[DrunkAndRetired.com Podcast] Episode 09 – What Sucks About Ruby on Rails

In this episode we talk more about the problems with Ruby on Rails, along with some discusion of extending Xerces to get some basic JavaScript stuff tested.

Feel free to send feedback to the comments below, or email either audio recordings or comments.

Thanks to Zane Rockenbaugh of Liquid Labs for hosting the MP3s for us with his mega-pipe to the ‘net.

(This episode was edited by Charles.)

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  1. It is a fairly wide spread understanding that Rails is not intended to solve all types of problems. The issues that you bring up (and btw, from what I could follow of your transaction rant, you misunderstand the transactional capabilities) are not really in scope for 90% of app dev goin on. Do I care about getting another ‘copy’ of an object or object graph? Not usually.Keep things in context. Rails is great for a large portion of projects. When you need all the weight and sophistication of the J2EE stack (for instance)…it is there.

  2. You claim that I do not understand the transaction functionality in rails. I think I do. Perhaps you could substantiate your claim with evidence?I say up front many, many times that I think rails (circa 0.13) is great for simple, data driven user apps like wikis, blogs, CMSes, rss feeds. These probably do, as you say, account for 90% or more of the applications one is likely to encounter. I even spent a goodly portion of time praising it as a wonderful platform for doing so. Let me say again: this is not a value judgement against rails. I do not think it is a “bad” technology. Just because I have a stereo, does not mean I dislike my iPod.But the context of the discussion from the outset was “Rails as It Pertains to Developing Enterprise Software.” As such the question I’m trying to answer, is, “what is rails going to give you when you try and tackle that 10%?”, not “is rails probably gonna be good enough for most of the stuff you’ll wanna do?” That’s been covered a million, billion times over anywhere you care to look on the internet. Example:Do I care about getting an extra copy of the object 90% of the time? Like you, the answer is no, but when I do, I really do. 100% of its features are what make an application after all. What’s more: I want it to happen in a clean way, and that requires alot of non-trivial programming for me to do to get it right. I have worked with proprietary, in-house frameworks that give this to you for free, at no extra cost to you, the programmer. I do not know from personal experience whether j2ee provides this, though it is purported to do so.Nor am I speaking from a position of ignorance here. I didn’t just “try out” rails, or put together a toy application. I spent 4 months doing fulltime development on a real application. The things I talk about are things I forsee being a problem. They were a problem. On the whole, using rails was very pleasurable, but it could also be supremely frustrating, especially when I was spending 95% of my time, dealing with 5% of cases where its model wase over-simple..you say:When you need all the weight and sophistication of the J2EE stack (for instance)…it is there.No. It’s not. For reasons I discuss in the podcast.I see no reason why it can’t get there, and, in fact, it probably will. So relax, ruby development is about pleasure after all. If you wanna be a hero, and famous in the open source community, maybe you could do it yourself…

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