Problem with Frameworks

Courtesy: Jeremy Zawodny

A few months back I wanted to prototype some ideas that my wife and I have been tossing around for web sites that’d be fun to build up in our so-called spare time. I thought it would be smart to use that as an opportunity to learn Ruby and Rails.

Well, I was half right. Ruby is a very cool language and Perl’s influence on it is clear. (I’m and old Perl guy.) However, Rails has grown since I last looked at it. In fact, it’s grown a lot and that means a lot of complexity and more to learn. I felt a bit uneasy about it. The whole thing made me feel a bit inadequate, to be honest.

Today I came across What the hell is happening to Rails? and this struck a chord with me:

But it just feels like we’re making this herculean effort to write elegant code and disappearing off on our own cloud of perfection, leaving behind anyone who wants to learn rails. We’re making it perfect and keeping up the number of new things to learn per month for people writing rails for the last few years. But we’re making it harder and harder for anyone to join the club from scratch.

And as soon as I read that I realized that it wasn’t “just me” but that Rails has, in fact, become a big framework with a lot of culture (some of it rather odd feeling to me) and a lot of change still ahead of it. It was a relief.

In other words, it was exactly what I did NOT want for some prototyping.

Since then I’ve discovered mojolicious and have been tinkering quite happily. Granted, it doesn’t include everything under the sun (an ORM, for example) but I definitely feel like I can start small and build my way up.

I still think Ruby is a cool language and I’d like to tinker with it more. But Rails is not the best way to learn Ruby.


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