Is Ruby RAILS really suitable for modern Web Development ?

Discussion in 'Ruby' started by Jules, Jan 7, 2006.

  1. Jules

    Jules Guest

    I have been reading through RAILS and builing the Depot Application
    ect. And been very impressed with the RAILS framework.

    But I cannot help feeling that I seem to be writing a lot of HTML
    fragements and <% Ruby inserts for realisable web pages, when I move
    away from the scaffold. What Web design Editors do people use with
    RAILS development ?

    With the MVC concept and heavy use of HTML, I am having doubts that
    this is the way to develop those compelling highly graphical web pages.
    I can use AJAX and RAILS on the server side, but if I want dynamic
    graphics I still need heavy JavaScript, Flash or Java Applet code on
    the client side. In which case I don't see where RAILS fits in. So I
    am comming to the conclusion that RAILS is really for Server side
    development for the 90% of 'typical', and rather dreary, web
    applications development.

    Just my views/ feelings so far.

    Jules
    Jules, Jan 7, 2006
    #1
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  2. Jules

    Joe Van Dyk Guest

    On 1/8/06, Jules <> wrote:
    > I have been reading through RAILS and builing the Depot Application
    > ect. And been very impressed with the RAILS framework.
    >
    > But I cannot help feeling that I seem to be writing a lot of HTML
    > fragements and <% Ruby inserts for realisable web pages, when I move
    > away from the scaffold. What Web design Editors do people use with
    > RAILS development ?


    A lot of people use vim, emacs, or textmate (for OS X).

    > With the MVC concept and heavy use of HTML, I am having doubts that
    > this is the way to develop those compelling highly graphical web pages.
    > I can use AJAX and RAILS on the server side, but if I want dynamic
    > graphics I still need heavy JavaScript, Flash or Java Applet code on
    > the client side. In which case I don't see where RAILS fits in. So I
    > am comming to the conclusion that RAILS is really for Server side
    > development for the 90% of 'typical', and rather dreary, web
    > applications development.


    I'm not sure what you mean here.
    Joe Van Dyk, Jan 8, 2006
    #2
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  3. On 1/8/06, Jules <> wrote:
    > I have been reading through RAILS and builing the Depot Application
    > ect. And been very impressed with the RAILS framework.
    >
    > But I cannot help feeling that I seem to be writing a lot of HTML
    > fragements and <% Ruby inserts for realisable web pages, when I move
    > away from the scaffold. What Web design Editors do people use with
    > RAILS development ?
    >
    > With the MVC concept and heavy use of HTML, I am having doubts that
    > this is the way to develop those compelling highly graphical web pages.
    > I can use AJAX and RAILS on the server side, but if I want dynamic
    > graphics I still need heavy JavaScript, Flash or Java Applet code on
    > the client side. In which case I don't see where RAILS fits in. So I
    > am comming to the conclusion that RAILS is really for Server side
    > development for the 90% of 'typical', and rather dreary, web
    > applications development.


    You might find people who can make a more compelling argument for
    Rails on the rails mailing list. Not everyone here likes/uses/works
    with rails.

    That having been said, there are a number of very dynamic and
    not-so-dreary web applications built in Rails, such as Typo and
    Basecamp and other projects.
    Gregory Brown, Jan 8, 2006
    #3
  4. Jules

    luke Guest


    > With the MVC concept and heavy use of HTML, I am having doubts that
    > this is the way to develop those compelling highly graphical web pages.
    > I can use AJAX and RAILS on the server side, but if I want dynamic
    > graphics I still need heavy JavaScript, Flash or Java Applet code on
    > the client side. In which case I don't see where RAILS fits in. So I
    > am comming to the conclusion that RAILS is really for Server side
    > development for the 90% of 'typical', and rather dreary, web
    > applications development.


    Rails sits on the server ('server-side' development), whereas you're talking
    about 'client-side' design. Even with scripting to allow graphics to behave
    in a certain way, unless those graphics are talking to the server then
    they're what I would call 'scripted design'. Design and development are
    linked, but are different. So I suppose I'm saying, for the use you're
    wanting, I would stick with Flash, or JavaScript. You can use Flash and
    JavaScript in Rails, but if dynamic graphics is all you desire there would
    be little point.

