Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Rails 1.0: Party like it's one oh oh!

Rails 1.0: Party like it's one oh oh!: "15 months after the first public release, Rails has arrived at the big 1.0."

Getting to a 1.0 release is really going to make this easier to use in a variety of contexts. Ruby and Rails have really brought a sea change in my way of thinking about the best way to develop software. I am not 100% happy with it, as it seems to be a little too "database driven", but there are a lot tricks in there to make it less so. I think that is one thing that really separates it from things like Oracle's HTML DB. HTML DB is great for generating database driven web applications, until you want to do something outside of the framework, then you are alone in a cold dark place with nothing but burning pl/sql code to keep you warm.

There's something nice about having code generation vs. a pure wizardry approach that leaves you nothing to modify. The downside is, of course, that your changes are overwritten if you re-gen. A beauty of Rails is that if you add a field to the database, it is accessible in the model, but it still must be added to the user interface. One mode of development is to start by modifying the templates for code generation such that one can always add fields and regenerate the UIs, at least. I haven't gotten that deep into Rails yet, but that's the direction I am going.

One of the things about Rails that really surprised me was that the scaffolding generates a web service to go along with the web pages for a particular domain object. I think this is a really interesting feature that will also probably be assimilated by database companies, if it already hasn't been.


GeoMullah said...

Awesome blog, Matt. Shoot me a note and we'll do lunch sometime.