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Canada on Rails, day 1... part 1

Posted by Thu, 13 Apr 2006 20:44:00 GMT

16 comments Latest by Kris Khaira Wed, 19 Apr 2006 04:52:53 GMT

Here I am at the very first Ruby on Rails-related conference. My first passport stamp!

We’re half-way through the first day and as luck would have it, I’m starting to feel ill. Am taking a short break from the conference to catch up on some rest after opting to hang out with some great people last night. About twenty of us went out last night, which ten were speakers. There are a few photos up on Flickr.

This morning started with DHH giving a 90-minute keynote about the what Rails Core will be focusing on. It went well and I’m excited to hear that they’re going to break out some pieces into plugins. Goodbye, Pagination and Web Services!

David also had some kind words for people who don’t get and/or appreciate the Rails way of doing things…

DHH says....

Joe O’Brien followed him with a talk about Service-Oriented Architecture with Rails.

I’m going to catch up on some rest, work on my few slides and head back to the conference shortly. :-)

Check out the lastest pics on flickr from Canada on Rails.

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  1. Avatar
    Grand Muff Sparkin' Thu, 13 Apr 2006 22:47:26 GMT

    Okay – I wasn’t at the conference, didn’t hear the context of the comment, and I’ve never met DHH. However – don’t you think that DHH is kind of a dick?

  2. Avatar
    ravy Thu, 13 Apr 2006 23:21:04 GMT

    Yeah, a couple of things lately have made me worry about Rails and my increasing investment in it.

    This fairly dismissive treatment of people’s legitimate concerns is one thing, which was brought home by DHH’s blog posting about the “end of publishing” or whatever. Great, generalize from you own experience, but don’t pretend that you have all the answers based on a sample size of one.

    Then release of Rails 1.1 seemed to violate most of the rules of software engineering, not that DHH/37 Signals were responsible for the worst offenses, but DHH is the center of the community and the attitude was pretty casual about the whole thing.

    I suppose I don’t mind either of these two in isolation. Rails is a young technology and a young community, so there is a natural learning curve. The problem is that if you are arrogant, this photo being a case in point, you don’t learn anything.

    Some of the people David is saying “Fuck You” to know a hell of a lot more about web applications and software engineering than he does. All of them know something about web applications that he doesn’t, even if it’s only about how they want to use the technology.

  3. Avatar
    Ronan O'Driscoll Thu, 13 Apr 2006 23:49:08 GMT

    Wow! Doesn’t anyone have a sense of humour anymore? Besides, he’s Danish. I have two words for anyone who criticizes DHH…

  4. Avatar
    Benjamin Fri, 14 Apr 2006 00:03:54 GMT

    I do somewhat lean towards the sense of humor mentality, although some people from different cultures or backgrounds take more offense to these kinds of jokes than others. I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry. But seriously, people have to try and get the most out of these conferences, and also remember, people like DHH are only people, and rails remains open source and fairly well developed as far as child-frameworks are concerned. With lots of room for improvement, and many active developers, dick or not, the future for rails depends on him but not entirely. The more people who get involved in the open source work and enhancements of rails, the less any one person will have over the waxes and wanes of the future rails has.

    Sorry to hear about the illness robby. Get well soon!

  5. Avatar
    meigh Fri, 14 Apr 2006 00:59:23 GMT

    the more time goes on, the more i get sick of his personality.

    only a fool would say ruby is a beautiful language. have fun with your ugly perl-filled (*&#{} et al) shit.

  6. Avatar
    tomtoday Fri, 14 Apr 2006 02:39:42 GMT

    That’s the funniest thing I’ve seen all month!

    I’m tempted to put this picture on my desktop. Always good to hit F11 (Expose) and have a laugh!

  7. Avatar
    Peter Burns Fri, 14 Apr 2006 03:45:55 GMT

    I think this is just another example of what DHH has been saying all along. Rails is opinionated software, and it is designed for certain kinds of applications. It makes the things that should be easy in that domain easy, and thanks to the power of ruby, the hard things are possible. I read this as “if you don’t like the way rails does things, then go find another framework that meets your needs.” I don’t think it’s anything to really get upset about.

    only a fool would say ruby is a beautiful language. have fun with your ugly perl-filled (*&#{} et al) shit.

    Ha ha, priceless. I know I’m not going to convince you of anything, as it sounds like you have more than this grinding your axe. However, I don’t know of a cleaner syntax for expanding an array into the arguments of a method call (star), or doing dynamic strings (#{}). I do think that ruby’s block and proc system is a little overcomplicated and ineligant in a couple ways (&). Ruby code in practice seems cleaner and easier for me to read even than python code, with all of its focus in that area.

