Is Rails no longer the flavor of the month?
Firstly, I read this blog post by Zed Shaw. Quite frankly I was disgusted that someone who has given so much to our community has been treated so poorly by prominent figures within our very inner circles and the major vendors. I must point out I do not know Zed, Ive never met him, nor will I likely ever meet him, but yet he helped me many times way back in the early days of mongrel, as im sure he did with countless others - and for that, he gets my respects and applause.
His blog posts about the problems with Rails echoed conversations I have had multiple times of late with various other developers and architects. People feel rails is bloated and has a lot of inefficiencies - which is true, and whilst 2.1 is leaner, it could still do with a good going over at fat camp… That sounds bad I admit, but I am not ignorant of the fact that we do have an awful lot to thank Rails (and DHH especially) for - the ideas behind Rails have changed the way the whole development community look at there working practices from start to finish. The shear magnitude of that is mind-blowing.
Personally, Rails has changed the way I look at code, the way I think and more - this blog is even powered by rails. Despite all that, when I build a Rails project now, I cant help but feel, well, a little bit dirty. Initially in my Rails career I loved the way that the bulk of the complexity was abstracted far far away down the rabbit hole - thats not because I was an incompetent coder - it was just new and exciting, and seemed like such a great idea at the time (like so many other things…). Now however, I feel like we need more; more control, more transparency in our frameworks and tools. Less black boxes and more turner-prize type glass ones!
I ask you the reader one thing: Is it time we said farewell to Rails? Or is it a case of the grass is greener on the other side?
Some of you reading this might be thinking that this is all well and good, but what the hell are we going to use to build our projects. Well, I have been putting a lot of time into the Merb framework recently, and it is, categorically, awesome, not to mention thread safe ;) Working with it feels just, well, better. Ezra has crafted a great framework that has taken heed of Rails’ shortcomings, that my friends can only be a good thing…
Anyway, I’ll be posting some Merb tutorials up here soon, so I hope you will give it a try and let me know how you get on.
Happy coding guys, and farewell Rails, its been emotional!