· Naughties
· · 2006
· · · September
· · · · 01 (2 entries)

RAD X: Making Markup · [RAD stands for Ru­by Ape Diaries, of which this is part X.] If you’re writ­ing Web app­s, and even if you’re one of the few who isn’t, you’re prob­a­bly go­ing to have write code to gen­er­ate markup, HTML or XML. His­tor­i­cal­ly, pro­gram­mers have found this dif­fi­cult, and thus there are lots of li­braries that try to ab­stract markup away be­hind code (for ex­am­ple, my own Genx). There are tricky is­sues and trade-offs here, and Ru­by throws them in­to pret­ty sharp fo­cus ...
Spolsky Starts a Language War · In Joel Spolsky’s new Lan­guage Wars, he ar­gues that .NET, Java, PHP, and maybe Python are the safe choic­es if you’re go­ing to build out a Web app that’s re­al­ly big and re­al­ly crit­i­cal. He ices this cake with a shov­el­ful of clas­sic FUD aimed at Ru­by and Rail­s. Not sur­pris­ing­ly, David Heine­meier Hans­son vol­leys back twice with Fear, Uncer­tain, and Doubt by Joel Spol­sky and Was Joel’s Wasabi a joke? Bruce Tate has a more thought­ful re­sponse over at In­foQ: From Ja­va to Ruby: Risk. You may not agree with all of Bruce’s points, but they’re well ar­gued. It may sur­prise some who’ve en­dured the flood of Ruby-red writ­ing around here re­cent­ly, but I think Joel’s cor­rect that Python is quite a bit bet­ter proven than Ruby; and al­so that Ru­by has a big Uni­code prob­lem. But I can’t get around the fact that Joel sounds ex­act­ly like a main­frame droid talk­ing about Per­son­al Com­put­er­s, or a VMS droid talk­ing about Unix, or an EDI droid talk­ing about the We­b, or a C++ droid talk­ing about Java. Yeah, the new thing is kin­da un­proven and kin­da shaky in places and kin­da slow and not very full-featured. But it’s got ease-of-use ad­van­tages and programmer-productivity ad­van­tages and de­vel­op­ers like to use it. See the Tech­nol­o­gy Pre­dic­tor Suc­cess Ma­trix, and par­tic­u­lar­ly the last three cri­te­ri­a: Hap­py Pro­gram­mers, Tech­ni­cal Ele­gance, and es­pe­cial­ly the 80/20 Point. Joel’s prob­a­bly wrong.
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