    I think you're a little confused about what modern websites are. Flash was
    modern 7 years ago. Dynamic graphics, probably older. A good guess at what
    is popularly regarded as modern these days is outlined in this article from
    the Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2.0, particularly these
    ideas: "...referring to an approach to creating and distributing Web content
    itself, characterised by open communication, decentralization of authority,
    freedom to share and re-use... a transition of websites from isolated
    information silos to sources of content and functionality, thus becoming a
    computing platform serving web applications to end users." and can be
    achieved with no graphics whatsoever, dynamic or otherwise.

    Of course, what is truly modern is up to you, you're part of its authorship
    afterall.

    Luke
    luke, Jan 8, 2006
    #4
  5. Jules

    Zach Guest

    Most Web Applications don't use Heavy Dynamic Graphics. You're starting by
    arguing whether Rails is suitable yet you're actually arguing on the
    differences between Thin HTML clients and Thick clients. Rails, JSF, JSP,
    Struts, Shale, Tapestry: these are frameworks, tools if you will, that you
    use on web applications, whether they be CRUD types or otherwise.

    Don't disregard a wrench as completely useless when you currently need a
    screwdriver. It may not be suitable for that particular use, but that
    doesn't make the wrench worthless for other things.

    -Zach

    -----Original Message-----
    From: luke [mailto: (dot)]
    Sent: Sunday, January 08, 2006 5:08 AM
    To: ruby-talk ML
    Subject: Re: Is Ruby RAILS really suitable for modern Web Development ?


    > With the MVC concept and heavy use of HTML, I am having doubts that
    > this is the way to develop those compelling highly graphical web pages.
    > I can use AJAX and RAILS on the server side, but if I want dynamic
    > graphics I still need heavy JavaScript, Flash or Java Applet code on
    > the client side. In which case I don't see where RAILS fits in. So I
    > am comming to the conclusion that RAILS is really for Server side
    > development for the 90% of 'typical', and rather dreary, web
    > applications development.


    Rails sits on the server ('server-side' development), whereas you're talking
    about 'client-side' design. Even with scripting to allow graphics to behave
    in a certain way, unless those graphics are talking to the server then
    they're what I would call 'scripted design'. Design and development are
    linked, but are different. So I suppose I'm saying, for the use you're
    wanting, I would stick with Flash, or JavaScript. You can use Flash and
    JavaScript in Rails, but if dynamic graphics is all you desire there would
    be little point.

    I think you're a little confused about what modern websites are. Flash was
    modern 7 years ago. Dynamic graphics, probably older. A good guess at what
    is popularly regarded as modern these days is outlined in this article from
    the Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2.0, particularly these
    ideas: "...referring to an approach to creating and distributing Web content
    itself, characterised by open communication, decentralization of authority,
    freedom to share and re-use... a transition of websites from isolated
    information silos to sources of content and functionality, thus becoming a
    computing platform serving web applications to end users." and can be
    achieved with no graphics whatsoever, dynamic or otherwise.

    Of course, what is truly modern is up to you, you're part of its authorship
    afterall.

    Luke
    Zach, Jan 8, 2006
    #5
  6. Jules

    Jules Guest

    Thanks Luke

    I guess was asking how RAILS could relate to any dynamic graphical
    displays on client side.

    Yep I can understand Flash and Java Applets as being dated, and so I am
    questioning whether I should be using Thick Clients, with highly
    dynamic/compelling displays using Web Services, rather than using
    standard Web/scripts which don't give the end user a compelling
    experience.

    Thanks

    Jules
    Jules, Jan 8, 2006
    #6
  7. Jules

    Jules Guest

    I guess was asking how RAILS could relate to any dynamic graphical
    displays on client side.

    Yep I can understand Flash and Java Applets as being dated, and so I am
    questioning whether I should be using Thick Clients, with highly
    dynamic/compelling displays using Web Services, rather than using
    standard Web/scripts which don't give the end user a compelling
    experience.

    Thanks

    Jules
    Jules, Jan 8, 2006
    #7
  8. Jules

    Jules Guest

    Thanks Luke

    I guess was asking how RAILS could relate to any dynamic graphical
    displays on client side.

    Yep I can understand Flash and Java Applets as being dated, and so I am
    questioning whether I should be using Thick Clients, with highly
    dynamic/compelling displays using Web Services, rather than using
    standard Web/scripts which don't give the end user a compelling
    experience.

