Forum: Ruby on Rails Any switchers from mod_perl

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Charlie Garrison (Guest)
on 2005-12-29 08:42
(Received via mailing list)
Good afternoon,

I have been developing in mod_perl for many years, and my livelihood is
based on
being productive with it. I've spent the past week reading and testing
RoR and
it does look good. But before I take the plunge for my next project, I
was
hoping to hear from other mod_perl switchers.

One of the main reasons I like mod_perl is code flexibility. I like
being able
to insert code into any of Apache's request phases. I like the code base
available through CPAN. I like the execution speed of registry scripts
and
mod_perl handlers. And maybe most importantly, I like my comfort in
working with
a 'known' entity and refined coding style (iow, I've been using it for
so many
years it has become an old & dear friend). (For small apps, I generally
use
CGI::Application and HTML::Template along with DBI/DBD::mysql. For
larger
projects, I use whatever I feel is appropriate, probably not CGI::App.)

I'm concerned I might lose to much of what I'm used to in switching to
RoR. I
can see what I would gain by switching, but what would I lose?

For example, I haven't yet worked out the flow from page to another (in
RoR)
when there are validation errors. I have a well-tested methodology when
using
CGI::App's run modes (along with Data::FormValidator). RoR also seems to
make a
lot of DBI calls when creating (& populating) ActiveRecord objects. And
that
seems to be compounded when multiple components are called in one
request cycle.
Eg. if I have a LoginUser object; it seems to get re-created when I
redirect
from one page/component to another.

Any comments or pointers to documentation for switchers would be greatly
appreciated. I have looked at alternative languages many times over the
years,
and I've never gotten even close to switching from mod_perl. So getting
this
close with RoR is sort of exciting.

Thanks,
Charlie
Tom M. (Guest)
on 2005-12-29 10:28
(Received via mailing list)
Hello Charlie.

I've written several major apps in mod_perl. The most notable one was
over 60,000
lines of OO Perl. I *love* Perl and everything about it.

I've used mod_perl for the reasons that you've stated. Changing the
way that Apache
works is quite heady, and sometimes quite useful.

The reason that I'm a RoR switcher (and I'm converting a mod_perl app
to RoR as my
first project as we exchange emails) is for all the reasons that
you've stated! :-)

 From my perspective, the "problem" with Perl, Python, PHP, or
basically any and all
historical web development environments is that they came to us piece
by piece, generally
made useful by cobbled together modules (CPAN) of competing designs
and implementations
of templating systems (HTML::Template, Text::Template, Template
Toolkit, Roll your own)
application structures (Mason, CGI::App, Roll your own) session
handlers (Apache::Session,
CGI::App::Session, Roll your own), and object-relational mappers
(Alzabo, Class::DBI,
Roll your own).

RoR is a coherent snapshot of a single person's vision of how web
apps should be
written. Most things are different, many things are strange
(particularly at first)
but *everything* is included, and works together, and *hangs*
together due to that
single vision. It's this single mindedness that makes RoR brilliant,
and it seeps
out in so many ways that you've already noticed.

Imagine rewinding your many years of mod_perl experience, knowing
then what you know
now, and having everyone else in the mod_perl community in agreement
on all subsystems
from session, object-relational mapping, form validation, application
structure (MVC).

Imagine how easy it would be to maintain those years worth of apps,
and to get people
to help with those old apps, and new ones too. That's my future with
RoR, I'm absolutely
certain of it.

RoR isn't about Ruby. It's about the big picture, and the powerful
opinions that DHH
has loosed on the world. I'm glad he picked Ruby, because if he had
implemented on
something else, the message would have been diluted because it would
have been just
another cog in the machine.

--
-- Tom M.
Charlie Garrison (Guest)
on 2005-12-29 16:24
(Received via mailing list)
Good morning,

On 29/12/05 at 12:25 AM -0800, Tom M. <removed_email_address@domain.invalid>
wrote:

>The reason that I'm a RoR switcher (and I'm converting a mod_perl app
>to RoR as my first project as we exchange emails) is for all the
>reasons that you've stated! :-)

I still haven't decided yet whether to take the plunge, but I will
decide within
the next 24 hours.

Your description of (& experience with) mod_perl sounds very familiar to
me. And
your explanation of why RoR is so good also makes sense. My eyes are
blurry from
another long day of reading & experimenting; I guess I'll sleep on it
(one more
time) and get started with my next project tomorrow, hopefully with RoR.

One stumbling block I had was choice of text editor. My testing so far
was using
TextMate, and I can see why people like it. But giving up BBEdit really
is not
an option for me, and I just found the Ruby language module for BBEdit
(yay).

Thanks for your feedback on both mod_perl and RoR; it has helped me feel
more
comfortable with my decision-making process.

If anyone else has any mod_perl comments/comparisons, I'd love to hear
them.

Thanks,
Charlie
Tom M. (Guest)
on 2005-12-29 18:04
(Received via mailing list)
On Dec 29, 2005, at 6:20 AM, Charlie Garrison wrote:

> far was using
> TextMate, and I can see why people like it. But giving up BBEdit
> really is not
> an option for me, and I just found the Ruby language module for
> BBEdit (yay).

Funny. I was a huge BBEdit guy, but after using TextMate there's no
going back
for me. TextMate has more key commands, better Services integration,
better
replacement macros, more key commands, costs less, tastes better, etc.

Heck, a new version of TextMate costs less than a BBEdit upgrade!

What makes BBEdit irreplaceable for you? All the things that I
thought were
missing at first ended up being there, just hiding a bit.

Oh, the file drawer rocks, BTW. :-)

--
-- Tom M.
Charlie Garrison (Guest)
on 2005-12-30 06:24
(Received via mailing list)
Good afternoon,

On 29/12/05 at 8:03 AM -0800, Tom M. <removed_email_address@domain.invalid>
wrote:

>Funny. I was a huge BBEdit guy, but after using TextMate there's no
>going back for me. TextMate has more key commands, better Services
>integration, better replacement macros, more key commands, costs less,
>tastes better, etc.

What sort of extra key commands, since all the menu items in BBEdit can
be
customised. I never (or almost never) use services.

What are replacement macros? Are they the same as snippets? If so, what
do they
offer that is better than BBEdit glossary items?

>Heck, a new version of TextMate costs less than a BBEdit upgrade!

Cost doesn't bother me too much since it's only a small part of
'computing'
expenses. But if cost was an important factor, then I choose BBEdit
since I've
already paid for it.

>What makes BBEdit irreplaceable for you? All the things that I thought
>were missing at first ended up being there, just hiding a bit.

I have so much of my muscle memory, AppleScripts, etc tied to BBEdit.
Also,
having features (such as toggle comments) hidden in TextMate doesn't
make it
easy to switch. It took me days before I could figure out how to do
something as
simple as toggle comments (no apparent menu command for it). I still
haven't
worked out dragging text; it keeps ending up somewhere other than where
I want
it. I don't like the tabbed browsing; I much prefer the document drawer.
I can't
find anything close to the HTML editing tools that BBEdit supplies.

But primarily, I'm very happy with BBEdit and see no reason to learn
another
text editor if I don't need to. The only thing I've seen with TextMate
that I
would like to see in BBEdit is code folding, and I can live without
that.

>Oh, the file drawer rocks, BTW. :-)

I like the file drawer, but not enough to prefer it over the document
drawer of
BBEdit.

I could probably be convinced to switch, but right now I'm not even
close to
being willing to give up BBEdit.


Charlie
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