Question of the day: Is Ruby On Rails (RoR) really that?

Good question! I have been playing around with RoR for about a month now and finally I am starting to get a good hang of it. When you first look at RoR you will think it’s very cool but at the same time you will be thinking, "is this a good candidate for complicated websites?" The answer that I am finally starting to understand is yes. But as with everything you must understand it well before diving into a grand project.

The biggest problem that I see with RoR is the learning curve. First I (and probably majority of the developers) had never touched ruby before so that had to be a part of the learning. Even bigger is the actual framework; there are a lot of assumptions, almost all of which make complete sense, but you do have to be aware of them. Also since this is a framework you have to learn the functions and it’s way of doing things.

Once you get over the learning curve the wait, and sometimes frustration, does pay off. So far I haven’t had to worry about SQL much, in fact I haven’t had to write a single SQL statement! (aahh, no more insert, update or deletes :))

Currently I am working on uploading the my newest work to a host. The host for the site, ICDSoft, claims that they support RoR but infact their current setup can’t possibly work for a RoR site. So I finally ended signing up with RailsPlayground, and am currently learning what all is involved in uploading a RoR site. I know now you are probably thinking, "Leanring what?!?!" Well, I could have just uploaded the files directly to the site and be done with it but there is a better solution. RoR developers have come up with program, SwithTower, to automate this repetitive process. So I am learning SwitchTower before I move the site to production. This tool is supposed to come really handy when you have an application that is using multiple servers and multiple database. Unfortunately my first site isn’t one that will be distributed across multiple servers so I can’t really test or comment on that functionality but it sounds promising. The part that I am planning on utilizing the most is the support for SVN which I will leave as a topic for another day.

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