Eric Meyer about frameworks (Rails, too)


for those of you who haven’t read:

““Oh”, they gush, “you should absolutely try Ruby on Rails! It’s so
easy! It’s almost like writing regular English!” Which means they’re
clearly on crack, because Ruby on Rails is so very different from a
human-written language that the few ways in which it sort of resembles
prose, assuming you look at it under a dim light through a heavily
fractured fresnel lens, serve only to confuse me further.”


Curt H. has the best analogy to explain Rails. PHP is like a point
and click camera while Rails is an advanced SLR, if you don’t know how
to photograph then having a professional equipment only makes things
more confusing, but if you’ve been photographing for years and know
how painful it is to take professional photos with a point and click
then of course your love for the SLR will be enthusiastic.

This isn’t to say that life has changed at all for the point and click
crowd. With all due respect to Eric Meyers, I love his work in CSS
and I wish I understood it all but “big heaps of BASIC and Turbo
PASCAL 4.5” does not a programmer in 2006 make. We’ve gone through a
lot of effort to solve our OWN problems, we haven’t solved everybody’s
yet, and maybe our excitement would lead people to believe we have.

Rails is not easy and it’s not magic either, you have to put a lot of
time in to learn it. The same can be said for CSS. Building web apps
is incredible complex.

Tim C.
[email protected]

i think the core of his problem in his own words is:

“I feel like thereâ??s some very basic, fundamental, obvious thing that
Iâ??m missing, but I donâ??t even have the necessary level of knowledge to
frame the right question.”

just pick a book and study, geesh.

On 5/13/06, Beate P. [email protected] wrote:


for those of you who haven’t read:

If you’re going to point to that post, you should also mention the

Billy M.
Smart Goat Web Design

This is endemic of those who write “just enough code to be dangerous.”
Now, if you were to say, “hey Eric, I just don’t grok this CSS purity
stuff. I’m a reasonably good HTML programmer and even used Notepad quite
a bit in my day” (paraphrasing his PHP comment), I suggest you’d be
playing in his sandbox and get a very impassioned response about why
his area of expertise matters.

I’ve been dealing with frameworks for years and the realization I came
to is that there is nothing you can do using a sound, tested, robust
framework that you can’t also do using lots of lines of spaghetti Basic.
This is to say that if you don’t see the benefits of the framework and
think you can write all the code justfinethankyou, then you aren’t
going to come around soon.

Rails is not mass hysteria. Neither are all the other frameworks 90%+ of
the professional software developers in the world rely on. There are
Java frameworks, C++ frameworks, Python framworks, and you name it. Why?
Because software would take far longer to build, without frameworks; it
would be inherently more flawed because each new project would be
essentially new code; Web 2.0 would grind to a screeching halt.

Frameworks are about leveraging investment and capturing common cases in
base, tested, optimized code. DRY.

Of some concern is the “me too … i don’t get it either” set of

Is it really possible that someone would feel absolutely comfortable
with the notion of memorizing all the CSS rules, cross-browser
idiosyncracies, and hacky work-arounds, yet at the same time feel the
learning curve on an application framework is too steep?

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