IMPORTANT NOTE: Responding to this message on the mailing list and quoting the URL below will make the it entirely too available on the web. I am posting this with X-No-Archive: yes in the header to prevent Google from indexing it (see http://groups.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=7918 for details). Please, if you respond to this on the list, do not quote the URL below. In May of this year I joined a startup founded by Steve Case, of AOL fame, to revolutionize the healthcare industry. I found out about the job due to a posting here, on the Ruby on Rails mailing list, when I was not looking for a new job and had just played with RoR on the side. We have both used and modified RoR to produce the website, and I hope that we will be able to release our modifications and improvements eventually. In particular, I hope that our legal team will allow us to share some of what we have learned about deploying a large RoR site (hint: Capistrano is necessary but not sufficient). After months of working feverishly, we have a live web portal. (Regrettably, we didn't get a chance to make things work well with all browsers, but both Firefox and Internet Explorer should work well.) The site is neither complete nor flawless, but I'm proud of what we have and excited about its future. It is my pleasure to give you the opportunity to preview the site. We are live on the web, but not yet fully open to the public. Start at http://www.revolutionhealth.com/preview?code=yW8hRnsc8u and register. Registration is free, and always will be, but it is required to access the site during this preview period. From there, I encourage you to look at the Doctors and Hospitals tabs, which is the part of the site I worked on the most. Please send feedback on any part of the site via the feedback link at the top of every page. You can also send it to me, if you prefer. Once you've had a chance to look around, I encourage you to send the URL above to other people you know who might be interested in either seeing a large scale RoR site or in the site itself. Likewise, encourage them to spread the word (and the URL). Please refrain from posting the URL to any websites, however; this is a preview limited to those directly and indirectly connected to Revolution employees. --Greg
on 2006-12-26 20:10
on 2006-12-26 20:26
Site wouldn't let me register. Kept getting a popup telling me to 'fill in all fields before...'
on 2006-12-26 20:46
On Tue, Dec 26, 2006 at 01:25:14PM -0600, Bill Walton wrote: } Site wouldn't let me register. Kept getting a popup telling me to 'fill in } all fields before...' Is anyone else experiencing this? I assume you made sure that you did fill in all the fields, right, including checking the terms of service agreement? --Greg
on 2006-12-26 21:34
Hi Greg, Just tried and got the popup. Noticed there was no 'check' mark next to my birthdate. And I did not select the options to have information emailed to me; I did indicate I did read the terms of service. Cheers, Mel
on 2006-12-27 01:26
G, I'll make a note to steer clear of this site. The proper way to advertise is to BUY a keyword from google rather than spamming a list. The fact that Steve Case is involved does not surprise me. Spamming a mail-list sounds like something he would think is a brilliant business move. If you want to share your code that would be friendly. On 12/26/06, Gregory Seidman <email@example.com> wrote: > In May of this year I joined a startup founded by Steve Case, of AOL fame, > work > register. Registration is free, and always will be, but it is required to > websites, however; this is a preview limited to those directly and > indirectly connected to Revolution employees. > > --Greg > > > > > -- Peter Smith GoodJobFastCar@gmail.com http://GoodJobFastCar.com
on 2006-12-27 01:45
Seems pretty buggy. Got infinite redirect loops and other stuff going on. I wasn't able to get access to anything (but I did register). So, what makes the site "large"? Also, do you have anything to contribute besides just "announcing" your site? -carl On 12/26/06, Peter Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > think is a brilliant business move. > > for details). Please, if you respond to this on the list, do not quote the > > what we have learned about deploying a large RoR site (hint: Capistrano is > > public. > > Once you've had a chance to look around, I encourage you to send the URL > > > -- EPA Rating: 3000 Lines of Code / Gallon (of coffee)
on 2006-12-27 02:35
On Tue, Dec 26, 2006 at 04:26:04PM -0800, Peter Smith wrote: } G, } } I'll make a note to steer clear of this site. } } The proper way to advertise is to BUY a keyword } from google rather than spamming a list. This isn't precisely advertising, and certainly not spamming, though it could be considered viral marketing. I'll point out that numerous other Rails sites have been announced on this list. I'm not sure why this announcement in particular is the target of your venom. I'll also point out that I specifically requested that you not include the URL in a response to this message, yet you did so anyway. Not cool. } The fact that Steve Case is involved does not surprise me. } } Spamming a mail-list sounds like something he would } think is a brilliant business move. First off, I'm not Steve Case. Second, I made the decision to send the email to the mailing list on my own. Third, I'll repeat that it is inaccurate to call this spam. } If you want to share your code that would be friendly. I'm in favor of sharing what we can, but ultimately I work for a corporation that, like most other corporations, has a legal department concerned about intellectual property. What I've had time to document and I've been comfortable would not upset legal is at redcorundum.blogspot.com (plus a variety of messages to the ruby-talk list and this list). On the other hand, unpleasantness like your message reduces my motivation to push the legal department to allow us to release anything. You make me care less about the community of which we are both a part. Was that your intention? --Greg