  8. Avatar
    Hunter Fri, 14 Apr 2006 04:08:57 GMT

    The guy has a sense of humor. Wow. Totally a bad thing and a horrible way to deal with stress. Bummer. Oh, by the way, this post is heavily laced with sarcasm.

  9. Avatar
    Thijs van der Vossen Fri, 14 Apr 2006 05:52:03 GMT

    David is funny! ;-)

  10. Avatar
    Michael Fri, 14 Apr 2006 13:31:26 GMT

    Gotta admit i love the slide would love to see a slideshow + audio for that one ;).

    Think this might have been the first time someone actually said that usually the comments just get laughed out from what ever OSS software group there is…

  11. Avatar
    tj Fri, 14 Apr 2006 14:01:34 GMT

    I think Peter Burns (comment above) nailed it in the first paragraph. It’s opinionated software. If you don’t like it, find something different to work with. Change the channel. Seems simple to me. Railing (rim shot!) against technology you don’t like or won’t use is just such a waste of time.

    Since I started using Rails a year ago and paying attention to the community, I’ve sort of thought about it in terms of the underground music community I grew up participating in. We liked what we were doing and really had no interest in going mainstream. We thought what we were doing was better. So, in that context, DHH’s slide is both funny and fitting for me.

  12. Avatar
    Joe Grossberg Fri, 14 Apr 2006 15:13:24 GMT

    Those of you who like this “opinionated” mindset …

    Do you cheer when Pythonistas say “fuck you” to complaints about the whitespace?

    Or is being dismissive and inflexible only OK when you agree with the person doing it?

    And #2 ravy is completely on-target with his remarks.

  13. Avatar
    tj Fri, 14 Apr 2006 16:14:21 GMT

    First things first. Dissent and disagreement are healthy. That’s part of community.

    What the arguments in this comment thread seem to be boiling down to IMO is a question of ownership. Let’s be clear about this. The Rails community doesn’t own Rails. It took a while before DHH gave anyone commit access to the repository, and even now, the core team is a small (and dedicated!) group.

    If you started using Rails under the assumption that if you shouted loud enough your pet concerns would be addressed, I think you were deluding yourself. That said, I don’t get the feeling that DHH and crew are not listening; I think they are.

    Since Joe brought up Python, I’ll make a comparison. Guido is the Benevolent Dictator for Life. It is an accepted fact that what he says goes. Perhaps he has a more receptive ear to the community, but his decisions are the final word. It’s not a democracy, even though at times it might feel like a democratic process.

    Personally, I like both Python and Ruby, but if I had to pick one it’d probably be Ruby. But here’s the thing – if I wanted significant whitespace to go away and complained about it, I shouldn’t be upset if Guido said Fuck You. It’s his language and I knew that going in; he has the right to be dismissive and inflexible. If I don’t like it that much, I’ll use a different language. If I feel that strongly that Feature X needs to be in my language/framework/whatever, maybe it’s high time I wrote my own.

    The other issue here is DHH’s choice of words. Would it be such an issue if the slide said “Screw ‘em”? Probably not, but then again, we probably wouldn’t be having this discussion then. Sometimes ya gotta say Fuck You to get your point across, even at the risk of offending some people. (BTW, I’m not saying that to anybody here. A, it’s not my style. B, like I said before, disagreement can be healthy.)

  14. Avatar
    Dave Hoefler Fri, 14 Apr 2006 17:13:56 GMT

    I wrote a response to this in my blog actually. I think what he did here is a brilliant marketing move. He’s taking chances to get more people wondering, “What is Ruby on Rails?” Of course he’ll get more negativity from that as well. It’s a tough thing to balance.

  15. Avatar
    Arto Bendiken Fri, 14 Apr 2006 19:43:47 GMT

    I have to agree with Dave, above, that it’s not necessarily a bad move – as Oscar Wilde remarked once upon a time, the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.

    DHH has demonstrated in the past that he isn’t much fazed if people happen to perceive him as hardheaded or arrogant – fake humility, political correctness, or trying to please everyone isn’t what he or Rails is about, and I for one think that’s fine.

    Code talks, bullshit walks.

  16. Avatar
    Kris Khaira Wed, 19 Apr 2006 04:52:53 GMT

    F* y all and go back to work. That Ruby on Rails app you’re planning won’t code itself.