Monday, October 31, 2005

Ruby on Rails chases simplicity in programming

Great article on Ruby on Rails, the environment that 37 signals uses for BaseCamp and Backpack among others.

While I continue to hear about this framework to help web developers be more productive, I find myself thinking very much about West-Wind WebConnect 5.0, still in beta and the buzz that was generated at the Southwest Fox conference about it.

No, they aren't the same thing (one is open source, the other isn't) - but the key goals are the same - simplicity in web development.

2 comments:

Rick Strahl said...

Andrew,

Web Connection 5.0 is nothing like Ruby :-}. If there are comparisons it'll be a lot more like ASP.NET than anything else.

Ruby is interesting and impressive in what you can slap together quickly, but I don't think it's really designed to build well designed business applications with. It follows the PHP/Script mindset more than anything and as such is heavy on UI/direct data linking metaphors, rather than business logic and clean architecture design. If that saves time in the long run for anything but basic applications is questionable in my mind.

Andrew MacNeill said...

Rick,

I agree with you that the actual implementation is nothing like Ruby. What I find similar however is this entire push for simplicity in web development and this is something that I think you've achieved in Web Connection.

For those who want to muck around with low level stuff, they can still do that but Web Connection, they could hand-write very useful web apps - with WC 5.0, they can now leverage existing tools for building better UIs.

SO no, technically, nothing alike. Conceptually, based on the title of the article "Simplicity in programming", though, I find that WC does make it easier to do more with less.