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By bloid
Published: Jan 23 2008 / 14:33

It seems more and more these days like people just don’t want to hear about Ruby. Ruby posts to link sites like DZone or Reddit get voted down before they have a chance to see the light of day. Pointless flames litter the blogs, declaiming Ruby and alternatively crowning Groovy, Scala, Java or even XML in its place. The sad thing is that no one seems to have found the middle ground yet.
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dzonelurker replied ago:

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Ever heard of the hype cycle?
RoR has now entered the 'Trough of Disillusionment'. It's in the stars whether there will be a 'Slope of Enlightenment' for RoR.

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daniel replied ago:

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Darn, I have heard of the hype cycle. I was trying to remember its exact name so I could bring it up in the article but it just never happened. :-)

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Jeremy Weiskotten replied ago:

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The only people who seem to be disillusioned are those who had false expectations to begin with, or who expect Rails to be a golden hammer.

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eelmore replied ago:

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The article is about Ruby, not Rails. Ruby is already in the plateau of productivity, sir.

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elucify replied ago:

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The buriers aren't necessarily disillusioned. They might also be the all-too-common troll who hates everything they think is "hype", whether they know anything about it or not. Like all the people who hate "AJAX" because the acronym bugs them. Hating what the Great Unwashed love is a cheap way to look smart.

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Jeremy Weiskotten replied ago:

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Yeah... reminds me of a kid in high school who didn't think you were cool if you liked anything from "mainstream" bands.

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larzim replied ago:

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I saw that Ruby was shown to have gone up a great deal in the TIOBE index for 2006, and then it went down: . If you look at these chartsyou can see that there is a great deal of fluctuation over time. I mostly like Ruby because I have used it and similar technologies so that I have some idea of why it could be successful. I've seen firsthand at work for instance how people can react against such thing in a prejudiced way without really knowing much about it or based on a very limited criteria etc.

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adriandu replied ago:

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It's hard these days to distinguish between some of the criticism of Ruby, and some of the criticism of Rails. But it seems to me that most critics of Ruby have not learned it, and I think many of them are seeking reasons not to have to do so.

Criticism of Rails, on the other hand, seems to be coming from three different camps: the people who don't want to learn Ruby, the people who work on very large applications or at large companies and who tend to criticize it from the "enterprise" perspective, and finally, experts like Zed who are disillusioned with Rails for one reason or another.

I don't care about enterprise level development, and I really don't care about people who don't want to learn new things. It's only the criticisms of people like Zed that give me much pause. And those people seem to love Ruby but just have a problem with Rails (Zed, for example, promoted Merb in his big rant, which is written in Ruby).

Learning Rails has done three very positive things for me. It's pushed me to learn a new programming language that I find inspiring. It's pushed me to approach web development from a different angle that I am finding very beneficial when working on other languages. And it's given me a tool to quickly create great web applications so I can hammer my competition.

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larzim replied ago:

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I looked on wikipedia and saw that the C programming language came out in something like 1978. Back in the 1980's there was alot of Pascal programming going on. Apollo computer wrote their OS in Pascal, they where a competitor with Sun for awhile. I worked at Apollo back in 1984-85. Anyway, Digital had VAX Pascal, and everyone was using Turbo Pascal on PC's. Eventually C became more used and probably by very late in the 1980's C became the obvious winner due to it having a strong standard and being portable whereas Pascal had many variants and Standard Pascal was lacking. In fact one job I had was porting between Vax Pascal and Metaware Pascal.

I think Java gained prominence because it was a departure from C++ and was more web based.

Right now there are alot of options for web development, Ruby, Java, PHP, ASP and so on. I think there are certain advantages of reasons why you could argue each of these, but perhaps it's like back in the 80's when a clear winner was not obvious for a number of years.

my interest in more focused on Ruby. I'd learn Python if I thought there was some compelling reason for me to do so, like I wanted to use a particular Python API extensively. I don't see Plone or Zope getting used as much as Rails based on the news groups.

Mostly I did alot of Perl programming a few years back because it was allready on the system and the sys admins wouldn't just let you go out and install python or something else, so Perl is what I used and it was pretty good at the time.


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antych replied ago:

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larzim replied ago:

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I think Rails has many advantages over the others, but I'm not sure to what degree those advantages are compelling enough that everyone would feel they had to switch over tommorow etc. Other changes such as RIA (rich internet apps), flex based stuff may also change the landscape of development.

PHP is easier for front end work than Java, but Ruby is in a similar class with PHP/Perl, though it has a more extensive set of available libraries through gems. Overall, I am not sure how easy it is to predict future development changes, though I expect Rails will continue to grow and attract more usage.

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