    Thanks

    Jules
    Jules, Jan 8, 2006
    #8
  9. Jules

    Jules Guest

    Thanks Luke

    I guess was asking how RAILS could relate to any dynamic graphical
    displays on client side. I mean the V in MVC is all about the Page
    design on the client side. Somehow I cannot see how raw HTML and <%
    Ruby editing will become mainstream without a decent web designer
    support.

    Yep I can understand Flash and Java Applets as being dated, and so I am
    questioning whether I should be using Thick Clients, with highly
    dynamic/compelling displays using Web Services, rather than using
    standard Web/scripts which don't give the end user a compelling
    experience.

    Thanks

    Jules
    Jules, Jan 8, 2006
    #9
  10. Jules

    Chad Perrin Guest

    On Mon, Jan 09, 2006 at 06:08:02PM +0900, Jules wrote:
    > Thanks Luke
    >
    > I guess was asking how RAILS could relate to any dynamic graphical
    > displays on client side.
    >
    > Yep I can understand Flash and Java Applets as being dated, and so I am
    > questioning whether I should be using Thick Clients, with highly
    > dynamic/compelling displays using Web Services, rather than using
    > standard Web/scripts which don't give the end user a compelling
    > experience.


    In other words . . . you're looking for Flash and Java applets without
    Flash or Java?

    --
    Chad Perrin [ CCD CopyWrite | http://ccd.apotheon.org ]

    "Real ugliness is not harsh-looking syntax, but having to
    build programs out of the wrong concepts." - Paul Graham
    Chad Perrin, Jan 9, 2006
    #10
  11. Jules

    Joe Van Dyk Guest

    On 1/9/06, Jules <> wrote:
    > Thanks Luke
    >
    > I guess was asking how RAILS


    Rails is not an acronym. So it shouldn't be capitalized.
    Joe Van Dyk, Jan 9, 2006
    #11
  12. I would say the majority of the Rails framework is about the server
    side, and making development of that side easier. It also makes the
    basic HTML/Javascript web interface fairly easy.

    But if you want something "more modern" or more flashy (not
    necessarily in the Flash sense), you will need to see what you could
    add to the Rails framework. There is currently some work being done to
    integrate Laszlo with Rails:

    http://groups.google.com/group/laszlo-on-rails

    Also there is nothing stopping anyone from creating a standard
    client-side GUI application that connects to a Rails-based
    web-service. In fact even the GUI could be written in Ruby since there
    are several GUI frameworks supported by Ruby (Tk, Qt, Fox, Wx, GTK,
    OSX Cocoa, native Windows, etc.)

    Still, there is a lot to be said for a good, modern web-browser
    supported application. It doesn't require a download to use it, it can
    be accessed from almost any operating system and any platform, and can
    many times even be used from phones and other mobile devices.

    Ryan
    Ryan Leavengood, Jan 9, 2006
    #12
  13. [OT] Re: Is Ruby RAILS really suitable for modern Web Development ?

    Disclaimer: This message is very offtopic! --


    "Jules" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Thanks Luke
    >
    > I guess was asking how RAILS could relate to any dynamic graphical
    > displays on client side.


    There's always AJAX. I've been playing with Writely
    http://www.writely.com/BasePage.aspx over the past 2 days, and it struck me
    that it has one of the nicest feels to its user interface that I've
    experienced, and it's not by being particularly graphical. It's through the
    creativity of how the site and the user interface behaves.

    Like anything, AJAX can be put to use in a terrible and unneccessary way. Or
    it can open up your website to achieve the kind of effect it sounds like
    you're looking for.

    Rails has AJAX support built-in.

    Also see this
    http://www.aventureforth.com/2005/09/06/top-10-ajax-applications/ for other
    popular AJAX-driven sites.

    > Yep I can understand Flash and Java Applets as being dated, and so I am
    > questioning whether I should be using Thick Clients, with highly
    > dynamic/compelling displays using Web Services, rather than using
    > standard Web/scripts which don't give the end user a compelling
    > experience.


    If by compelling you mean highly animated, then as far as I know the best
    methods are Flash and Java. Personally, I would advise against using Java
    applets for websites. For one, they tend to load slowly and hog system
    resources (compared to Flash), and more importantly comparitively few people
    have the required software installed on their computer to view Java.

    Flash is a lot more widely supported (I recall a figure around 95%, which
    for the web is very high), and streamlined as a plug-in.

    Luke
    Luke Duncalfe, Jan 10, 2006
    #13
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