer apps.

    Yes and no. I clearly stated in this article that Rails doesn't do anything new, in and of itself. What is new is its targeted, focused approach with all layers provided in a seamlessly matched set. It may not sound like much, but the synergy this achieves has a tremendous effect on productivity.

    > Once the hype of the type in this article dies
    > down, Rails will have to compete on it's merits
    > and is likely to be found wanting by users who
    > have tried the alternatives.

    The first part has aready happenned. It has been tried by many who have used the alternatives. For type type of web app Rails targets, it has not not been found wanting -- to the contrary, it has been found to be a competitive advantage.
  • Ruby on Rails is only one option
    2005-10-27 01:47:20  teejay [View]

    A useful for for comparing Rails and Hibernate is at http://theserverside.com/articles/article.tss?l=RailsHibernate
    comparing Class::DBI at the same time shows AR offers nothing C::DBI doesn't do, and that CDBI options bring it closer to matching some of Hibernates features than AR.