Topic: Does rails still have momentum ?

Hi,

Please don't see this as flame bait. I'm just curious where rails is at in its lifecycle.

I'm relatively new to rails and ruby, so I've been playing with it in the evenings for the last year. My day job has me designing enterprise software in a large enterprise which is "pure" Java, but unofficially I write code in perl, C, C++, C#, PL/SQL, shell languages, etc. So somehow this eclectic track led me to an interest in ruby and rails.

I posted this a few days back because I've been having issues getting rails 2.2 working:

http://railsforum.com/viewtopic.php?pid=83338#p83338

Really the problem is with MySQL/Ruby, so rails true-believers have an out.

After some goofing around, I upgraded to MySQL v.5.1 which I found is not supported by the current version of MySQL/Ruby v.2.8 (it only supports up to MySQL v.5.0.51a). Now MySQL v.5.1 has been available since at least 2005, so I found it odd that it was not supported by MySQL/Ruby yet.

This led me to try integrating rails with other databases. I tried Oracle. Here again, I encountered challenges. So next I tried sqlite3. Finally, I found an installation that went seamlessly.

All this isn't a big concern because I don't have any deadlines and I'm just having fun, but this anecdote left me wondering about rails. MySQL and Oracle are pretty standard database platforms. I would think rails integration with them would be trivial, not challenging. Now this isn't any different than other languages/frameworks. However, I just thought with the perceived momentum behind rails, it would have ironed out all the integration issues with the major database platforms out there. To my surprise, this is not the case.

So this leaves me wondering ... does rails still have momentum?


VM.

Re: Does rails still have momentum ?

I looked at your other post, and don't take this as a flame, but the main problem you are having there is that you are developing on a Windoze platform. It can be done but it's a struggle. You need to install the mysql gem written in C with Rails, and on Unix that is easy, on Windoze not so much and this goes for many gems out there.

Put simply, IMHO Ruby in general and Rails in particular weren't really written for Windoze, it's not hard to find DHH's opinion of windoze and since he created Rails it's not hard to connect the dots there.

A Mac or just a plain old linux machine will see you get a lot further with Ruby as you will spend more time using it and less time just trying to get it to work.

Good Luck.

Re: Does rails still have momentum ?

Thanks Sydney. I appreciate your comments.

I was thinking Windows may be part of the problem. I work on Windows because my company gives me a Windows laptop and I'm too cheap to buy my own equipment. At work I have a desktop running Ubuntu and I typically deploy my applications on Solaris.

However, it still seems odd to me that Windows with its marketshare would be ignored by the rails and ruby community. So keeping with my original question I'm wondering if rails has lost momentum.

To explore this further, I just went to the TIOBE Programming Community Index to see where ruby is at:

http://www.tiobe.com/index.php/content/ … index.html

It seems ruby has fallen from it Dec 2007 position (from 9th to 11th place).

Is TIOBE a refection of ruby (and rails) are losing momentum?

VM

Last edited by ValuM (2008-12-23 20:44:32)

Re: Does rails still have momentum ?

I'm throwing out some more metrics to support my thinking.

It seems Windows still has about 90% of the desktop market (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_shar … ng_systems). So if you're saying rails isn't intended for Windows, then the rails community is locking out a fairly significant part of the grass-roots market. This stat may not translate to the number of developers using Windows, but its as close a stat as I could find. Based on this I'm assuming the number of developers using Microsoft is high. Much higher than Linux or Mac. If anyone can show metrics that prove otherwise, I'd like to see your numbers.

Going back to TIOBE, if you look at the top 5 programming languages, all of them except for 1 run well on all the mentioned OSes (#1 Java, #2 C, #3 C++, #4 PHP). The exception is VB (#5) which of course runs best on Windows.

Based on this I postulate rails will need to run easily on Windows before it can gather more market share and command the same attention as these other languages.

VM

Re: Does rails still have momentum ?

ValuM wrote:

I'm throwing out some more metrics to support my thinking.

