Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Leopard will ship with Ruby on Rails

My "Should I learn Django and Python, or should I learn Ruby on Rails?" dilemma just got a serious boost in the direction of Ruby on Rails. It looks like Leopard, the next version of OS X, will ship with Ruby on Rails pre-installed. That means easy peasy Ruby on Rails installation, updating, and quick-starting. With the new Intel Xserves coming out, combined with the heavily-Apple Ruby on Rails community, this looks like it's going to be a pretty sweet next-generation web development platform for yours truly.


Anonymous said...


This is Richie again.

A couple of things. I have heard a lot about Ruby on Rails. Good stuff. And this announcement from Apple has me thinking.

(1) Just because Ruby on Rails ships with Apple doesn't mean it's the best thing to use. It certainally makes it easier to try out, granted. But remember, 'ls' and 'cp' also ship with Apple OSX. ;)

(2) I was talking to Stephan about this ... he feels that Ruby is "like PHP": A language that's easy to write crap code in. Granted, it's easy to write crap code in any language, but Ruby feels like it wants to be Perl. The feeling is that it would be hard to write a large application in Ruby. Or least one that was easy to maintain/read. This is more a reaction from Stephan, but I trust Stephan. He has good instincts.

If you want, _I'll_ install Django on your system so you can try it out. If that's the only reason you want to prefer Rails to Django, that I will spend the hour installing on your machine for you.

I don't want Django to fall by the wayside only because "Ruby on Rails" comes installed.
I think Django is a good contender.

CC said...

I actually do have Django installed on my machine. I just haven't gone to the trouble to get it installed under Apache. For the time being, I can use the testbed server to tinker with Django when I get a hankerin', but until such time as I decide for sure to go with Django, I'm not going to:

* go to the trouble of compiling Python support into my Apache installation, and...

* cut myself off from the very easy method of keeping Apache patched up current using the Apple software update.

This last point is the kicker for me - I don't enjoy the twiddly bits of system administration (and I really don't have the time to do it even if I did), so there has to be a pretty huge up side for me to be willing to take on a sysadmin burden that would otherwise be automatically handled for me. I'm of the opinion that computers should make my life easier, not harder, and although I appreciate the power, flexibility, and freedom software like this gives, I have to be realistic about what I can do in a day. This is why Apple's automatic support of Ruby on Rails is significant to me: it allows me to focus on writing the web application, not building, maintaining, and supporting system-level stuff.