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Is Rails worth its salt?

Abhishek Misra
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Joined: Sep 26, 2005
Posts: 68
I don't know if Ruby on Rails would ever be a viable option against J2EE or .net. I have worked and played around it for some time now, but i still doubt its sturdy enough. First and foremost the platform doesn't have a really nice server to start with. I was looking for some good rails based websites which can handle multi million transactions, but the only ones which really use it in production seem to be the creators. Anyways what do the geniuses here think? is industry ever going to look at Ruby on Rails as an option? What do people think about Java on sails?
Lasse Koskela
author
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 23, 2002
Posts: 11962
    
    5
Originally posted by Abhishek Misra:
I don't know if Ruby on Rails would ever be a viable option against J2EE or .NET.
In some application domains, it already is. In some, it will probably never be. Rails' purpose is not to be the single hammer that you bang everything with. Right tool for the job, as they say...

Originally posted by Abhishek Misra:
I have worked and played around it for some time now, but i still doubt its sturdy enough. First and foremost the platform doesn't have a really nice server to start with.

What would you consider a "nice server" and why?

Originally posted by Abhishek Misra:
I was looking for some good rails based websites which can handle multi million transactions, but the only ones which really use it in production seem to be the creators.

There's a whole bunch of websites listed in the wiki that are running on Rails in production. Odeo and Qype are probably closest to the multi-million transaction-handling websites you're referring to.


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Justin Gehtland
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Joined: Jan 30, 2007
Posts: 31
Mongrel is an incredible web server, and it does a remarkable job of serving a lot of Ruby code very robustly. If you truly need 10 million transactions a minute inside a single process, then you wouldn't want to use a standard Ruby process, no. But if you are doing anything reasonable, Rails *can* be fine.

But I think the original post in this thread hits a sore spot for me. Don't confuse Ruby (the language), the Ruby interpreter (the platform), Rails (the framework), Java (the language) and Java (the platform). Ruby (the language) is a highly productive programming language, which has an amazingly tight frameowork in Rails, that can run on the Ruby interpreter or on the JVM (the Java platform).

Java (the language) doesn't buy you massive multi-million-tx/sec scalability. The JVM does. In fact, I *might* argue that the language itself holds you back some.

But if you can write a great app in Ruby using Rails and deploy it and scale it on the JVM, then what, really, is the problem? You can bet that this is part of the future Sun sees, because they brought the JRuby team in-house to help make it reality.

However, as Lasse pointed out, not every tool is right for every job, and this is a point we make again and again, both in the book and in our public lives. Choose the tool that solves your problem; don't try to make your problem fit the tools.
Abhishek Misra
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 26, 2005
Posts: 68
I am not complaining about Ruby being weak. It's just my personal experience in the industry that a technology doesn't get popular enough unless and untill it is widely adopted by the industry. There are hobbyists and people like us who love new better technologies like Ruby on Rails ( a language, a complete framework) but it won't be accepted a universal platform for web programming unless and until you do a monster search for ruby or rails and see a 1000 hits. There must be something pulling this thing from hitting a chord with the industry.

On second thoughts i am going to be buying this book to read how it makes a difference to a java developers life.
Lasse Koskela
author
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 23, 2002
Posts: 11962
    
    5
Originally posted by Abhishek Misra:
It's just my personal experience in the industry that a technology doesn't get popular enough unless and untill it is widely adopted by the industry.

The chicken and the egg... I'd perhaps put it the other way, though: A technology doesn't get widely adopted by the industry until it gets popular enough [among individuals with influence].
Lasse Koskela
author
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 23, 2002
Posts: 11962
    
    5
By the way, I just bumped into ChaCha through Jared's blog.
Justin Gehtland
author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 30, 2007
Posts: 31
I'm not sure what measures of popularity are the right measures these days, but RailsConf 2007 just opened registration a day ago and has already sold out half of its (approximately 1300) available seats. Last year there were 650 people for the first every RailsConf, and this year will be double that. That's a pretty good growth curve. Add that to the O'Reilly and PragmaticProgrammer press releases showing that Ruby and Rails represent the two fastest growing sectors in technical publishing, and you have a pretty impressive story for gaining popularity.

That being said, Ruby will not replace Java (at least not in the next 5 years). That's not what Matz wants for Ruby, and it definitely isn't what DHH wants for Rails. We're finding wide acceptance for Ruby inside Fortune 100 companies and fresh-faced internet startups and everything in between, so anecdotally, its doing fine.

But those doing Java should not be afraid -- its going to be here for a long time.
 
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