Picking back up Ruby on Rails

It’s been a while since I last used rails (2.x days), but I want to pick
it
up and use it again for some new contracting work that has come up.
Wondering what one would suggest I go about this, with Rails 4 just
around
the corner. Should start in on 3.2, or should I just bite the bullet
and
start using 4? I know a lot of backwards capability is
removed/deprecated
on major version changes, so picking up 3.2 is a worry to me if it’s
just
going to be obsolete in a few months.

On Oct 22, 2012, at 10:16 AM, Mika wrote:

It’s been a while since I last used rails (2.x days), but I want to pick it up
and use it again for some new contracting work that has come up. Wondering what
one would suggest I go about this, with Rails 4 just around the corner. Should
start in on 3.2, or should I just bite the bullet and start using 4? I know a lot
of backwards capability is removed/deprecated on major version changes, so picking
up 3.2 is a worry to me if it’s just going to be obsolete in a few months.

This reminds me a lot of the old “which laptop should I buy? I hear
Apple is releasing a new xxx in yyy” question. You can chase your tail
an awful lot in technology, and the measured answer I have heard to that
laptop question is the same one I’m giving you now.

Use the best tool for the job in front of you that you can buy today.

In the laptop space, that means buy the best currently-available laptop,
knowing full well that the very fact that you can purchase it AT ALL
means it is already no longer state-of-the-art. Buy it, use it, make
money with it; assuming, of course, that you have work coming in that
you need to complete.

So too with Rails: you have projects to do for clients who want to pay
you to do them, so use the latest proven version of Rails (or Sinatra,
or PHP, or whatever tool fits the job) and get that work done and
billed. If you have free time, try out the next-gen stuff, and
contribute to the cause by filing tickets for things you find broken or
confusing.

But please, don’t use beta software for production work unless you are a
core committer or similar “ninja”. I say this from bitter experience,
and nearly a year of my life lost to nail-biting anxiety while a beta
tool made it nearly impossible for me to finish paying work. I was lucky
to escape that treadmill still gainfully employed. I don’t do that sort
of thing any more.

I wouldn’t expect Rails 4 to be released before RailsConf next
spring. And I wouldn’t expect it to have all of the rough spots fixed up
until the summer – although the core team are very disciplined about
releases – it’s still a huge code base to get entirely right.

Walter

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