Ruby on Rails bachelor thesis


#1

Dear Rubyists,

This year I have to write my bachelor thesis for my Informatics study
and I want to perform research regarding RoR. However, I have no
concrete idea or subject which I can use. So my question to you is,
what research questions can you come up with and are interesting
enough to fully discuss in a bachelor thesis? I have been working with
RoR for a couple of months now and want to focus myself on this web
framework.

Thanks in advance guys


#2

I’ve thought it would be interesting to see a paper on the study of the
evolution of programming languages towards natural (or at least,
recognizable) language, and the influence of that on the ability of
previously non-programmers beginning to create their own software.
That, in
at least part, would focus more on Ruby than on Rails, but Rails is a
perfect example of an explosion of people creating useful websites that
either wouldn’t or couldn’t program before.


#3

Michel B wrote:

This year I have to write my bachelor thesis for my Informatics study
and I want to perform research regarding RoR. However, I have no
concrete idea or subject which I can use. So my question to you is,
what research questions can you come up with and are interesting
enough to fully discuss in a bachelor thesis? I have been working with
RoR for a couple of months now and want to focus myself on this web
framework.

My favorite super-hard research topic is this:

How to use test-driven development, and produce truly proactive test
cases, when your target is a web page?

By “proactive” I mean: How can you write a test that fails, add code
to pass the test, and then not_look_at the resulting web page. The
test should be so clear and easy to write that you know the edit to
pass the test will correctly upgrade the code.

That’s easy for low-level systems, and for 1-dimensional systems like
databases. GUIs are 2-dimensional and animated. Rails gets closer to
TDD for the web than any other platform, but there are still wicked
hard corners like Ajax where it won’t go.


Phlip
http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?ZeekLand <-- NOT a blog!!


#4

I’m currently doing a master thesis on RoR.
I’ll explain what I do, maybe you can get some inspiration.

The thesis in split into 2 parts. In the first part I look into the
theoretical background of Rails, what makes it stand out of the crowd.
In the second part i’m developing a complex application, that already
exists in J2EE.
I’m using the Agile Development methodology when developing the app.
Basically the text of the 2nd part is a chronologic discussion of what
I did, what was neat about Rails, but also what troubled me with Rails
and AD. (example: migrations, testing with Rails, optimalisations,
speed of development, maintainability, reuse, …)

Never had so much fun with a school-task :wink:


#5

Luke I. wrote:

I’ve thought it would be interesting to see a paper on the study of the
evolution of programming languages towards natural (or at least,
recognizable) language, and the influence of that on the ability of
previously non-programmers beginning to create their own software. That, in
at least part, would focus more on Ruby than on Rails, but Rails is a
perfect example of an explosion of people creating useful websites that
either wouldn’t or couldn’t program before.

Google “Domain Specific Language”.

Here’s one in Ruby:

http://flea.sourceforge.net/


Phlip
http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?ZeekLand <-- NOT a blog!!


#6

How about an analysis of the underlying framework and performance
optimization? Could you give me pointers in the right direction as far
as performance analysis goes? I can try to research potential
bottlenecks and do some benchmarking to see how one can best tune
performance.


#7

I’m currently also investigating the performance.

Currently I have determined to try out these topics

  • eager loading
  • caching
  • other webservers
  • clustering (pound, mod_load_balancer)

and the influence on the app I developed.

I’m using a Watir (http://wtr.rubyforge.org/) script that runs 100
times and I do an analysis of the log afterwards.

Greetz

Joram


#8

All of which begs the bigger question: What particular needs does “the
enterprise” have that all the other slobs in the world don’t?

Typically, things like security, scaleability, fail-over capability,
redundancy, transaction queuing, and so on are quoted as enterprisey
things.
I don’t buy that. My smallest client has kittens every time his site has
a
momentary outage. Is Rails (or PHP or .Net or J2EE or whatever)
enterprise-ready for him? No. A single well-placed DDoS attack will
still
take him out, and he’ll still go off-scale.

Possible more to the point in “the enterprise” is how well a particular
platform integrates multiple disparate legacy data sources. In this
regard,
you may find that results vary.

Hope this helps. Please post a link to your thesis when you finish.
Everyone
will be interested.

M. Barbosa wrote:

enterprise ready.

What other components do I have to look at at when it comes to
enterprise readiness?


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#9

I’ve decided on this research question ‘Ruby on rails: enterprise
ready?’

Could you guys give me examples/directions which phenomena I should
really discuss and point out. I would love to set up a questionnaire
in order to find out what drives Rails progammers or companies to use
rails in an enterprise environment. So interviewing companies/
programmers is one step I could take to research if rails is
enterprise ready.

What other components do I have to look at at when it comes to
enterprise readiness?


#10

Thanks very much for your reply. I will certainly post a link to my
thesis when I finish.

I have read a lot of blog posts/articles and such and am not so sure
if the Rails community is actually waiting for an enterprise-ready
certificate so to speak. But I would want to investigate what makes
software (in this case a web framework) enterprise ready. When do/will
firms consider Ruby on Rails as a framework of choice i.e. for mission
critical stuff?
How many firms are actually using Rails or are willing to? What are
their motivations for (not) doing so? You already mentioned security
and scaleability and others. What about productivity of programmers,
or certain visions that the rails framework portrays. For example
‘agile development’?

I’m hoping for people to come up with an even broader list.

So far I have this:

  • security
  • scaleability
  • fall-over capability
  • redundancy
  • transaction quueing
  • vendors
  • support contracts
  • big projects already done in rails
  • availability of programmers
  • availability of books/documentation
  • methodologies imposed
    This is just a list to get me started in the right direction. If
    someone comes up with a formal description or even comes across books
    regarding ‘enterprise ready/readiness’, than I would love to hear some
    titles.

#11

Michel,

You have a lot of questions there. Are you planning on doing a massive
survey of companies to get your answers? There are quite a few large
scale web sites that are successfully using Rails. I would be
interested in learning what people consider “enterprise ready.”

Robert D.
http://www.techcfl.com
http://www.railsforall.org

On Apr 4, 8:06 pm, “Michel B” removed_email_address@domain.invalid