Ruby on Rails
Ta-da List


May 18, 1:33

'The amiable Dutch mastermind'

I think that's the coolest thing I've ever been called. Or at least as cool as fearless leader. Maybe they can even co-exist. I'm seeing images. See mastermind is guy in nice chair with a cat. Amiable is the friendly smile. Dutch is a hat of some sorts. Then fearless must be patch across one eye and then leader can be a fist on the table. Are you seeing it yet?

Oh. You're missing the context. Yes, yes. Of course. Jonathan Boutelle from the SiliconValleyWatcher did a write-up of the recent Ajax Summit that O'Reilly and Adaptive Path threw. Here's the bit about the Dutch masterminding:

Technical frameworks for making AJAX development are cropping up like mushrooms after a rainstorm. Of the many developments, the most compelling is clearly Ruby on Rails. Rails is a rapid web application API that already has remarkable momentum. David Heinemeier Hansson, the amiable Dutch mastermind behind the rails framework, gave a nice overview of how Ruby on Rails makes AJAX websites easy to develop.

I've been meaning to write more about that Summit. And I will. Soon. Lots of great things to come of it. In a few fragmented sentences: "readers don't care about the last 20%", "could flash become relevant again?", "(at least) two flavors of Ajax", "making ajax and mobile gel". If I shouldn't get around to actually write any of these, you should have enough to make up your own story.

Oh, by the way, I'm Danish. Not Dutch. But now that you had to mistake my nationality, you could have done worse, Jonathan. You could have called me German. Or Swedish :).

UPDATE: Jason is a mastermind too! "Jason Fried has been a mastermind behind the new direction...". Too funny. He's not getting Dutch, though. That's mine.

Challenge by Adam Michela on May 18, 2:17

My favorite quote "maybe i'll consider flash then". Heh. ;)

I haven't had a chance to write anything about it either, nor have I had the chance to say good to meet ya -- which it trully was. Your facial expressions everytime someone mentioned JSF had me cracking up ;)

Challenge by Marc Hedlund on May 18, 2:40

I feel obliged to stand up for my Swedish ancestors. You crazy Dutch! :)

Challenge by Alexey Verkhovsky on May 18, 3:23

Keep in mind that from american angle, there is no difference :)

Challenge by Lars Fischer on May 18, 10:07

If you prefer Germany closing it's borders and stop paying for totally unimportant little countries like Denmark, just tell me...anf tell me too if you don't want Germans to pay for Backpack.

Challenge by Peter Cooper on May 18, 12:03

Yeah, Dutch never seems to be an insult :) Shows you the typical American angle though, as Alexey says! Thankfully for me, most Americans know who the British are, although they seem to think we're part of Europe. Quelle horreur!

Lars raises an interesting point, and one I had not considered before myself.. and that is, it's possible to offend potential (or existing) customers by things you say on your weblog. I have to give this some thought myself! That said, Lars, it was clearly a neighbourly jibe, much like how us Brits are always jibing at the French.

Challenge by Tomas on May 18, 12:06

Come on now, if you could pick where you'd been born, clearly you would have picked Sweden. ;-)

Challenge by David Heinemeier Hansson on May 18, 12:49

Michael Barrish had a good post about offending potential clients with your weblog: Motherfucker. For a no-insult experience, is the place to go.

Challenge by lol on May 18, 13:45

Right, David, insulting (potential and actual) developers is so much better :-))))))))) (and you're good at that too).

Challenge by Michael on May 18, 13:46

Come on David. Insulting anyone is just plain unprofessional. After the anti windows posting this is the second troll. Or was it just irony? (Then you should have used the ;-) smiley) But maybe you've finally lost ground after so many people told you how great you and your framework are...

Challenge by David Heinemeier Hansson on May 18, 13:53

Oh crap. You thought I was serious? The web is indeed a terrible medium for conveying a wink and twink. I thought the smiley at the end would do it, but perhaps we need a smiley with an underline to stress its significance. I have nothing against Germans. Or even Swedes. Really. I take offence when people think the Danish language sounds like German, but that's all ;)

Challenge by Yoda on May 18, 15:05

More than adequate the smiley face you used was the playful and non-serious spirit of your comment to convey. Worry not.

Challenge by Adam Michela on May 18, 15:58

How funny is it that people are getting pissy towards David in a thread about how he was called amiable - friendly and agreeable in disposition; good-natured and likable. Haha.

David: For the record, I have absolutely no idea what the Danish language sounds like... but your accent sure sounds German! ;) ;)

Challenge by Lars Fischer on May 18, 17:14

Hey, don't worry. I'll stay a (paying) Backpack client and if I continue using it, I'll even upgrade the plan. But you called me worse than Dutch,man that's really hard:-)
My reaction was so 'hard' because your blog often offends in some way and this isn't very clever when running a business.

E.g. in former times I used the JBoss application server until I read some comments from Marc Fleury in the JBoss forums.
Despite the fact that he is French :-) I decided that I'll never again use a JBoss product, no matter how good the quality is.

I don't have anything against Danish people. Btw. Dutch sounds like a drunk German:-)

Challenge by David Heinemeier Hansson on May 18, 17:35

Showing character is definitely a two-edged sword. But I also tend to think that its more interesting to be controversial from time to time than just to be bland, sterile, and careful never to upset anyone.

And I definitely like that people are picking products by their perception of the company. So if I mortally offended someone, I'd not expect to see them as happy customers of Backpack. And that's okay :).

Anyway. It is funny, Adam. With the amiable thing and then a little stir ;).

Challenge by Jim Weirich on May 18, 18:48

Perhaps Jonathan Boutelle was confused and thought you were Pennsylvania Dutch, since (according to Eckel) speaking Pennsylvania Dutch apparently increases your skill level with Ruby (see and

Challenge by Fafner on May 18, 20:20

For once I took no offence :-)

But then again I am a fellow dane who every day works with people from Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands.

Challenge by Magirus on May 18, 22:03

Heck, from the other side of the atlantic ocean we're all just looking the same. Speaking the same. Drinking the same. Just a lot of old europeans that make jokes about each others.

I wonder when the United People of Europe are finally founded and working...

Challenge by Adam Michela on May 18, 23:01

... and you all make good food!

Challenge by Lars Fischer on May 18, 23:19

... no, the food in Great Britain is ...

Challenge by Brent Ashley on May 21, 3:41

Good on you, David, for making light of the Dutch/Danish mistake. I'm reminded of Lars, who we met at the pub with you, and I later realized that due to a mental mixup with Thor Larholm, I continually called him Thor and he and his wife never once corrected me, I assume being too interested in the good conversation we were having to slow it down with such minutiae.

Of course, they might just have thought I was a complete doofus. Wouldn't be the first time!

Challenge by Jordan Rule on May 23, 22:02

David - I'd like to mention that I've given you your dues as well - . I, on the other hand, don't drop the ball and rightfully say Danish. I grew up in London, so I know how culturally touchy you Europeans are (we don't really have culture over on this side of the Atlantic =o)

When I say Jason is the mastermind, I'm referring to business mastermind for knowing a good thing when he saw it (in your work).