on 2006-12-27 02:45
On Tue, Dec 26, 2006 at 04:43:18PM -0800, Carl Lerche wrote: } Seems pretty buggy. Got infinite redirect loops and other stuff going } on. I wasn't able to get access to anything (but I did register). Was this with Safari, by any chance? There are known issues with redirect loops on Safari. We'll be nailing down issues with Safari in the coming weeks (and at least some of us will pay attention to Opera as well). Eventually we'll even get to section 508 compliance. The site is, indeed, a bit buggy, which is why this is a preview announcement, not a release of a full, ready-for-prime-time site. Nonetheless, I do encourage you to try it out again in Firefox or IE. (If you got into a redirect loop on one of those, however, please send me email privately to let me know how; we'll need to get that fixed ASAP.) } So, what makes the site "large"? Also, do you have anything to } contribute besides just "announcing" your site? The site is large in that there is lots of functionality, lots of pages, lots of content, lots of moving parts, and an expectation of lots of users. As for contributions, I've been actively participating on this list and the ruby-talk list for close to a year, as well as posting some tips at redcorundum.blogspot.com. Furthermore, a truly large Rails-based site that can handle huge amounts of traffic, as ours eventually must, is itself a contribution. Even if you never see a line of code from us, the mere existence of such a site makes it significantly easier to justify Rails as a development platform for developers working in an "enterprise" setting. } -carl --Greg
on 2006-12-27 04:53
Hi, I see your message as spam, but to each his own... > Even if you never see a line of code from us, the mere > existence of such a site makes it significantly easier to justify Rails as > a development platform for developers working in an "enterprise" setting. Er, I fail to see the logic in this statement. First of all, what makes your social networking site about medical facilities anywhere remotely near "enterprise"? Secondly, while it's good to see another Rails site, I don't see how this one single site is going to justify Rails any more than any other serious site like Strongspace or Shopify. Is it just because Steve Case is involved? Because everyone knows that he is a titan in the tech industry... *shrug* --Jeremy
on 2006-12-27 05:21
Just because this is a corporate rails site, someone complains. If 37signals posted about their new app here, no one would complain saying "buy a keyword" - and they're funded by Jeff Bezos. >From the looks of it, revolution is a modulized app with way over 100 controllers on the public face. I'm a bit curious as to the business model, but I figure I can ask people I know who work there and get a better answer than I'd get in a web forum.
on 2006-12-27 07:15
Well, I like the fact that it is a corporate site. I want, however, to see the app [or pieces] sitting in rubyforge. I want to download it and look at the code. If I want to see a really kewl corporate website, I have thousands [millions?] to choose from. If Gregory wants to release some code and say that it runs his corporate site, I'd consider that a service to the community. Discussion about biz models is a gray area. I like the fact that Gregory defended himself and pointed out some of his contributions. Steve Case? He's a dork. Unless he wants to hire me. Then... He's a tech-titan-revolutionary-genius. 37signals? I see evidence of their doings in the Rails test-cases. They pass muster. ...Peter On 12/26/06, boboroshi <email@example.com> wrote: > people I know who work there and get a better answer than I'd get in a > web forum. > > > > > -- Peter Smith GoodJobFastCar@gmail.com http://GoodJobFastCar.com
on 2006-12-27 21:35
Could you elaborate a bit more on why you choose rails and why not a "proven" or "robust" framework like asp.net / java/spring. Aren't you afraid that soon the "advantages" of rails are going to kick you from behind (speedy development, but rails/ruby isn't the most stable solution.. maintenance / keeping the site running might proof more difficult in the future) What I understand your "app" (like all ;)) is basically a front-end to a database, letting people exchange info and more fancy searching. You could do that in any language. While browsing the site already feels a bit slowish (it takes a noticeable time to get the page, but it renders quick enough (only the second time, the first time it needs to fetch all the appropriate images etc)).
