Ruby on Rails
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July 29, 22:51

Arrogance, ignorance, and a blinding Sun

Statements like this is the reason I love picking on Java programmers:

The scripting languages like Perl, Python, PHP, and Ruby are useful for quickly hacking up a Web site. However, as Fowler's "Principles of Enterprise Application Architecture" notes, they are pretty much limited to the "Transaction Script" model.

The shear amount of arrogance and ignorance contained is staggering. It would appear as if Doug is simply playing word bingo and called it when he spotted that "Transaction Script" and "Scripting Language" were close enough.

There is absolutely no inherent connection between the two terms (neither does Fowler attempt to make one from page 110 to 115 of PoEAA that talks about Transaction Scripts — he even uses Java as the example!).

In Rails, as an example, we're using the Active Record pattern (relieved of the chief concerns with the original pattern) to facilitate the building of a strong domain model. We're using Action Pack, which is founded in the gulf between Page Controller and Front Controller along with a Template View and use of Helpers.

But this is not about name dropping patterns. It's about people working under a Sun that has all but blinded them from an outside world that doesn't appreciate the masochistic fascination with hard, manual labour and the real sweat it breaks. And Dough isn't even affraid to admit it:

Quickly? J2EE isn't really about building things quickly

I guess that's the self-referential reality that kicks in after you've spent another day working the nine to five in a XML configured and compiled sweatshop.

And the call to authority really underlines the audacity of exhibited. Martin Fowler is himself a big Ruby enthusiast from all that I've read, been told, and talked with him, so it's particularly ironic to see his name abused to spearhead an attack on the language.

P.S.: Unlike Graham, I don't necessarily think it's all Java programmers that share this combination of A and I, but it's just that there are so many that do. It makes it hard not to let those stereotypes assume the public face of The Java Programmer. Not impossible, just hard.

Challenge by Sascha Ebach on July 29, 23:52

Hi David,

i also think that the statement you are refering to is completely uninformed. Therefore it cannot really be an attack. You can only attack (to resume the war vocabulary) efficiently with real weapons. Those arguments are hilarious. I can understand your frustration. And I admire you energy in going for this little crusade.
The best way to convice these ppl is to show them, in great detail, how easy and fast development can be in a scripting language, especially in Ruby. For this a bigger example and maybe 1 or 2 case studies are necessary. This can only be developed over time. Until then neither side will really have convining arguments.

PHP has Yahoo, Python has Google and Ruby?

For starters something like a pet shop done in Ruby on Rails completely documented with video tutorials is surely going to attract a lot of developers out of the Java world. Another idea would be a simple CMS (been thinking about this myself). Just look at how many Open Source CMSs there are in PHP/Python/Java. There is not one good package written in Ruby. With Rails this should be very easy to do.

Challenge by Morten on August 01, 23:11

Did you check Doug's homepage before bashing away? Did you invite him to reply?

He appears to be one of the people who cannot work with his "language of love", Eiffel. He has a pretty interesting CV ( - if you haven't read it, you should. If you have read it, I wonder how you of all things could classify him as arrogant and ignorant.

He's not the average fresh-out-of-college-Java-hoodlum that you prefer to pick on :-)

Challenge by David Heinemeier Hansson on August 01, 23:14

If that's the case, I'm even more sad to be reminded of what he said about the "scripting languages". You should think that someone with an off-mainstream interest would be more careful before writing off an array of languages just because they can be referred to using a word of a some times questionable pattern.

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