For some reason our local java users group, SACJUG, wandered onto a discussion of Rails. As is not unusual in the .NET/Java camps Ruby and Rails are none to popular for some reason. The three reasons that got discussed were:
- Sure Ruby on Rails works for small apps, but when you’re talking about large applications with 20+ domain objects it just doesn’t work/scale.
- RubyC is just way to slow, and who wants to scale with hardware.
- The Active Record patter isn’t really an ORM layer, and it just doesn’t jive well with domain driven design.
Ignorance of course is bliss as almost no one had tried out Rails and only a few had seen some demos. For me I never see the point of getting really defensive about new options outside the core language I happen to get paid for currently. I think I might need to sign up for a short Rails demo so at least they can see how nice the productivity gains are. Maybe find a way to show a quick load test as well.
As a Websphere shop we acquired licenses to IBM’s nascent ESB product, Websphere Process Server about a year ago. Since that time only one developer at the company, our architect, has been able to successfully develop anything with it.
The partial secret to getting it up and running successfully was revealed to me recently. Another developer kept asking our architect if he was getting a number of random crashes, constant slowdowns, and was unable to run even an email client and Process Server/WID on his machine. Turns out our architect never runs it on his main machine. He has a dedicated box with 4GB of RAM that only runs Process Server. Mystery resolved. Maybe when we get to refresh our dev boxes we might actually be capable of running Process Server successfully.
I stumbled across a post by Mike Clark on rcov and how easy it was to get code coverage metrics. I’d installed rcov 0.6 like a year ago and it took forever to run and had other issues so I dropped any idea of seriously using it. Now trying 0.7 it appears to run perfectly well. So if you’re like me and really like coverage tools like Clover in the Java/.NET land rcov 0.7 appears to be a keeper.
Software Engineering Radio is a fairly heady podcast on computing topics. I’ve left it on my list for a long time even if I end up skipping through the occasional episode that delves into too many details on Remoting or Model Driven Development. Lately though I’ve really enjoyed their turn towards more interviews with people like Guy Steele working on a Fortran replacement or Werner Vogels of Amazon talking about massive scaling approaches. Might give it a try if you have some available listening time.
Turns out the first developer in our organization to actually bring in Rails and use it for something real is a Unix sysadmin. He needed to transform a spreadsheet of inventory into a little web based system and he had heard some stuff about Ruby on Rails and wanted to try it out. 8 hours later he had popped out his first app to replace a spreadsheet. And this is coming cold from no background in Ruby. He’s pretty jazzed about how nice and productive it is for web applications.