on 2006-12-28 16:22
On Wed, Dec 27, 2006 at 08:34:41PM -0000, Norjee wrote: } Could you elaborate a bit more on why you choose rails and why not a } "proven" or "robust" framework like asp.net / java/spring. Aren't you } afraid that soon the "advantages" of rails are going to kick you from } behind (speedy development, but rails/ruby isn't the most stable } solution.. maintenance / keeping the site running might proof more } difficult in the future) Major decisions only occasionally have a single motivating force. I can give an incomplete list, though: - http://www.paulgraham.com/avg.html is nominally about Lisp, but the same applies to Ruby. - people already working for the company were excited about RoR - people already working for the company were excited about open source in general - in a large company, the risk/reward balance pushes toward a "proven" framework because the reward of shipping on time does not outweigh the risk of high maintenance costs in the future; in a startup, the risk of shipping late is really the risk of the company as a whole failing (i.e. running out of seed money before shipping), thus outweighs pretty much any future reward } What I understand your "app" (like all ;)) is basically a front-end to } a database, letting people exchange info and more fancy searching. You } could do that in any language. While browsing the site already feels a } bit slowish (it takes a noticeable time to get the page, but it renders } quick enough (only the second time, the first time it needs to fetch } all the appropriate images etc)). There is a lot of JS, a lot of CSS, and a fair amount of image data as well. The vast majority of it is shared across the site, but there is an upfront cost to loading it the first time. It also isn't too surprising that the site is a bit slow in general; we're still scaling out and we're still tuning. I suppose you could consider almost any interesting web app out there to be a front-end to a database, but that's like saying that Textmate is a front-end to the filesystem; it's technically true, but doesn't really tell the whole story. Ideally, we'd like our site to be the place where everyone involved in healthcare, whether consumers, providers, insurers, facilities, etc. can come together and make things cheaper and easier for each other. In the same way that eBay reduced friction and inefficiencies between buyers and sellers, we'd like to reduce friction and inefficiencies between those who need care and those who provide it (or insure it, or research it, etc.). It's a pretty grandiose plan, and we've only take the first little steps. There's no guarantee that it will work out, of course, but it's a worth a try. --Greg
on 2006-12-28 17:28
Greg, When you get a chance, could you share some metrics about the project? Things like number of models, tables, views and maybe even lines of code? That might give the group a better sense of the scope of what you have achieved. -Paul
on 2006-12-28 18:00
On Thu, Dec 28, 2006 at 08:26:10AM -0800, Paul Corcoran wrote: } When you get a chance, could you share some metrics about the project? } Things like number of models, tables, views and maybe even lines of } code? That might give the group a better sense of the scope of what you } have achieved. Anything accurate would be exactly the sort of thing that would have legal breathing down my neck. I'll give some very rough numbers, though: - over 300 models - over 200 tables - over 1500 views, including partials - over 150 controllers You can get a sense of the quantity of JS and CSS on your own from the site itself. } -Paul --Greg
on 2006-12-28 23:47
> .... > > It's a pretty grandiose plan, and we've only take the first little > steps. There's no guarantee that it will work out, of course, but it's a > worth a try. > > --Greg You have an interesting line of thought. I myself would never risk to deploy a project on such a scale on rails but i understand your reasoning. I myself find that what language I code in isn't nearly as important the "feel" (design pattern for example) of the entire project, writing 1 or 5 lines of code to code some little procedure isn't all that important. (yes, my first impression of rails was wow!!!! amazing.. but the amazement is slowly replaced by a certain amount of distrust.. all my personal opinion of course) I hope you manage to pull it off, it's certainly an interesting project :)
on 2006-12-29 02:24
On 12/26/06, Jeremy McAnally <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > > Hi, > I see your message as spam, but to each his own... > How is this announcement spam? The original post was a bit strange, with the "important note" about not quoting a url posted to a public list. Yet its definitely not spam. Countless people have announced their new rails projects to the list, many of which are completely closed source. As Rails is still so young, I think its exciting to see all sorts of real world projects getting launched - from the tiny 'guy in a garage' app to huge things like Revolution is trying. If this message is spam, then there are about 20 other announcements sent to the list monthly that should be called out. - Rob -- http://www.robsanheim.com http://www.seekingalpha.com http://www.ajaxian.com
on 2006-12-29 04:26
If it is completely closed source, how do we know it runs on rails? Peter Smith GoodJobFastCar@gmail.com http://GoodJobFastCar.com
on 2006-12-29 04:34
Greg, I for one am glad you posted about your app. I'd love to hear more about it, and in particular any changes you guys had to make to RoR, or any extensions, etc. Especially if you can't release any source, I'd be interested in hearing what you guys did just the same. I'm both shocked and embarrassed by the bad attitude from the other list members. I can never figure out why people find so much pleasure in bashing others. I bet they wouldn't say it to your face. :-) Good luck. Cheers, John
on 2006-12-29 04:36
On 12/28/06, Dan Bikle <email@example.com> wrote: > > If it is completely closed source, > how do we know it runs on rails? > > Peter Smith > GoodJobFastCar@gmail.com > http://GoodJobFastCar.com Okay this is getting ridiculous, and I don't even care about Revolution one way or the other.
