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Mar 08

Better, Faster, Lighter Ruby

Java, Ruby, Web Frameworks Add comments

Justin Gehtland, co-author of Better, Faster, Lighter Java, has blogged about his experience porting an application running on a Java stack (Java/Spring/Hibernate/JSTL stack), to Ruby on Rails.

On speed of development

First of all, I

16 Responses to “Better, Faster, Lighter Ruby”

  1. Mike Spille Says:

    Hey Dion, I have a bridge to sell ya :-)

    You gotta start reading with a more critical eye, man. He spent 5 months writing an app and then re-wrote 80% of it in a new language in 4 nights? That alone should get your radar jangling.

    Then he says it’s fast, sometimes even faster than the old stuff – but he won’t know for sure until he measures it. Huh? He hasn’t done measurements but he can say one or the other is faster?

    Sorry Dion but the whole blog entry you’re referring smells from one end to the other.

  2. PJ Hyett Says:

    Rewrite is the key word, though. I spent a couple months working on a J2EE project and I have a pretty good handle on PHP. Give me 4 days and I bet I could whip up 80% of the site, too. Granted, it would probably suck, but it would work ;-)

  3. Dion Says:

    Justin has followed up, and it looks like he is going to follow up with metrics soon.

    I think it is OK for someone to talk about their gut feelings. Does it mean they are correct? no. Can they express their opinion? sure. Do I think Mike Spille should do hard core enterprise work w/ Ruby? probably not :)


  4. Bruce Tate Says:

    Good blog, Dion. I can fill in some of the holes for you. Let me point out that the current Java version was also a rewrite of another Java version. The company is based in Austin, and I’m acting CTO. The compelling reasons to move are clear. The feedback cycle in Java takes too long, and you need to write three or four times the lines of code to do meaningful work. We’d guess that the productivity gains on Rails are probably a factor of five or ten…very significant.

    In the past, Java had always trumped more productive languages based on the community and the strength of frameworks. Now? I’m not so sure. Rails is going to make a dent.

    I’m not ready to do Rails for everything, yet. But it’s a compelling language for this application, and there are many like it. We believe it will perform, and scale. The application, indeed, feels much, much faster. I’ll bet that the numbers will bear that out.

    And I’m in the process of writing a book on the experience. I’ll release details soon. Better, faster, lighter…er…indeed.

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