Is Ruby RAILS really suitable for modern Web Development?


#1

I have been reading through RAILS and builing the Depot Application
ect. And been very impressed with the RAILS framework.

But I cannot help feeling that I seem to be writing a lot of HTML
fragements and <% Ruby inserts for realisable web pages, when I move
away from the scaffold. What Web design Editors do people use with
RAILS development ?

With the MVC concept and heavy use of HTML, I am having doubts that
this is the way to develop those compelling highly graphical web pages.
I can use AJAX and RAILS on the server side, but if I want dynamic
graphics I still need heavy JavaScript, Flash or Java Applet code on
the client side. In which case I don’t see where RAILS fits in. So I
am comming to the conclusion that RAILS is really for Server side
development for the 90% of ‘typical’, and rather dreary, web
applications development.

Just my views/ feelings so far.

Jules


#2

On 1/8/06, Jules removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

I have been reading through RAILS and builing the Depot Application
ect. And been very impressed with the RAILS framework.

But I cannot help feeling that I seem to be writing a lot of HTML
fragements and <% Ruby inserts for realisable web pages, when I move
away from the scaffold. What Web design Editors do people use with
RAILS development ?

A lot of people use vim, emacs, or textmate (for OS X).

With the MVC concept and heavy use of HTML, I am having doubts that
this is the way to develop those compelling highly graphical web pages.
I can use AJAX and RAILS on the server side, but if I want dynamic
graphics I still need heavy JavaScript, Flash or Java Applet code on
the client side. In which case I don’t see where RAILS fits in. So I
am comming to the conclusion that RAILS is really for Server side
development for the 90% of ‘typical’, and rather dreary, web
applications development.

I’m not sure what you mean here.


#3

On 1/8/06, Jules removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

I can use AJAX and RAILS on the server side, but if I want dynamic
graphics I still need heavy JavaScript, Flash or Java Applet code on
the client side. In which case I don’t see where RAILS fits in. So I
am comming to the conclusion that RAILS is really for Server side
development for the 90% of ‘typical’, and rather dreary, web
applications development.

You might find people who can make a more compelling argument for
Rails on the rails mailing list. Not everyone here likes/uses/works
with rails.

That having been said, there are a number of very dynamic and
not-so-dreary web applications built in Rails, such as Typo and
Basecamp and other projects.


#4

With the MVC concept and heavy use of HTML, I am having doubts that
this is the way to develop those compelling highly graphical web pages.
I can use AJAX and RAILS on the server side, but if I want dynamic
graphics I still need heavy JavaScript, Flash or Java Applet code on
the client side. In which case I don’t see where RAILS fits in. So I
am comming to the conclusion that RAILS is really for Server side
development for the 90% of ‘typical’, and rather dreary, web
applications development.

Rails sits on the server (‘server-side’ development), whereas you’re
talking
about ‘client-side’ design. Even with scripting to allow graphics to
behave
in a certain way, unless those graphics are talking to the server then
they’re what I would call ‘scripted design’. Design and development are
linked, but are different. So I suppose I’m saying, for the use you’re
wanting, I would stick with Flash, or JavaScript. You can use Flash and
JavaScript in Rails, but if dynamic graphics is all you desire there
would
be little point.

I think you’re a little confused about what modern websites are. Flash
was
modern 7 years ago. Dynamic graphics, probably older. A good guess at
what
is popularly regarded as modern these days is outlined in this article
from
the Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2.0, particularly these
ideas: “…referring to an approach to creating and distributing Web
content
itself, characterised by open communication, decentralization of
authority,
freedom to share and re-use… a transition of websites from isolated
information silos to sources of content and functionality, thus becoming
a
computing platform serving web applications to end users.” and can be
achieved with no graphics whatsoever, dynamic or otherwise.

Of course, what is truly modern is up to you, you’re part of its
authorship
afterall.

Luke


#5

Thanks Luke

I guess was asking how RAILS could relate to any dynamic graphical
displays on client side. I mean the V in MVC is all about the Page
design on the client side. Somehow I cannot see how raw HTML and <%
Ruby editing will become mainstream without a decent web designer
support.

Yep I can understand Flash and Java Applets as being dated, and so I am
questioning whether I should be using Thick Clients, with highly
dynamic/compelling displays using Web Services, rather than using
standard Web/scripts which don’t give the end user a compelling
experience.

Thanks

Jules


#6

Most Web Applications don’t use Heavy Dynamic Graphics. You’re starting
by
arguing whether Rails is suitable yet you’re actually arguing on the
differences between Thin HTML clients and Thick clients. Rails, JSF,
JSP,
Struts, Shale, Tapestry: these are frameworks, tools if you will, that
you
use on web applications, whether they be CRUD types or otherwise.