on 2006-12-29 04:38
On Dec 28, 2006, at 12:59 PM, Norjee wrote: > You have an interesting line of thought. I myself would never risk to > deploy a project on such a scale on rails snip... > (yes, my first impression of rails was > wow!!!! amazing.. but the amazement is slowly replaced by a certain > amount of distrust.. all my personal opinion of course I'm curious where the distrust comes from? The community as a whole is working hard to avoid these sorts of feelings, and I'm sure it would be an interesting discussion in and of itself. I know it's a discussion I'd love to have. :-) -- -- Tom Mornini, CTO -- Engine Yard, Ruby on Rails Hosting -- Reliability, Ease of Use, Scalability -- (866) 518-YARD (9273)
on 2006-12-29 04:42
> > Okay this is getting ridiculous, and I don't even care about > Revolution one way or the other. I agree.... And people thought that the Revolution post was spam...What about the frivolous follow-on posts that have NOTHING to do with Rails..... If only I had a better Spam filter....
on 2006-12-29 14:42
On Thu, Dec 28, 2006 at 07:12:09PM -0800, Johnpg wrote: } I for one am glad you posted about your app. I'd love to hear more } about it, and in particular any changes you guys had to make to RoR, or } any extensions, etc. Especially if you can't release any source, I'd be } interested in hearing what you guys did just the same. I'm both shocked } and embarrassed by the bad attitude from the other list members. I can } never figure out why people find so much pleasure in bashing others. I } bet they wouldn't say it to your face. :-) Good luck. A friend of mine saw my recent posts about the site and asked me a couple of questions privately, and it made me recognize the biggest lesson we've learned: there is nothing sacrosanct about Rails conventions. It's been said over and over that Rails is "opinionated software," but what that really means isn't always clear. The opinions in question are (largely) those held by DHH. It is appropriate to refer to them as opinions because they are not backed by the confidence brought by solid research (e.g. case studies) but by the accumulated experiences of a group of developers. I'm not so arrogant as to say that DHH's opinions are wrong, but I will say that I disagree with him on a number of points. So do a lot of the folks working here. Disagreeing with opinions that form the basis of the choices made in Rails does not mean that Rails is of no use to us. When we find ourselves with a choice between following a Rails convention that seems to conflict with where we are trying to go and working/patching around it, we look at the cost of being nonstandard and supporting something ourselves vs. the cost of contorting our code to stay within the conventions. Sometimes we've determined that it made more sense to keep to the conventions, and sometimes we've monkey patched or otherwise changed Rails' default behavior. What I'm saying is that while the Rails framework is a good starting point, it should be treated just a little bit like scaffolding. At some point you have to take responsibility for the whole codebase, not just the part you wrote. } Cheers, } John --Greg
on 2006-12-29 21:31
[Iâ€™m not sure what google-groupsâ€™ problem is, but I posted this topic hours ago and it still doesnâ€™t appear on the list, here it goes again..] Tom Mornini wrote: > > ... > > I'm curious where the distrust comes from? > > The community as a whole is working hard to avoid these sorts of > feelings, > and I'm sure it would be an interesting discussion in and of itself. > In short: In my opinion Rails is perfectly ok for small scale projects: One developer projects that donâ€™t really need active maintenance. Why wouldnâ€™t I dare to risk a large project on Rails. I read the Lisp discussion, I agree with the issues elaborated on, but my conclusion is the opposite. As mentioned earlier web-apps really arenâ€™t rocket science. And I firmly believe that anything can be done in any language. (Maybe not in any framework, and certain things will definitely be easier/harder depending on the framework) Thus to me choosing a well established framework means that you assure yourself of the ability to get 1) enough expertise and continuity (new developers are easy to find) 2) stable third party libraries and 3) a future proof web-app. Fun-to-code really doesnâ€™t seem that important to me. As for specific problems with Ruby/Rails. Third-party libraries is the first issue. While the libraries that are at hand might be sufficient for what you want to accomplish thereâ€™s a definite change it might not be sufficient in the future. More over you cannot be sure that the current libraries are of stable quality (the mysql-lib finds it necessary to hg memory and performance by copying table headers for every new row, ferret and rmagic kill make/made rhtml templates with tabs unusable) and will continue to work after an upgrade of either rails or ruby. And the same issues can be found in Rails itself, Active-Record could be optimized a lot (rebuilding the same queries