Archive for the ‘Rails’ Category

Best of Ruby/Rails in 2007

January 1, 2008

Thanks to the great work of the Ruby & Rails communities, the year of 2007 saw many exciting new software releases. I have listed a few releases that I would like to point out in particular and expressively thank the developers for:

* Rails 2.0 – A great open-source framework got better in December 2007 with the v2.0 release. In particular I like the improvements in security, test fixtures, http support, performance, debugger and the non-beta addition of ActiveResource by default.

* JRuby 1.0 – By mid 2007 the first proper open-source release of JRuby arrived and it was able to run (most) Rails applications. Very impressive but a bit beta-like (many key API’s are still changing and there is little documentation in the download). Look out for an even better and faster JRuby 1.1 with JIT support in early 2008.

* Ruby 1.9 ( development release) – The proper development release of the next ruby programming language and implementation, version, 1.9, was released in open-source form on 25th December. Not suited for production but gives the community a chance to experiment with, and provide feedback for, many new Ruby features and implementation changes before Ruby 2.0 arrives. My favorite changes are string encodings (for f.x. unicode) and the new YARV virtual machine included in the Ruby 1.9 release.

* RubyGems 1.0.0 – First proper release of RubyGems in December 2007 as open-source. With RubyGems Ruby developers neatly avoids Java’s classpath-hell (*). Basic but cool stuff!

* Active Scaffold 1.1 (almost) – I was not sure if I was going to include this plugin on the list because it is not quite ready (it’s a release candidate last updated in December) and because the old version 1.0 had a bit too many limitations for my taste. However, this open-source Rails plugin is simply too great to leave out. It’s is basically a parallel to “ActiveRecord” but for the front end allowing the developer to implement visual, model-driven CRUD operations quite neatly. You should check it out.

* Commerical IDEs with real Ruby+Rails support arrives in plenty. Proper IDE releases in 2007 includes Netbeans, Aptana (RadRails), IntelliJ, 3rdRail, Ruby In Steel, Komodo IDE etc… At last some real competition to plain old emacs or textmate !

Nb) I use this term for a lack of a more neutral yet common description of the issues with installing jars and configuring classpaths in Java. Java is a great development platform – which I have used proficiently and happily for 10+ years – but classpath/package/module/jar/version management is not it’s strong point

Ruby on Rails’ footprint on Microsoft

December 21, 2007

This post could also be called how David (DHH) inspired Goliath (MS).

Lately Microsoft has release a number of products and new technologies on the .NET platform. Of course this could just be seen as the way of .NET framework. I mean.. 3.0 and 3.5 are just what comes after 2.0, right?!

Anyway… We’ve had this WebForms framework for doing websites for years now, and MS never really strafed from this strategy even though the Model View Controller pattern has had alot of followers and proven itself on the Java platform. Why should we have an MVC stack when working with .NET?!? Well.. I for one find it really easy to understand. No more advanced event cycles and s… viewstate. No more postback and advanced control design… Well that’s just me. When that is said, I’ve worked almost exclusivly with WebForms since the .NET 1.0 beta was out… Of course there has been some alternatives. In the last post I linked to the MonoRails project. On the frontpage it even says that it is inspired by Ruby on Rails (just see the .rails file extension for the httphandler in all their examples).

As I wrote in the last post, Microsoft are now launching their own MVC stack… Hmmm… Why the sudden change? As with everything Microsoft goes into, they pretty much market it as something completely new and innovative. Just look at the MVC frenzy going on over at: ScottGu and Haacked.com (ok.. also alot of great examples… ).

So is this another MS MVC post… Well not really, I just wanted to sum up some recent stuff out of MS and then leave it up to you to decide if they are not (heavily) inspired by RoR:

MVC

As already discussed, the heart of RoR and a sudden shift from MS.

REST

While not invented by DHH, he spoke (and) … and the world listened. This completely suprised MS. “Does people actually need this silly rest thingy?!”. Well apparently MS is now REST’ing a but with the Astoria Project.

NRuby?

We currently have JRuby and MS recently launched their first dynamic language (IronPython) on the .NET platform. Furthermore there are job ads like this. There is also this open source project however.

O/R Mapping

While RoR uses Martin Fowler’s Active Record pattern for its o/r mapper, Microsoft finally has something they almost can call an o/r mapper. While MS has brought the dynamic expression i c# to the table with the LINQ technology, LINQ for Entities (and SQL) is really too little too late.. I’ve been using NHibernate for years now and with the LINQ for NHibernate I might just stay there :). And also remember that this is not the first o/r mapper MS tries to bring to the market. Who doesn’t remember ObjectSpaces.

While I don’t claim that MS has picked up on o/r mappers after RoR, they certainly comes in handy with their brand new lightweight MVC package.

So…

What do you think?! Is MS inspired by RoR?! I believe they are at least keeping a very big eye on it (Sauron style) but that’s just my to cents?


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