Forum: Ruby on Rails [REQ] Document, post, DHH talk about "Why Rails ?"

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Mathieu C. (Guest)
on 2006-01-05 18:44
(Received via mailing list)
Hello,

I'm writing internal slides (fr government) presenting RoR, perhaps
soon in CC licence.

Can you point me to some reference where "Rails History" or "Why DHH
choose to develop is "own" Framework" are discuted ?

In fact I try to answer the background question "Why another framework
?"

Thanks!

Ciao'
Justin F. (Guest)
on 2006-01-06 16:42
(Received via mailing list)
Mathieu C. wrote:

> I'm writing internal slides (fr government) presenting RoR, perhaps
> soon in CC licence.
>
> Can you point me to some reference where "Rails History" or "Why DHH
> choose to develop is "own" Framework" are discuted ?
>
> In fact I try to answer the background question "Why another framework ?"

I recommend that you watch the "Roskilde '04: Introducing Rails" movie,
which you will find at the bottom of the screencasts and presentations
page,

   http://rubyonrails.org/screencasts

It's big (160MB) - I suggest you download it and watch a local copy, as
you will probably want to refer to it repeatedly.

It's long (two hours), and only parts of it relate to your request, but
it made a big impression on me when I first saw it.

It's old - it comes from mid-2004, the time when Rails was in beta
testing before becoming open (you can see the announcement here:
http://www.loudthinking.com/arc/000219.html) - but for your purposes
this is a Good Thing: it shows history in the making, rather than giving
a retrospective and possibly sanitised account.

In it, David explains the nature and philosophy of Basecamp, the type of
team and (trans-Atlantic) collaboration that created it, and that design
can be quick, clean, and just-in-time. He covers the use of MVC in Rails
(unlike typical use of PHP), the full-stack nature of Rails (unlike Java
frameworks), and how well Ruby is suited to the job (David initially
wrote a similar framework in PHP, and had to use preprocessing to
achieve results that are easy to achieve dynamically, with a fraction of
the code, in Ruby). In the last part he does some hands-on development
with Rails. When I first saw this, after five years working on Java/J2EE
web applications, the sheer speed of development and debugging amazed
me.

Watching it again after a year in which I have had some hands-on
exposure to Rails, differences jump out - David was using XCode then,
rather than TextMate, and using Apache/CGI for development (I think
Rails was much smaller and faster to load then), and Apache/mod_ruby for
production. But nearly all of the presentation is still valid today.

regards

   Justin
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