Friday, May 11, 2007

I just don't get Ruby on Rails

In addition to all of the cool toys (robots and helicopters) shown at the Java Toy Show (general session of JavaOne 2007 on Friday morning), a NetBeans guy from Sun got up and did a demo of Netbeans 6.0 and JRuby on Rails (a scripting-languaged based web application framework). He created a Ruby on Rails application, created persistence classes from a database using a wizard, created a simple web page showing the database information, and ran it all from within the IDE. Judging by the audience reaction, people were impressed. My reaction, on the other hand, was, as we used to say as kids, "big whoop." Haven't we been doing this in JDeveloper for, I dunno, 8 years or something?

20 comments:

Chris Muir said...

Yeah, I don't get it either. It's like the whole Java IDE wars, JDev has many drag n drop facilities, wizard, editors and diagrammers that none of the others come close to matching in numbers, one of the best JSF implementations, yet Oracle's IDE doesn't get much of a show in. Is it the old Oracle-is-a-database-company bias, or the Oracle-is-proprietary/not-open-source bias, or I learnt to program with Netbeans/Eclipse/whatever so I'm not changing now game?

John Stegeman said...

Chris,

I think it's the "Oracle is proprietary" bias. Ironically, the last presentation I attended at Java One ("The top 10 ways to make your application unreliable and unscalable") - one of the top ways was "avoid using any proprietary features" - only use "standard" stuff, avoid "lock-in." What a bunch of hooey.

Steve said...

Some of it is not wanting to re-learn/re-train the fingers. It takes me quite a long time to get used to an environment and get it customized to my liking. Sometimes its just the situation you are in. I consult and some clients mandate the use of a particular IDE for all their development.

Jason Kratz said...

"JDev has many drag n drop facilities, wizard, editors and diagrammers that none of the others come close to matching in numbers"

Is it at all meaningful that JDeveloper has a large number of features? I certainly don't find it meaningful. The editor has been really lacking for a long time in comparison to something like Eclipse or IDEA (though I have no looked at the latest release). Who cares about wizards and drag-and-drop if you can't get basic coding editing right?

The "big deal" about Rails (at least one of the big deals) is that dealing with the database is easier than any of the ORM tools available for Java. Not that ActiveRecord is the best fit for all situations but its very compelling and there is no equivalent in Java. Django in Python has the same thing. No..you haven't been doing the same in JDeveloper for 8 years or something. Java, unfortunately, doesn't touch Ruby/Python for sheer speed of development.

Grant Ronald said...

"The editor has been really lacking for a long time in comparison to something like Eclipse or IDEA (though I have no looked at the latest release)." Jason - would be really useful if you could feedback on what is lacking...also, it might be prudent to comment on the latest version. Its honest of you to admit you haven't looked at the latest release but JDeveloper is moving on at a great rate of knots and I despair when I hear comments passed on old versions - I could say the same about Eclipse or IDEA.

Next point : "Who cares about wizards and drag-and-drop " - tens of thousands of developers do!. Those coming from a VB, Forms and PeopleTools background find it ridiculous seeing developers write code for things they do using visual declarative tools - for alot of people coding in a 3GL manner is like going back to putting kids up chimneys - something that happened in the old days and we shouldn't go back to! ;o)

Would also welcome your clarification on "no you haven't been doing the same in JDeveloper..." if not, we've been pretty damn close ;o)

John Stegeman said...

The "big whoop" comment that I made was specifically directed at the audience reaction to the NetBeans demonstration with drag-and-drop creation of ActiveRecord and a default (read pretty bare bones) web page. Yes, you are right bare-bones java doesn't have anything like ActiveRecord, but JDeveloper sure does - ADF Business Components. They've been around for 8+ years.

Thanks for the comment.

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