Amazing Rails

By Michael Sica
Founder of the micro-ISV, Ataraxis Software.

The story of picking a programming language/framework is typically a micro-ISV’s
2nd blog post. You know, the one right after the, “I’ve decided to do this
software-company-thing.” (It’s usually 3 or 4 posts before the, “Here is my
awesome logo!” one.)

Bob Walsh invited me to post why I like working with Ruby on Rails while
creating my micro-ISV, Ataraxis Software.

The first time I saw RoR in action was at a Java conference in late 2005. Bruce
Tate, a fantastic author and all-around nice guy, was giving a presentation on
RoR. I saw him create a single database table, type a couple of commands on the
command line, and then bring up a web page with a bunch of form fields on it
that matched the column names of the database table.

Mr. Tate proceeded to use the form and the audience and I WATCHED IN AMAZEMENT.
We were literally gasping, laughing with joy, and literally going woooooaaahhhh.

Records were being created in the database. He had another screen that would
list all the records, another to edit, and a button to delete. And he hadn’t
even written code yet!

Having coded in PHP and Coldfusion with the Fusebox framework and Java/JSP with
the Spring MVC framework, seeing Ruby on Rails in action changed my view of the
world of web development forever.

PHP and Coldfusion were just getting (some type of) Object Oriented constructs.
They seemed so primitive compared to something as OO as Ruby.

If you’ve ever tried to “get into” JSP development you know how brutal it is to
get started. I once blogged,

“Java, cool I get it. JSP, there’s like 3 different ways to do everything. Which
do I learn? Application frameworks, started learning Struts – what a nightmare.
Stared learning JSF – what a nightmare. Found Spring and Spring MVC, and they
rocked. Crap, I need to learn Tiles too. Ok, so how does Tiles work with Spring
MVC? Ok that’s, cool. I only need to do 6 things every time I make a form. (I
actually have a list printed out so I won’t forget all the steps.)”

I know I sound like a typical RoR fanboy, but I really haven’t had this much fun
programming before.

For us micro-ISV’s, there are so many aspects of Ruby on Rails that are relevant
to modern day web development that you can’t use a platform that offers less.
MVC, ORM, Ajax & JavaScript integration. Add all that up and mix in a lot
of, “convention over configuration”, and you’ve got one serious competitive
advantage.

[tags]Ruby on Rails, micro-ISVs, Ataraxis[/tags]

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Ataraxis Software’s first product, Ataraxis Pudding, is set to enter private
beta in late March of ’07. If you’re interested in participating in the beta
just email Michael at michaelsica@gmail.com. You can follow Michael’s progress
on his blog at http://www.michaelsica.com