What Is Ruby on Rails
Subject:   Ruby on Rails is only one option
Date:   2005-10-27 04:07:09
From:   curth
Response to: Ruby on Rails is only one option

> 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.

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  • Ruby on Rails is only one option
    2005-10-27 05:32:20  teejay [View]

    I think you confused Class::DBI for DBI earlier in the thread. For the sake of clarity - Ruby's DBI is a clone of Perl's DBI. ActiveRecord is a fairly run of the mill ORM which clones Class::DBI.

    I think all of the MVC frameworks written in dynamic languages offer a clean and well integrated set with varying levels of polish. Maypole certainly provides seamless working in it's default combination of Maypole/CDBI/TT and also Maypole/CDBI/Mason.

    I think the synergy you describe is certainly available in any decent MVC framework.

    The biggest deal for me about Rails is it's highly polished marketing, documentation and evangelism, combined with a handful of well designed and good looking applications.

    People moving from Java and PHP backgrounds will certainly see a productivity gain for smaller projects (I think for larger more complex applications Java would be equally productive for different reasons), but that isn't the case for those comparing Maypole or Catalyst to Rails.

    In fact as far as I know, nobody has even mentioned switching to Rails from Maypole or even compared them, the only defectors we have had have been to Catalyst.

    Right now, there simply isn't much of a reason to move from any MVC to another - they all provide their own advantages and I don't think we'll see much of the switching you seem to think is happening.