Category Archives: Rails

A Pleasant Surprise: RoR at

I’ve been listening to audiobooks while I commute for a long time, now, and I’ve been a customer of for almost as long. Today, I got a pleasant surprise.

I was browsing the Audible site when I notice a link at the bottom of the page titled Work at Audible. I clicked it, curious to see what’s up at one of my favorite vendors, and I was very pleasantly surprised to find that they are looking for a Ruby on Rails developer!

IBM supports Ruby on Rails

I was pleased to see this: Starter Toolkit for DB2 on Rails.

The DB2 driver and Active Reocord adapter were developed and is maintained by the members of IBM’s DB2 team. Very nice!

Excellent (searchable) multi-api website

I only discovered this site a couple hours ago, but it has already become my favorite api reference site:

It uses api reference material gathered dynamically from authoritative sources, and it includes api documentation for Ruby, Rails, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, DOM, and much more…

Highly recommended!

Damn cool: Rails app running on JVM

Wow! I thought I wouldn’t see this for another year. The JRuby guys got the cookbook Rails app running on JRuby (it uses an Active Record to JDBC adapter). Read all about it here.

Good work guys!

Wish list of Rails applications

There are a few items on my wish list for Rails aplications. The two top ones are a replacement, and something similar to the Python based Trac. Replacement

I’ll admit that the item is a vendetta of sorts (that’s probably too strong). provides a really nice service. It was’s low barrier to entry that enticed me to get off my butt and start the St. Louis Ruby Users Group (only days after I told someone that I didn’t have the time to start a users group).

The problem I have with is I feel that they screwed over their users. Initially, the service was free. This, and the fact that their service was nicely implemented caused an explosion of signups. Once they had suckered in a lot of users groups they started charging $19/month.

I have no problem with them charging for their service, but $19/month was way too high. I don’t have access to their records but I’ll bet there was a mass exodus, and there would have been even more if there had been a decent alternative. I felt that at $3 to $5 a month, they could easily corner the market and discourage competitors. But at $19 I expected to see some competition real-soon-now.

That never materialized, but I think has now lowered the price to $9/month. Its too late for me, though—they’ve already left a sour taste in my mouth.

I still think a replacement would make a great Rails project. Someone needs to step up and just do it!

Rails Equivalent of Trac

Trac is a really nice project management system. It combines all the needed pieces (wiki, issue tracking, releasing planning, subversion source control, etc.) into one nice, attractive package.

This also would make a great Rails project, although I’ll admit there are fewer compelling reasons for this one since Trac is open source.

But it would be nice to have one in Rails because Rails developers would be more likely to to customize it when needed and develop and contribute extensions. There are so many Rails developers that I could see a strong ecosystem developing around this project (much like what has happened with Typo).

It wouldn’t need to be developed from scratch either since many of the needed pieces are already available as Rails apps:

  • Wiki: The recently announce RuseWiki looks really promising. It was designed from the ground up with antispam capabilities in mind. Plus it uses UseMod wiki syntax, which is nice and simple.
  • Blog: Typo of course!
  • Subversion Browser: This had been a missing piece, but just today I discovered bsSvnBrowser.

There’s a great opportunity here for someone!

DDJ: “Rails may [be a] historic tipping point” !

This is a real teaser…

Andy Hunt reports that Dr. Dobb’s Journal has a cover story about Ruby on Rails in the June 2006 issue in which they say:

DDJ will be tracking Rails closely in the coming months because it may represent a historic tipping point in development environments.

Cool… I want to read more! But the link just takes me to the page for the Pragmatic Bookshelf’s Rails book.

I figure that’s a simple error, so I Google for the DDJ site, go directly there and look for the article. Nope, not there! Actually, there’s no mention of the June 2006 articles, only articles for May 2006.

Looks like Andy got to see some advance copy, and the rest of us are just going to have to wait!


UPDATE: Its out now… you can read it here.

Rails is more than I thought

Dave Thomas just posted Eric Knapp’s report about how the productivity boost of Ruby on Rails has more repercussions than just the obvious saving of time and money. It is also an enabler for things that were previously not possible.

My client can no longer replace any IT employee when someone leaves. They are down to one network administrator (!) and two programmers.

Then I started sharing rails with him. I like rails and I tend to be enthusiastic. About ten minutes into my presentation he interrupted me and said, “So, this could save my IT department, couldn’t it?”

I this in an important, possibly overlooked, aspect of a 10x to 20x productivity increase, which fits in nicely with ideas I wrote about in The Longest Tail.