Topic: When not to use Rails

As I'm new to rails and development in general I wanted to know when you wouldn't use rails. I'm looking at using rails predominatly for client web sites, ie shopping cart functionality and websites that allow an administrator to manage content. Is rails to complex for small websites? Obviously if a site was just static and no database backend then I wouldn't use rails for that site.

My question is, when wouldn't you use rails? I'm interested in hearing how others are or aren't using rails and why they came to that decision.

Last edited by sydneyfx (2007-07-18 22:06:26)

Re: When not to use Rails

Well, ultimately a person uses what they know.  Even for a fairly static site I'd be likely to use Rails because it only takes me a couple minutes to set it up and it would allow for dead-easy enhancement later on.

Re: When not to use Rails

Anything more than a few static pages and I'd consider using Rails. Oh, and I'd probably just use PHP for something like a simple contact form.

vinnie - rails forum admin

Re: When not to use Rails

Don't use Rails for an application that will be installed many many times in low traffic environments.

Rails pretty much needs to stay up and running to work properly, which constantly consumes 50-200 MB ram, depending on the fixins. This allows Rails to spit out a request in under a tenth of a second, but it also is a total waste of ram while Rails isn't spitting out requests. PHP solutions are generally more efficient in this respect.

Usually, hardware, ram, and so forth are cheaper than development time. Popular open source projects are the exception. Let's say (just making up specifics to illustrate) it takes three to four times as long to make Wordpress than a Rails counterpart, but it consumes $10 less resources per install/year. If Worpress gets installed once, the $10 is a total waste, the development time is worth way more. But after installation number 10,000 or so, you're talking about a lot of $10 and a lot of space, energy, and hardware wasted.

Re: When not to use Rails

Honestly, I'm not ready to use Rails in a major environment with millions and millions of page views.  I chose .NET for that job.  However, it has nothing to do with Rails but rather my knowledge of .NET and my lack of knowledge of Rails.

Re: When not to use Rails

I've got some quite small Rails apps hosted through Dreamhost in a shared environment and they work fine.

I recently deployed a small conference registration system in Rails - public registration with administrative back-end and it came together very very fast because of Rails. It's not complex at all, in fact, it makes things much less complex.

The alternative in a PHP world is .. either hack page scripts together and wish you had a framework, or use a framework like CakePHP and wish you had Rails smile

Hosting ~any~ system in a major environment with millions of page views is hard - nothing will let you do that out of box, so knowledge and expertise is crucial.

Toby Hede
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FiniteStateMachine - Software Development for Social Networks
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