The Case Against Ruby on Rails

Some blockhead wrote this absurd critique of RoR. Thought some of you
might want to comment on his article. Just search that page for “max
hodges” to see the reply I posted:

http://alterlabs.com/general/articles/blasphemy-the-case-against-ruby-on-rails/

whiterabbit wrote:

Some blockhead wrote this absurd critique of RoR.

A Joel Spolsky wannabe?

Try “RoR has no concept of relational data tables” (IIRC).

There just aren’t the words for such stupidity!


Phlip
http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/9780596510657/
“Test Driven Ajax (on Rails)”
assert_xpath, assert_javascript, & assert_ajax

Those are just idiots posting to get dugg and make some bucks from
adsense or whatever. Why even read.

On 7/6/07, whiterabbit [email protected] wrote:

Some blockhead wrote this absurd critique of RoR. Thought some of you
might want to comment on his article. Just search that page for “max
hodges” to see the reply I posted:

http://alterlabs.com/general/articles/blasphemy-the-case-against-ruby-on-rails/


http://m.onkey.org

Phlip wrote:

Tip: A great way to drive up hits to your blog is use it to flame some
popular industry trend.

So, my not just ignore him completely? Don’t post a link to his article
or anything. Just ignore.

whiterabbit wrote:

Some blockhead wrote this absurd critique of RoR. Thought some of you
might want to comment on his article. Just search that page for “max
hodges” to see the reply I posted:

http://alterlabs.com/general/articles/blasphemy-the-case-against-ruby-on-rails/

Tip: A great way to drive up hits to your blog is use it to flame some
popular industry trend. A certain blogger by the initials JS does this,
sometimes.

And note that my statement here is an “argument to money” (/argumentum
ad
crumenum/). The argument that a statement is true or false because its
author does or does not have a financial motivation. Keep your eye on
this
fallacy!

There appears to be considerably more demand for Rails programming than
there are Rails programmers

When you are spinning, lead off with obviously true and complementing
statements that lead your audience along with you.

the trendiness … of Rails has inspired a legion of business visionaries
to increase their demand

And then hit then them with the /argumentum ad crumenum/. Yes, we are
inside
a bubble, and yes many people are out there with the get-rich-quick
schemes.

If this weren’t Rails’s own fault, then the author’s own admission must
be
placing Rails ahead of the pack. If it’s ahead of the general LAMP
projects,
then it must be ahead of the bubble and the get-rich-quick schemes too,
right?

Yes, [they’re] the great pretenders …The unfortunate reality of the RoR
movement and market is that there are a number of below average soloists
passing themselves off as solid developers due to the level of demand.
This has consequently led to both able and mediocre sole practitioners and
confederations of practitioners trying to fulfill the demand.

This statement is a thing of beauty. When you say that “mediocre
programmers
can use Brand X to pass themselves off as proficient”, you are actually
giving Brand X a very high complement. The point of a framework is make
hard
things easy, and bring the harder things within reach.

The Visual Basic effect . A corollary to the fact that “pretenders” are
besieging the market is that Ruby on Rails provides so much scaffolding,
hand-holding, and out-of-the-box functionality for developers that
inexperienced/unsophisticated developers are able to initially delight
clients with early releases.

Now refresh my memory here - I have only repressed about 5 years of VB
work.
That idiotic language had a horrid plugin system (which OCX protocol
would
you like to scramble your registry today?), and I don’t seem to recall
it
supporting unit tests. Of all the alleged languages out there, the only
one
that resisted unit tests harder than VB is Lotus Notes!

Rails, as people who have actually used it know, doesn’t turn anything
on
out-of-the box. What Ruby’s incredibly expressive dynamism gives us is a
very wide set of options, and a very short amount of programmer time
accessing those options. VB did not support ‘3.seconds.ago’, for
example.

That’s not syntactic sugar. Scarce, minimal, and expressive statements
provide scalability - an area where VB did not exactly shine.

But maybe the author would like to decry a super-low line count as a
sign
that something is wrong…

No Swiss Army Knife … Ruby on Rails was developed to do one thing and
one thing well: help teams write web applications with user interfaces
that perform basic operations on relational databases.

But - I thought you just said that Rails had lots of plugins and
out-of-the-box functionality!

Period. If you have complex processing needs such as message queuing,
quantitative optimization, etc you’ll need to either (a) look somewhere
else

Correct. And you can throw in Rio or BackgrounDRb or zillions of other
Ruby
gems, all instantly compatible and written in < 500 lines.

(b) write it into the framework (not likely as the shepherds of the
framework are zealots and opinionated about protecting it from “unintended
uses”)

The spectacular stupidity of this statement makes me think it’s just
bait.
Of course the maintainers won’t accept every patch you write. The
author
must actually be unaware that Ruby allows anyone to re-implement any
method
they like, and monkey-patch any fix. Rails’s internal architecture is
written under the constant constraint that it’s always open for
extension.
How many markup languages are we up to by now?. Hence, the maintainers
protect their kernel from excessive patching expressly_to_preserve
this
extensibility.

or © find a way to integrate with other technologies which support your
business requirements.

Oh, the horrors. Maybe I can link to C++, or pipe to an external
program, or
reach into the server for a module, or send commands thru the database,
or
… oh wake me up when the list is over, okay?

And note that each of this blockhead’s “or” details are really an “and”.
You
can mix-and-match any set of those kinds of solutions.

Still no mention of unit tests, or how far behind Rails all the other
Web
frameworks lag there…

No Throat to Choke and a Chasm to Cross … If what you want is an alpha,
beta, or a version one application that you may re-write down the road,
Rails may be right for you, but if you’ve got shareholders you must
answer, teams you must attract, grow, & maintain, or business groups you
must support with vendor options and a cadre of capable employees, Rails
is an iffy choice.

Excuse me, Steve Ballmer. I am aware that if my Open Source Software
breaks
I can’t sue anyone, but are you actually implying that if my Microsoft
software breaks I can actually sue /Microsoft/?? Yeah, and I got a
bridge to
sell you, too…

Meanwhile, my day-gig has delighted shareholders who will not let us go
back
to Brand X, a healthy and minimal team, several internal and external
business groups to support, and zero bugs. Not a low bug rate, not “just
display bugs”, not “we will fix the easy bugs later after these hard
bugs”.
We have no bug tracking database, and we run for months with no bugs
reported from the field.

There are no/very few established vendors backing Rails

Just books from every technical book publisher…

Maaaybe the tools that come with excessive certification, classes, and
marketing are the tools which NEED all that crap because they SUCK, huh?

In conclusion, this guy’s arrant clumsiness wouldn’t even qualify him
for a
job on Fox News as an expert speculator. He has only come up with the
shallowest and most easily-debunked spin.


Phlip
http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/9780596510657/
“Test Driven Ajax (on Rails)”
assert_xpath, assert_javascript, & assert_ajax

I actually agree with many of the points he makes, but so what? I
mean, it’s like saying that Java isn’t the perfect programming
language because it won’t cook me dinner. You have a task to get
done and you’re going to have to make a choice as to the best tool
for the job. For some tasks it’s Rails, for others it’s Java. For
others still it’s Visual Basic. All the data points in the world,
for or against, are kind of useless without a context in which to
evaluate the decision.

-faisal

Perry S. wrote:

Tip: A great way to drive up hits to your blog is use it to flame some
popular industry trend.

So, my not just ignore him completely? Don’t post a link to his article
or anything. Just ignore.

“There is no honor in preying on the weak.” --Lt Worf


Phlip

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