What surprises me are the detractors who insist that this is no big deal, with dismissals like:
- been there, done that…
- this has been around for ages, nothing new here, move along…
These nay sayers are completely missing the point. There are two mutually reinforcing trends in web applications that will eventually change the face of the web, and this is part of one of them.
Web applications, as popular as they are, have been saddled with two significant problems:
- They have required inordinate amounts of manpower to create, extend, and maintain (i.e., poor productivity).
- They have extraordinarily lame and dumbed-down user interfaces.
Ruby on Rails is the vanguard of a new style of developing web applications that pushes productivity to heights that we used to think were impossible. I have no doubt that many more high-productivity web app frameworks will follow. But, for now, Rails no only stands alone with a substantial lead, but also sets a very high bar against which competitors will be measured.
The fact that Rails includes and leverages the Prototype library to full advantage, makes Rails a potent tool (no… a potent weapon) in your development arsenal.
I’m not interested in the whining about what’s new and what’s old. I don’t care about off-the-wall claims of non-robustness, can’t scale, and just-a-toy, when a myriad of highly functional, heavily used, developed-in-record-time, production web applications already exist to say otherwise.
I sincerely welcome the addition of more tools and frameworks to further push the envelope of sustainable productivity. In the meantime, I’ll use Ruby on Rails wherever possible.