Don’t disregard a wrench as completely useless when you currently need a
screwdriver. It may not be suitable for that particular use, but that
doesn’t make the wrench worthless for other things.

-Zach


#7

I guess was asking how RAILS could relate to any dynamic graphical
displays on client side.

Yep I can understand Flash and Java Applets as being dated, and so I am
questioning whether I should be using Thick Clients, with highly
dynamic/compelling displays using Web Services, rather than using
standard Web/scripts which don’t give the end user a compelling
experience.

Thanks

Jules


#8

Thanks Luke

I guess was asking how RAILS could relate to any dynamic graphical
displays on client side.

Yep I can understand Flash and Java Applets as being dated, and so I am
questioning whether I should be using Thick Clients, with highly
dynamic/compelling displays using Web Services, rather than using
standard Web/scripts which don’t give the end user a compelling
experience.

Thanks

Jules


#9

On Mon, Jan 09, 2006 at 06:08:02PM +0900, Jules wrote:

Thanks Luke

I guess was asking how RAILS could relate to any dynamic graphical
displays on client side.

Yep I can understand Flash and Java Applets as being dated, and so I am
questioning whether I should be using Thick Clients, with highly
dynamic/compelling displays using Web Services, rather than using
standard Web/scripts which don’t give the end user a compelling
experience.

In other words . . . you’re looking for Flash and Java applets without
Flash or Java?


Chad P. [ CCD CopyWrite | http://ccd.apotheon.org ]

“Real ugliness is not harsh-looking syntax, but having to
build programs out of the wrong concepts.” - Paul Graham


#10

On 1/9/06, Jules removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

Thanks Luke

I guess was asking how RAILS

Rails is not an acronym. So it shouldn’t be capitalized.


#11

Thanks Luke

I guess was asking how RAILS could relate to any dynamic graphical
displays on client side.

Yep I can understand Flash and Java Applets as being dated, and so I am
questioning whether I should be using Thick Clients, with highly
dynamic/compelling displays using Web Services, rather than using
standard Web/scripts which don’t give the end user a compelling
experience.

Thanks

Jules


#12

I would say the majority of the Rails framework is about the server
side, and making development of that side easier. It also makes the
basic HTML/Javascript web interface fairly easy.

But if you want something “more modern” or more flashy (not
necessarily in the Flash sense), you will need to see what you could
add to the Rails framework. There is currently some work being done to
integrate Laszlo with Rails:

http://groups.google.com/group/laszlo-on-rails

Also there is nothing stopping anyone from creating a standard
client-side GUI application that connects to a Rails-based
web-service. In fact even the GUI could be written in Ruby since there
are several GUI frameworks supported by Ruby (Tk, Qt, Fox, Wx, GTK,
OSX Cocoa, native Windows, etc.)

Still, there is a lot to be said for a good, modern web-browser
supported application. It doesn’t require a download to use it, it can
be accessed from almost any operating system and any platform, and can
many times even be used from phones and other mobile devices.

Ryan


#13

Disclaimer: This message is very offtopic! –

“Jules” removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote in message
news:removed_email_address@domain.invalid…

Thanks Luke

I guess was asking how RAILS could relate to any dynamic graphical
displays on client side.

There’s always AJAX. I’ve been playing with Writely
http://www.writely.com/BasePage.aspx over the past 2 days, and it struck
me
that it has one of the nicest feels to its user interface that I’ve
experienced, and it’s not by being particularly graphical. It’s through
the
creativity of how the site and the user interface behaves.

Like anything, AJAX can be put to use in a terrible and unneccessary
way. Or
it can open up your website to achieve the kind of effect it sounds like
you’re looking for.

Rails has AJAX support built-in.

Also see this
http://www.aventureforth.com/2005/09/06/top-10-ajax-applications/ for
other
popular AJAX-driven sites.

Yep I can understand Flash and Java Applets as being dated, and so I am
questioning whether I should be using Thick Clients, with highly
dynamic/compelling displays using Web Services, rather than using
standard Web/scripts which don’t give the end user a compelling
experience.

If by compelling you mean highly animated, then as far as I know the
best
methods are Flash and Java. Personally, I would advise against using
Java
applets for websites. For one, they tend to load slowly and hog system
resources (compared to Flash), and more importantly comparitively few
people
have the required software installed on their computer to view Java.

Flash is a lot more widely supported (I recall a figure around 95%,
which
for the web is very high), and streamlined as a plug-in.

Luke