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Monday, June 02, 2008

Rails - ghetto blasted?

Ever since Zed Shaw published his iconic post, "Rails is a ghetto", it's become super-hip to hate Ruby on Rails, along with iPods, Prius', and anything else that reeks of hipster fad-ism. Thanks to reddit (a site I rarely read due to the oversaturation of Ron Paul stories and cynical ranting), I stumbled across this rant about MagLev.

To be fair, I hadn't heard of MagLev before this article, and I haven't seen the presentation, since I wasn't at RailsConf (maybe next year). I was hoping for a quick rundown of what MagLev was, and perhaps some of the flaws this particular author saw in it.

He mentioned a few of the features of MagLev in passing: a shared memory cache, an OODB... well, that's it. No real description of the project.

Basically, I can sum up his entire rant in one sentence: "A 60x speedup over rails? Yeah, right." You could twitter that. Instead, a long-winded rant made its way so far up reddit that it appeared on popurls.

Honestly, I'm tired of reading speculation, guessing, and half-assed reasoning as to why Rails and any of its derived technology sucks. Will every Rails app that scales have the same kinds of issues as Twitter? I doubt it. I'm willing to bet there are certain applications where Rails is an ideal framework for building webapps, and quite a few situations where Rails is the wrong way to go.

What I would like to read, from the rails-hating community (which is now a popular clique in its own right), is an informative post detailing what problems Rails has that other platforms do not. Specific comparisons to other MVC frameworks like Django or Cake would be great - even other backends like Grails or some Java-based thingy would be cool, too. Also, delving into the C basis of Ruby and Rails for some actual snippets that seem flawed would be very informative.

For now, I'm going to go ahead and keep using Rails until it no longer seems like a great platform for the projects I'm working on.

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