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Discussion on: On Death and Dying: Ruby on Rails

leastbad profile image

Great post, kudos. Sadly, the people who would learn the most from it are so hardened and tribal that to click is to admit the possibility of being wrong. And we all know that there's nothing worse than an insecure person being wrong.

Some additional perspective from someone who has been in this from the beginning: before "is it dead?" was "but does it scale?", but before even that there was "this is a toy that's can't hit critical mass". This FUD was largely coming from Java developers (DHH always called them "enterprise astronauts", which made me giggle every time) who were rightfully deeply threatened by how easy it was to stand up a production ready app with Rails; ActiveRecord in particular was described in unflattering terms.

In reality, if Twitter was starting from scratch today, I would definitely use Rails again. The problem was that they were literally doing MySQL joins to push out tweets to (at the time) giant audiences. I feel that if they had a chance for a do-over, knowing what they know today, they would have started out with a clear intention to divide the messaging infrastructure and the front-end from the very beginning, and things would turn out very differently.

Anyhow, there's two excellent links that you should add to your list. You might have seen the Rails Doctrine. It's a long read but a poignant one, and worth revisiting every few years.

It's less likely that you've seen DHH's RailsConf 2008 keynote talk, "The Great Surplus". To me, this is the key moment where he broke down every aspect of why the whole "is rails dead" thing isn't just moot, it's a way that we can enjoy massive advantages over our competitors. It's a 100% must-see, at least once.

remy29 profile image
Arthur Remy Author

Thanks for the input and great suggestion! I will link both of these in my post as they are far more in-depth look at the same topic.