As earlier mentioned, the fine chaps at Combustion Labs invited me to come to Vancouver for a week to introduce their team of PHP programmers to Ruby on Rails.
Now considering that all three companies I've done Ruby on Rails consulting for has either already switched or anticipates to switch to the platform, I feel that the pressure is on to keep the winning streak going.
And I wonder when the bag of tricks is going to run out, so it won't be possible to dazzle guys like Lars Pind of Collaboraid who noted this after I visited:
Watching David demonstrated to me directly, visually, personally, a very productive way of working that broke with a number of traditions we've held for years...
So to ease my mind, I'm planning to think of stuff I'd like to do on whatever little spare time I might have. Do you have any good suggestions?
I'm flying in on Sunday and going out on Saturday. (Going out as in flying to San Francisco for Building of Basecamp III — do consider signing up if you're in the area, there's still a few seats left).
If your downtown and get a chance, take in the fantastic Massive Change exhbit at the Vancouver Art Gallery. For food, check out the excellent Banana Leaf.
Overall whatever you do, it's a wonderful laidback city and you will have a great time.
If you have time and are into improv comedy, I recommend that you go see a [Vancouver TheatreSports League](http://www.vtsl.com/) show on Granville Island.
Whoops, too much Instiki+Markdown syntax...
Now, will that be: "Vancouver TheatreSports League":http://www.vtsl.com/ or Vancouver TheatreSports League?
I entirely agree with you regarding fear driven technology decisions, but I think you sell decision makers short when you describe it that way. I have every intention of looking into Ruby on Rails and I'm starting at zero, so I've got a lot to learn. That said, there is an entire industry producing enterprise solutions for the Java and .NET platforms. That's really hard to fight against.
My current project involves a web application and a batch processing engine. Each integrate with existing systems using JCP "standardized" APIs (directory services, message oriented middleware) and with a commercial rules engine using a proprietary Java API (rather than the JCP "standardized" Java API for rules engines). Again, I'm not even new to Ruby yet, but I will be very suprised to find the level of wide ranging industry support for Ruby that exists for Java and .NET.
The industry support for Java and .NET has a lot to do with these platforms being backed by industry heavyweights, but that doesn't detract from the fact that there are (I believe) simply more tools, APIs, products, etc. for these platforms than for Rails on Ruby, LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) or WebObjects, just to name three competing web application platforms. A larger industry base means less likelyhood of the technology being obsoleted. Choosing a technology with that as a consideration (not the consideration) isn't being governed by fear, it is being pragmatic.
I'm really excited to get started with Ruby on Rails because I'm always interested to see different technologies. Please keep up the good work.
I must agree with the idea of new technologies being given a pass in favor of established and widely used tech. I work for a government agency that is decidedly a Microsoft shop. Our "official" Intranet is made up of IIS servers running ColdFusion.
In my little corner of the Intranet I have been running a small and unobtrusive LAMP server. In trying to find the right mix of open-source applications to meet my Inventory, Trouble Ticket, WebLogging needs I have gotten very proficient at cobbeling together PHP, Perl and even TCL applications into a whole that comes close, but isn't really a tight fit with what I need.
I have come close a couple of times to biting the bullet and commiting to PHP and trying to roll my own, as it were, but have always stopped short when contemplating the learning curve and time to learn something new. I have built quite a few Microsoft Access applications in the past, so the Database part isn't much of a stretch for me.
After seeing the comment made by Lars Pind on his personal site, I decided to look at Rails and was like others, blown away from the videos. I have successfully installed and completed the short Tutorials on a Windows 2000 Pro laptop and will be installing Rails onto my LAMP server next week. I have definately decided to give Ruby and Rails the effort required to leran them and to build my Information Technology Manager application. As a fairly proficient Systems Administrator with a sold level of competency with Linux/Solaris systems, Ruby will be the first real scripting language I attempt to learn.
I'll keep you updated as to my progress through the Rails mail list and when my application is ready, I'll be happy to offer it up as a Rails open-source project.
My goal right now is to have the project accepted by my region for use by all 13 field offices in the Southeast and then pitch it at the national level for adoption and use of 110 filed offices all accross the US.
Thanks David for a great framework and to 37Signals for the wisdom to use it for Basecamp.
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