18 Oct 2005

Today I wanted to make some progress on my private Homepage Framework.

Sadly, I spent most of the afternoon surfing. You know how that works... I finally tried out TadaLists after I read about it the tenth time and then also Backpack . I read blogentry after blogentry about it for no reason than curiosity... I think that besides the points they make with simplicity and the smile on your face when all the JavaScript stuff works so elegantly, some of the features are really cool (like email a list entry or note or pictures).

But not all is heaven. I tried out the SMS Reminder Service (they even have O2 Germany, my Provider, listed there). It didn't work. I can program an alarm call on my handy with the same effort anyway... And why all the hype about this easy text format for their wiki? It's just another script language and you will have to learn it. Why not use a cool WYSIWYG - Editor ?


So then I finally read about Ruby On Rails. I even watched the presentation movie. Maybe I got around that so long because I feared it might be so good I'd stop working on my own project. And it is pretty cool. Ruby on Rails makes all that maintaining boring db access code (be it editing or retrieving) a snap. Imperior to my stuff (at least in today's version) is that you can arrange it all just the way you want. You can take gifts, and then you change the gifted code where you want it to look your way. It seems that, if you don't change too critical things, just the presentational pages (*.rhtml), the gifted code will still scale smoothly with the database. No Mapping! You change the database, your webpage changes. I can understand why David, the main author, is angry about J2EE guys claiming the whole ground of good frameworks.

So that made me interested, I even found a nice cheap Webhoster that offers Ruby but I also asked myself desperately if I should really go on coding or just switch to Ruby On Rails - for time is money :-). I decided that, yeah, I should go on:

  • after all, I'll know what it means to make up a Web Framework on your own. Somebody who just knows Ruby On Rails knows Shit. Okay, (s)he might be faster and better than me but (s)he doesn't know what (s)he's doing there. Who cannot value the gift is gifted, but poor. And then, there is the law of leaky abstractions. Every abstraction leaks, somewhere, inevitable. You cannot know everything down to the bytes, but I would rather hire someone who knows what concepts are mapped beneath his level of abstraction than someone who thinks (s)he is walking on concrete while (s)he is really walking on nothing but sunshine (sounds like a reversed LSD trip...).
  • I would still need to learn Ruby. And then Ruby On Rails. Honestly, I'm making this project up to get some requested Webpages up quickly (this one included). And I want to know what I'm doing, roughly. In short term thinking, which is not aaalways avoidable, I cannot ride a totally new horse now.
  • My Framework makes some more gifts than you get just using Ruby On Rails. There is menues, grouping, RSS, some Javascript things, I include and configure a WYSIWYG Editor as well as an image gallery, Image Rotating and so on. Now that is because I do something that is not so flexible as Ruby On Rails is (way not), but rather a cocktail of cool things about web applications. Of course, I could rewrite my PolyPager so that it uses Ruby On Rails. Presumably I could save half of my code and get live-db-updating for free. I do hope I someday find the time for that, but a good deal of the time I already out into this was for decisions about the things I mentioned above.
I added the new book about Ruby On Rails to my wishlist anyway :-)
# lastedited 19 Jan 2006
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