ever again.. Iâ€™d cache them) Talking about upgrading, this is my second issue. The nature of both Ruby and Rails make upgrading to a new version a bit like Russian roulette, you never know whether somethingâ€™s going to break and whether it will be fixable. â€œBreaking openâ€ ruby classes and injecting your own code only works if the entire (not only public part) of the api never changes. (For example, rails 1.16 killed forced scoping in the old way (only showing models where valid was true) as it introduced new nested scopes, rails 1.2 will kill my urlrewrite pluging that adds .html) Of course these are small issues easy to resolve (especially because I wrote these plugins myself). But what about all the other plugins out here. Most of them are not actively maintained so who knows whatâ€™s going to break with a new version of rails or ruby. The common counterargument is that hacking into other classes is â€œbad designâ€ but it is a design inherent to rails and ruby and even advocated in various books / tutorials. Thirdly I donâ€™t know what to expect from Rails in the future. Take for example Django (mind you Django has other issues), it has spend near a year to â€œremove the magicâ€ so the api would be stable once 1.0 is released. With rails it seems every now and then a major part gets refactored (1.2 meanse new url resolver). But when will other parts of the framework/api be altered? God only knows. I guess the previous issues boils down to that at some period in time it might extremely difficult to update or add features to your app, making it almost necessary to build a new one from near scratch. I fully realize that large web-apps in general wonâ€™t be updated that often, but what if thereâ€™s a security issue in your versions of rails (or ruby) or you simply need part of the new framework that isnâ€™t part of the old. Rails says itâ€™ll always encourage/need the latest ruby and libraries.. ouch.. And to me it seems inherent to rails that youâ€™d need to update more often then youâ€™d like, rails is still young, as is ruby (not really young, but rails certainly kicked off development of much needed (third-party) libs), to keep a workable (read: supported) setup youâ€™ll need the latest and greatest. Apart from this we have the famous mantras â€œmake programming fun/productiveâ€ , â€œDRYâ€, â€œtime is expensive, servers cheapâ€. I donâ€™t buy them, nearly all frameworks now give you the possibility to not repeat yourself, but itâ€™s up to the programmer to smartly implement his part of the app to actually use it. As I mentioned before thereâ€™s nothing I could do in rails that I couldnâ€™t accomplish in .net or java? (or php, python for that matter). It might be more tedious true, but it would get done. But the other language has a major benefit, if I ceased to exist, itâ€™d be easy to find someone else to take over the app. When building a large scale webapp that needs a team of programmers this is even more important (youâ€™d be hard pressed to find a team of good ruby programmers). Moreover it would be a huge benefit that once time start ticking you could simply open a can of programmers (hire) to finish those famous last lines of code. (True for a small company this scenario wouldnâ€™t happen). As for increased productivity.. true, it increases a bit. But actual implementation is only a part of building a webapp. Building an interface/design, defining a db-model, defining needed functionality etc are equally important and time consuming. And, like I mentioned before, increased productivity now might mean decreased in the future, when adding functionality means a lot of hacking in rails core. More over ruby/rails have the odd practice of scattering functionality over a number of incoherent files, got to love this mixing-in of functionality.. (but I guess youâ€™d get used to it. But again, this is something you only get confronted with later on, when you need to keep using rails/ruby because you already did and you now have to dig a bit deeper to get that problem fixed of this functionality added) Finally the idea that hardware and servers are cheap. This totally depends on what you need. The more servers you need to keep running the more server-maintenance is needed and the harder it is to keep them all running in sync, and from what I picked up on most lists, it isnâ€™t that simple to keep rails running. More important, a slowish web-app will always be a slowish webapp. I mean if actually building of a view takes half a second you could place as many servers as you want, it will still take that time to deliver the html to your user. In the mean time your competitor is working towards a more responsive app which once it is live your clients will say â€œwow.. this is fast.. why canâ€™t you be that fastâ€. You could place more servers, and more servers(and notice a single server has a maxed cpu speed and amount of memory).. but no matter what you do your competitor will now benefit from its slower startup time, having an easier time expanding it amount of users on its fewer servers.