Rails3 on Ubuntu! (Can Linux be a first class citizen?)

August 14, 2010 at 9:29 am (Apple, Free Software, Linux, Mac, Microsoft, Open Web, Opensource, Programming, Ruby, Ruby on Rails, Technology, Ubuntu) (, , , , , , )

I know there are people developing Ruby and Rails on Linux and probably a good number. I am a newbie to programming and while learning Ruby and Rails, besides being what I’m interested in, has become a good way for me to build real usable applications and not get bogged down in “hello world” land forever. Can anyone out there relate?

Anyway since I started using Linux about a year and a half ago I always hoped to eventually become a very active commiter to an opensource project(s). I just haven’t been able to get myself to a comfortable level to be helpful in the programming side of things and at times I get somewhat discouraged. Rails and Ruby has brought wind to my sails!

As I said I know there are Rails developers using Linux or more specifically Ubuntu. I also notice that at the very least the Mac is the primary platform being used by Rails and probably Ruby developers and I will admit I probably would do the same if I could afford it but that’s another story. I would like to find like minded people out there who are passionate to make Ubuntu a first class platform in the Rails community. To the point that when new developers or even wanna be developers come along that may be testing opensource or Linux they find that Ruby/Rails is Linux friendly to the point that the tutorials or blogs don’t have to always end with “I’m using Mac but there is probably some help on the web for Linux users”.

Let’s make a landing point for Ubuntu Rails developers and work together to keep packaging, tutorials, and overall community attention fresh and focused on making Ubuntu second to none when it comes to being used with other open source projects. I’ve said it myself before I know that the Mac has answered to alot of users concerns on the Linux desktop or can I say has become the best of both worlds for developers who want the Unix tools they would have with Linux but coupled it with a pleasing stable graphical desktop experience. Heck even Linux/Gnome developers are using Macs to develop free software. Now I don’t want this to be misunderstood as a Apple hater story it is far from that. I just believe that as an opensource platform what better scenario would there be to be able to develop in a first class setting, the software you know and love, and is also open source software. I know in a perfect world being able to use an open desktop with other open source software has got to be better for open source at large then open source software on a proprietary operating system.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you catch the vision. Let’s make Ubuntu the best answer to the Unix that so many are using the Mac for.(not to ignore some of the visual design things that I believe the Ubuntu community is working on as well.) Let’s keep open up and down the stack from the programming languages to the browsers to the desktop OS itself. We can do it with the same charisma that the Ruby community uses to make programmers happy using Ruby. Let’s make Ubuntu and Ruby/Rails the number one answer to the developers looking for the best answer to the questions they have. There are quite a few .Net and Windows developers all over the net talking about trying to get Ruby and Rails working on Windows let’s give them a reason why they don’t need to.

Thanks for listening

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Ruby !

July 30, 2010 at 8:14 am (Cloud Computing, Computer Science, Free Software, Opensource, Programming, Python, Ruby, Ruby on Rails, Technology, Web2.0) (, , , , , )

Update: I wanted to mention that I have thoroughly overstated the situation as far as Rails apps seemingly being used more by “real sites”. I noticed a Django developer doing some awesome work on some Discovery websites and a few others. I guess it’s just me hoping that it was Python and not me. Well I guess it is me. I ‘ll keep leaning on my noob status until I can hopefully no longer use that crutch. Thanks to Derek the Python/Django guy who made me take a second look.

It amazes me that the most english-like programming language in the world was built by someone who is not a native english speaker. Maybe the simplicity comes from his inability at the time to be overly verbose, using only statements and such that best communicated an idea to someone with a very basic english vocabulary. I think since Matz has become pretty fluent in the english language though.

One other thing I would like to note. I remember a talk that DHH the creator of Rails gave along with Adrian Holavity, one of the Django creators. DHH ekpt saying that he felt some of the architectural decisions behind Django were better suited to we sites where in his mind Rails ‘ architecure was better suited to web apps. At the time I took as a somewhat snide remark, thinking listen to this saying that Django was for building simple web pages and Rails was for building “real” web apps. Well if you take a look on the web now I think the statement rings true, there seems to be many more complicated, detailed Rails apps compared to Django’s hundreds of sites that seem rather simplistic in the app side of the functionality. Just an observation. What do you think?

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Python or Ruby!

July 25, 2010 at 2:37 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

Just a few thoughts in my quest to become a very proficient professional hacker. I have probably tried to get going the most with Python but as always there just seems to be a disconnect with the abstractions that just don’t click with me. Lately I have been playing with Rails and Ruby and as much as I kept running from Ruby as the language that I wanted to learn it is starting to grow on me. In the words of many great hackers Ruby seems to fit my brain. The code is quite a bit more readable then even Python. Along the way I also noticed a few things about the Ruby and Rails culture that differs from the Python world. Ruby has not had the problems Python has with package management as Python seems to still have. Ruby Gems are pretty ubiquitous when it comes to Ruby packages. I think Python and Linux has very striking similarities when you look at Linux’s packaging and all around standards in general. You can’t just read instructions on installing programs on Linux or where in the file system to find things etc. Some may enjoy this but they have to admit it is a hindrance when it comes to adoption of a platform. Python seems to be as splintered just look at the squabbling over web frameworks between the Turbogears type and the Django types. Ruby like the Mac has found a way to agree on things that help to keep the community productive and pragmatic as well. I’m even finding Rails to make a lot of sense in terms of how it works and as much as the web seems to be crawling with the Twitter performance stories and Ruby being slow, the Ruby and Rails communities still move along at a pretty good pace getting things done. There are very big sites and web apps still using Rails in spite of the Twitter story. I know it has quieted down somewhat but it is far from a dyeing technology. There are still a great deal of thriving businesses being started and chugging along that find Ruby and Rails a perfect fit. I know some would argue that Python and Linux are stronger communities for all the choice you have but some people want to see a platform mature and make some choices that allow a platform to move on to the next step. As much as I hear people say how readable Python is and how it fits their brains I understand it but for me it seems to be Ruby.

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