You all know I love a twisted analogy. Remember last Thursday I was talking about Domino being my current over-weight and annoying partner and how I could see myself having an affair with a younger, slimmer model?
Well this weekend I had a serious case of lust at first sight. As my career with Domino fast approaches the seven year itch I happened upon a little stunner called Ruby. Phwoar!
[Ed: Ok Jake, easy on the analogy. It's getting a little tedious and is also offending your female readers]
Ok, sorry. That's enough of that. When I talk about Ruby I am, of course, talking about Ruby on Rails (I use the name Ruby merely for the analogy of her being a lady to work). I'm sure you've all heard of it by now. If not, where have you been!?
Not one to get left behind I spent a good part of this Sunday getting up and running with a working Rails install. To do this I followed this great step-by-step guide from O'Reilly. To follow along all you need is a machine with some spare disk space (Windows is easiest) and about 3 hours spare time. You end up with installs of Ruby, Rails, a MySQL Server and MySQL-Front. It all worked first time for me and involved nothing more than pressing "next" a lot.
After following the demo of the cookbook application I had a real taste of Ruby and was excited, to say the least. I then went in search of an IDE. After trying a couple I opted for RADRails, which is really nice and based on Eclipse. I ended up with a desktop that looked something like this (click for full-size):
You can see the IDE (RADRails) with the cookbook project open and all the elements that make up the MVC. The IDE also has the web server running in the bottom pane (there's even a console built in). Top right of the screen is the MySQL app to show us what's going on in the back-end database. The browser shows the application running locally on port 3000.
The afternoon we spent together was enough to convince me I could happily divorce Domino and run off with Ruby, but it's never that easy is it. Domino cooks and cleans for me and I know life with Ruby would involve more work. But on the flip-side she'd keep me on my toes and be a lot more fun.
What future would a relationship with Ruby have though? Is she just a plaything of the Web 2.0 dudes or somebody for business to sit up and take notice of? Naturally, it all boils down to whether or not there's any work in Rails development. Enjoying what you do is one thing. Getting paid to do it is another.
At the moment we're merely flirting and it may end up being nothing more than a fling, but I keep finding myself thinking of Ruby while I'm actually with Domino.
Web development with Domino sometimes feels a bit like dancing with your granny at the disco - she just hasn't got the moves and can just about manage the old one like a Foxtrot. Dance with Ruby and she'll end up teaching you a thing or two. After all, she was born in the disco era and built to move.
Anybody still reading? Well, these two books arrived while I've been writing this. There'll be some more RoR talk to come round here and hopefully a few articles to complement the PHP For Domino Developers set. We'll see. In the mean time I'd highly recommend taking RoR for a spin.