Capacity vs. Scalability

In I still don’t get the fascination with Ruby on Rails, Andy Davidson writes:
Scaling does not mean “Allows you to throw money at the problem”, it means “Can deal with workload”. He goes on to recommend mod_perl instead of Rails.

I’m not interested whether he likes Rails or not. Lots of people hate Rails, and I don’t care. I’m not going to make a big deal about the fact that he’s comparing a runtime architecture (Apache + mod_perl) with a framework (Ruby on Rails).

Those are insignificant compared to his claim that scalability means “Can deal with workload”. Actually, that’s a description of capacity.
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ActiveRecord: the Visual Basic of Object Relational Mappers

I’ve been working with Ruby on Rails intensively for several months, and I’ve finally found a place where Rails can’t readily be extended to do what I want. It’s ActiveRecord, which is probably the most controversial part of Rails.

I’m reminded of a James Gosling quote disparaging Microsoft tools, particularly Visual Basic: “The easy stuff is easy, but the hard stuff is impossible.” There’s a parallel between VB and Rails in this instance, in that if you only let yourself use the high level tools, the hard stuff is impossible, but the designers specifically tell you to do the hard stuff using a lower level toolset. The controversy that surrounds “X can’t do everything, therefore it sucks” should really be focusing on the feasibility of going through that trapdoor to do things “the hard way”. This is what Delphi did, which is why so many folks chose it over VB; it made the hard stuff easier.

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“Ruby faster than Python and Perl!” ORLY?

Ruby faster than Python and Perl! cries the headline. This is based on a benchmark that tests i = i + 1 in a loop, so it’s a particularly useless benchmark, even in a world of benchmarks designed to test unrealistic scenarios that make the benchmark author’s product look good.
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Impressions of Ruby on Rails from an ex J2EE developer (me)

A friend who is working primarily in the J2EE technology world (as I was, until early 2006) asked me for a how’s-it-going with respect to Ruby and Rails.

The short version:
– Ruby is fun to program in, as you’ve probably heard
– Rails is over-hyped, but it’s still quite good (definitely not perfect)
– I like the productivity of Ruby on Rails but I wouldn’t call it a silver bullet by any means
– Ruby performance was bad and is getting less bad, and can even be good if you do what the experts say
– The real gem (har har) in the Ruby and Rails space is the community itself
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