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Sep 19

Sun changes its ticker to RUBY

Java, Ruby, Tech Add comments

Is it just me that finds it a touch ironic that Sun is doing a better job impressing the Ruby community, that it has ever done on the Java side?

Having DHH sit back and wax lyrically about you is about as rare as getting Hani onto your governing body. Oh, wait.

The biggest surprise at RailsConf Europe 2007 was hearing Craig McClanahan from Sun speak. Craig is the creator of Struts, the original blockbuster web framework for Java, and more recently Java Server Faces. Not exactly an obvious advocate for Ruby on Rails, but he sure played the part well.

And not just on a superficial level because Sun was a diamond sponsor of the conference, but from months of experience developing Rails applications using the latest techniques and frameworks (like pushing the envelope with Active Resource). He even went as far as to say that developing web applications in Java after working with Rails would probably not be a particularly pleasant experience for him. Wow.

Yet there’s still that nagging doomsday image of a mystery man sitting somewhere inside of Sun petting a black cat with a hollow laugh just waiting to reveal his evil master plan as the reason for all this. But the exceptional work and high character of people like Tim Bray, Nick Sieger, Thomas Enebo, Charles Nutter, and now even Craig McClanahan championing Ruby and Rails inside Sun, I think I’ll have to waive goodbye to the last sliver of that suspicion very soon.

Wow. Finally, Tim Bray may be pushing them towards a world where their ticker should be JVM not JAVA as their realize where the power of the platform truly lies.

2 Responses to “Sun changes its ticker to RUBY”

  1. Jess Sightler Says:

    Or maybe this is Sun’s plan to destroy RoR.

    If they could just get Craig Mclananananananahan (sorry, couldn’t resist the hani reference) onto the team, ruby on rails could be ruined.

    More seriously, I don’t understand the current fascination with RoR at Sun. If it is so great, just build a good Java web framework to get the best ideas.

  2. Rapha Says:

    Jess,

    building web frameworks in Java has been done quite a number of times. None is as great as Rails (I know both sides), mainly on MVC, ORM, IOC, REST and templating parts. What makes you believe this time it’s going to be really good, both powerfull, extensible and easy to pick up?

    You can’t simply port Rails to Java. Rails is way to much dynamic to be cloned in Java without re-inventing yet an other scripting language (what did Groovy). Bridging two existing communities seems way better. Being so dynamic in pure java implies you use IOC and AOP a lot which will introduce a lot of complexity and either a static dependencies nightmare, either an XML nightmare.

    Look for instance at the Resource Injection part of Rails (environment.rb; include module foo), it’s so simple compared to Sping all the way… ERB templating is so much greater than JSP or JSF templating. Having a dynamic language close to Javascript in templating integrate way better with web2.0 sites… So I think JRuby on Rails is indeed the way to go rather than reinventing the wheel yet one more time with a promised collapse due to the language itself.

    Rapha

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