Topic: Are you sure you want to be mainstream?

While searching for an explanation to this, I came across a post on Loud Thinking titled Are you sure you want to be mainstream?.  While the title of the article feels a little too much like myself in high school, the sub-text is what interests me.

"There are enough people and businesses that depend on Rails today to ensure that it'll be surviving and thriving for many, many years to come. In other words, we have critical mass." - DHH

I've been getting excited recently about the Leopard news, and the all the articles and bashing, but it's really irrelavent because we have what we need to continue to use Rails for a long long time.  By this I mean we have the people.  RadRails is awesome, but it needs more work.  Mongrel looks very promising, but needs time to have it's own version 1.1.5 wink.  But the fact that these projects exsist and that very intelligant people are working on them tells me we have what we need.

I don't think DHH or anyone else has a choice regarding Rails' mainstream adoption, but even if we can't assimilate the world, we can at least keep ourselves happy.

/inspirational speech over

Re: Are you sure you want to be mainstream?

*clap* wink

It's nice to be able to be confident that Rails has reached critical mass, but I don't think anyone should fear the mainstream.  Mainstream adoption is only bad if you let it get bad.  As long as Rails stays in the hands of the type of people its in now, and avoids the kind of conflicts that seem to have ripped the PHP team apart recently... getting more mainstream can only mean mostly good things (like more opportunities for more people to make a living doing this stuff). smile

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Re: Are you sure you want to be mainstream?

I think the big fear I have isn't that it'll become more mainstream, it's that it'll become more corporate.

Re: Are you sure you want to be mainstream?

Kelli wrote:

I think the big fear I have isn't that it'll become more mainstream, it's that it'll become more corporate.

I think RoR would have to be more production-deployable on Windows for that to happen.

At the rate things are going, that's "never".

vinnie - rails forum admin

Re: Are you sure you want to be mainstream?

One of my biggest fears is the growth of the community. As it stands, the Rails community seems to be made up of a lot of quality coders who enjoy programming. But, I just see this mass of converts who don't care about beautiful code, conventions, or best practices. They don't program because they enjoy it, they just do whatever hackery works to get the job done and wonder why it breaks a few days later. They don't understand the code they write.

This is mostly apparent in the Rails mailing list. It has grown out of control and is near impossible to keep up with it. The quality posts are lost in the array of beginner questions who's answer is just a google away. I suppose this partly has to do with the lack of beginner-friendly documentation, but mostly I think it is the lack of effort on the beginner's side to become a quality programmer.

Sorry for the rant. There's been plenty said about this in the past so I'll stop here.

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Re: Are you sure you want to be mainstream?

@ryan - yeah I know where you're coming from on this one, I've only got into rails in the last 6-9 months so I'm hardly an early adopter but whilst the community is as strong as ever & there's loads of great innovation going on there does seem to be a lot more 'straglers' on the main mailing list

on the positive side though, I think rails (and ruby) breeds a good programming attitude and I think a lot of the people coming, from php for example, will become much better programmers thanks to the lanugage, the framework and the good example set by the rails masters

I agree with vin, until rails gains super-easy deployment to and from windows I don't see rails going mainstream

Re: Are you sure you want to be mainstream?

rails is the app to get ruby attention. How long before someone does a killer app to get wide attention for RoR. Looking at some of the work being done, it wont be terribly long in coming imho.

Total newbie over here, so l'm one of those pragmatic coders your all talking about smile And some of us do take pride in what we do, even if it's in php or .net.

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Re: Are you sure you want to be mainstream?

I'm totally with your Ryan, that mailing list looks like a sign of the apocalypse - it's nearly bursting with stupid questions (and, yes, a question is stupid if it could be answered with only a brief search on one's own).

I think we've got much more than critical mass already (Leopard kinda seals the deal there) but I think that people will use the momentum or Rails to build off of Ruby rather than corrupting or 'corporatizing' Rails.  I think our pretty little framework will be around for a long, happy time.

Re: Are you sure you want to be mainstream?

danger wrote:

I'm totally with your Ryan, that mailing list looks like a sign of the apocalypse - it's nearly bursting with stupid questions (and, yes, a question is stupid if it could be answered with only a brief search on one's own).

The problem being imho that yes you can generally find an article covering what you want to do, but quite often they are aimed at a higher level of understanding than a new comer to rails actually has.

Just asked a question in the beginner forum, and yes found a web page with a solution, but couldn't work out what the writer was on about. Hopefully someone here will answer with the intro 101 example, so at least l can get started on making it work.

Most tech forums have the same questions 1001 times, it's an artform to determine the FAQs and make tutorials or whatever about them.

Re: Are you sure you want to be mainstream?

That's why I prefer forums to mailing lists.

Rather than a mish mash of unrelated, hard-to-follow discussions clogging your inbox, you have a neat category hierarchy that keeps things ordered and organized. (And we've actaully discussed ways to improve on the system.)

Forums can keep advanced topics separate from beginner topics, making it easier for beginners to keep track of the discussions they understand and ease into the more advanced stuff, and keeping the advanced users from getting frustrated by a flood of newbie questions.

Not to mention that fact that forum discussions are threaded and easy to follow, kept perpetually in an archive, and, in most cases, searchable. smile

Josh Catone helps run this place
Rails Forum - Rails Jobs

Re: Are you sure you want to be mainstream?

But you forget about all those great tools that archive mailing lists, lol.  Just kidding, I hate those things.  It's so difficult to navigate.  Google groups is the only one worth anything.

12

Re: Are you sure you want to be mainstream?

So if Rails is now mainstream what's the latest cutting edge outcast technology because I need to stay ahead of all my friends tongue

vinnie - rails forum admin

Re: Are you sure you want to be mainstream?

vin wrote:

So if Rails is now mainstream what's the latest cutting edge outcast technology because I need to stay ahead of all my friends tongue

http://www.muppetlabs.com/~breadbox/bf/

Last edited by thabenksta (2006-08-25 11:02:40)

Re: Are you sure you want to be mainstream?

vin wrote:

So if Rails is now mainstream what's the latest cutting edge outcast technology because I need to stay ahead of all my friends tongue

A nifty penguin like mascot with a name only insiders understand ;)And just keep muttering, well if you want to keep on doing stuff like they did back in 1990.

www.movieheretic.com - Reviews, Box Office, Chat from downunder. Now with added RoR goodness, beginner stuff.

www.skinbydragonfly.com - Invision skins, graphics, i-Tab revolution.

Re: Are you sure you want to be mainstream?

Even better: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L33t_programming_language

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