Thursday May 05, 2005
Since the first day Rails was released it’s pretty obvious that many people think it’s great. It’s constantly evolving and making me, as well as every other Rails developer, happy and productive every time we use it.
And then there’s the people who wish that something like Rails was available in language XYZ. Language XYZ may be their favorite language, it may be the only language they know, it may be the only language that is used at their workplace, it may be what all their current projects are developed in.
So they start working on a “Rails clone” or a “Rails inspired” framework in language XYZ. While it’s nice to see that people find Rails and the design concepts behind it interesting, I still can’t quite wrap my head around their reasons for doing so.
Rails/Ruby isn’t supported by my (or my clients) hosting company
If your hosting company doesn’t meet your requirements maybe it’s time to look around for another one? Sure, you’ve used them for ten years and they’ve given you great service so far, but if they won’t support you with the tools you need, then what good are they really?
I don’t know Ruby and I don’t have time to learn it
Yet you’ve found enough info to actually try it out as well as give it some closer examination, only to decide that you’ll build something like it in language XYZ?
Rails/Ruby is new and/or immature and/or still not at 1.0
If Rails can gain enough momentum to be used by a fair amount of developers and being used on big projects either in development or currently in production mode, then I’d say it’s mature enough for you to use.
People who say this will never call Rails “mature”, but those people aren’t likely to even try to clone Rails, because they’d know too well that it will never be mature enough. In fact, these people never do much, you’ll usually find them hanging around waiting for “things to mature a bit more”.
There aren’t many Rails developers around
While the current size of the Rails community can’t be compared to size of the Perl, Java or PHP communities I wouldn’t call it “small” any more and it really is a great community with talented people. Besides, any developer with a reasonable sized brain will be able to pick up Ruby and Rails in no time.
I just don’t like Ruby
Maybe you’ll need to take another look at it, crying about the syntax of a language is just silly. Yes, this one is usually related to syntax, for some reason people don’t like the simple clear syntax of Ruby. Computer languages can be a sensitive thing, most developers usually have 1-3 languages they enjoy using everyday. But building a Rails clone just because Ruby isn’t among your current favorite languages isn’t a reason to dismiss it and try to replicate every aspect of Rails in another language. That to me, seems like an awful waste of time to choose a framework based on language rather than benefits.
Ruby or the current direction Rails is taking doesn’t meet my specific (technical) requirements
Now this one I can accept. If there’s any technical requirements in your application that neither Ruby or Rails can satisfy then it obviously isn’t for you this time around. But then you wouldn’t be building a “Rails clone” either.