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Rails…are you going to be a roadblock?

As I play with rails to see what I can do with it, I am noticing a small but determine voice out there that is screaming bloody murder on Rails potential. In fact, in the dashboard of WP, I notice Matt linking to a couple of articles on why Rails suck. Jumping into Rails is easy enough for anyone, I can testify to that, but what happen when you grow? That maybe something I most likely will never experience but there are programmers working on this problem right now. CDBABY creator went to Rails and BACK TO PHP. Twitter is running into performance issue as they scale. It seems all the “magic” of rails of hiding the crap you do not what to deal with actually taxes the server greatly upon higher traffic loads. There is a great post on Rob’s blog that puts together why Rails is not the cure-all that many, including myself, believe it is. Though I do not agree with his love for ASP as I had issues with that environment during my days at Colorado College.

It seems in order to scale, either strip out all the cool Active* (ActiveRecord, ActiveSupport, etc) components or rewrite Ruby in C code…hmm, yeah like I can do that. My “C” experience is not even real as I dabbled only in C++ for two semesters. The 1:1 relationship to a backend database also seems to be a big problem. That I can understand and actually worry about with an application I am working on now professionally. Does this means Rails is a bust? No, I do like the environment. It keeps your code clean and organized if you are lazy (aka me). MVC is a great framework to build in, especially if were not trained to be a developer.

It seems like Rails is a great proof of concept and is an easy path for anyone to get into. I think just like any startup, Rails has to shift over from being a “rebel” with a cause to a “consultant” that can listen. Who knows, maybe my app will change the world. But first I have to build…gotta walk before I can run and for that, Rails will be my walker for now.

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2 thoughts on “Rails…are you going to be a roadblock?

  1. I thought I’d lay down a few comments, since I’m still kind of a medium-level Rails guy (I’ve only deployed 2 production-level sites with Rails).

    The Twitter thing as I understand it happened a few months ago, and weren’t Rails dependant problems – they were issues that any website has to deal with eventually as they grow. Their only Rails specific issue was dealing with multiple database connections (Rails doesn’t have native support for this) — which, IIRC, was solved by a small plugin called ‘multi connection magic’ or ‘multi magic connections’ or something someone built in about 2 days in his spare time.

    It’s actually pretty interesting — recommended reading if you’re going to develop a high-volume website I think. What I took away from it was that Rails can be extended pretty far without having to edit the actual Rails source code. I learned some pretty nifty techniques that have saved me some headaches. 😉

    Although I think the CD BABY guy made a horrible mistake trying to port from a language he was very comfortable with to a language he never used before — that can only end in failure in my opinion. The only thing worse than that in my opinion is having a 3rd party do it, since they wouldn’t understand the ins and outs of your code.

  2. Thanks for the 2 cents and for the plugin, I am going to take a look at that. As I am still green to the whole rails community, I am perceiving events from the perimeter. I agree with you on CD Baby, that was a tough call to bring in a “stranger” of sorts to your code and do a port. I hope to avoid all of that by just working from Rails. Time will tell if this Biologist can really code…thanks again.

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