It seems Windows still has about 90% of the desktop market (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_shar … ng_systems). So if you're saying rails isn't intended for Windows, then the rails community is locking out a fairly significant part of the grass-roots market. This stat may not translate to the number of developers using Windows, but its as close a stat as I could find. Based on this I'm assuming the number of developers using Microsoft is high. Much higher than Linux or Mac. If anyone can show metrics that prove otherwise, I'd like to see your numbers.

Going back to TIOBE, if you look at the top 5 programming languages, all of them except for 1 run well on all the mentioned OSes (#1 Java, #2 C, #3 C++, #4 PHP). The exception is VB (#5) which of course runs best on Windows.

Based on this I postulate rails will need to run easily on Windows before it can gather more market share and command the same attention as these other languages.

VM

My Windows Rails system has worked pretty much seamlessly from my beginning days almost one year ago (how time flies_oh!) I dream in ruby, daydream about rails. My clients adore the pace of development, in fact they seem amazed the things they ask for suddenly appear next meeting.

I have absolutely no issue with remaining on mysql 5.0 it works perfectly fine, and although I am sure someday perhaps someone will write an interface dll I just don't see the new features of 5.1 being all that urgent. Could be wrong.

So to a certain extent I suggest perhaps your personal experience isn't the norm. None of my development partners experience issues either. Sure sometimes things break if you're trying to stay on or near the Edge, but as far as I can tell it's just the normal noises.

We're on Windows because my client is 100% windows and since my app must run on Windows terminal server that's the platform I am marching with.

Love Linux, most of my clients don't. smile

Re: Does rails still have momentum ?

It seems that piracy is also losing momentum as the earth's temperature increases...

http://www.seanbonner.com/blog/archives/001857.php

...unless of course you're an unemployed Somali gunman...those guys clearly haven't seen An Inconvenient Truth.

Re: Does rails still have momentum ?

To be honest I am pro "global warming" and more mini skirts in Winter but apart from this, I don't think that running Ruby/Rails on a Windows machine is the the dealbreaker.

I spent the last 15yrs or so sitting in front of a Windoze Machine programming stuff that runs on a webserver somewhere. Whether it was Perl, ASP, PHP or whatever.

The real issue is not about using a hammer or a screwdriver to get the job done. The real issue is that times have changed and do change as we speak. (as climate has always changed and will always change).

The days of flowcharts, piles of specs, endless meetings and year long projects are gone. The market changes rapidly, the clients want to see "something" tomorrow and change specifications the next days. Ideas are to be brought to market - Now and not in 6 months.

The folks from 37Signals have put it nicely together in a reading I recommend very much:

http://gettingreal.37signals.com/toc.php

I deeply believe that rapid prototyping and agile software development is where the future is going to - simply because there is no other option.

Out there are a bunch of frameworks meeting this new needs - RoR is one (and as much as I have seen, the most convincing one) - Symfony or CakePHP are others and there are more.

I guess a lot of PHP developers will stay with symfony or something similar because it is simply more convenient. And there is nothing wrong with it. The question is therefor not: Are you using PHP or Ruby - The question is do you follow modern development principles. Are you applying MCV? DRY? etc. - Or are you still writing tons of specs and database schemes, while others have launched long ago and are already in the headlines.

And in this group you can not compare PHP vs RoR - You would have to take a look on say "symfony vs RoR" - and I have the strong feeling RoR is far ahead of all of them.

Re: Does rails still have momentum ?

Is Rails losing momentum? Well, Rails is definitely not where it was a few years ago. The Rails hype is dead. Django took over a year or two ago, and right now there is more activity in Django than in Rails. I think the publisher have stopped publishing books about Rails as well. There was a blog post about this on O'Reilly.

And PHP has come a long way since Rails was introduced. CodeIgniter, Kohana, Symfony. There are a lot of choices now...

MVC frameworks have become a standard, boring part of web development.

Re: Does rails still have momentum ?

Lastest troll post. Sigh.