Saturday, July 30, 2005

Ruby On Rails, the Week in Review

Does the title sound pompous enough? ;)

Anyways, I'm going to try and pretend that I'm not just a kid in a candy store with RoR, and that I can be objective. :D

RoR makes developing fun. I think that's the best thing I can say about it. When you're having fun programming, you're more productive. At least that's the way it works with me. It takes so much busy work out of your hands, so much worry about design, it's so easy to pull off impressive demos that yeah, I'd believe the 10X faster development boasts, at least for the coding bits.

So what are the downsides? Well, as far as I can tell it's not going to work under IIS6. That means the administrators have to sink time into learning how to setup and use Apache. Maybe that will be a good thing in the long run, who knows? The simple truth is that they wouldn't have to do that if I'd have stuck with MonoRail though.

What else can I come up with? Well, I haven't found a good, documented RubyIDE for Windows, that includes RubyDoc. I'm not saying FreeRide is bad, because it's not, but it's lacking in some polish, including .RHTML highlighting, and support for Projects. I end up using UltraEdit more often than not, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I really like not having to have something as piggish as VS.NET open to get my work done. It's like I have a whole new computer without VS.NET slowing it down. :)

ActiveRecord doesn't have great support for legacy databases. No composite keys, and your model will look nasty if your casing/naming strategy in the database isn't laid out "The Ruby Way". Thankfully that's not a concern right now, but it's unfortunately a deal-breaker for most projects I'd imagine.
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