It’s not about the tools or the language! (Yeah right)

Pretending it’s all about *doing* stuff seems the be the trendy viewpoint for some developers these days with their war crys of  “It doesn’t matter what language you write in, just get writing” and “You can use anything to write code, even notepad” etc.

The people most vocal about this seem to be the Ruby On Rails guys with their “Just start coding” ethos, though in part that may be them picking up on DHH‘s slightly militant world viewpoint.

Great, I agree 100%. But do you know what? Ruby On Rails is too fiddly. Maybe it’s purely because I’m on Windows, but the promise of it being ‘Low on dependencies and prides itself on shipping with most (sic) everything in the box’ is a bit of… well… a lie. You got to download Ruby. Then Gems. Then use Gems to download Rails…..and a DB. Then you’re going to need an editor……

If the RoR guys want a bigger take up they need to lower the barrier to entry a long long way.

I did eventually manage to get it running by using a combination of the recommended downloads, a lot of luck, and the InstantRails download (which hilariously didn’t work first time and was missing something though I can’t remember what). I wish I’d documented the comedy install process, but I must have typed a good 20 commands into the command line, edited a fair few config files and spent about an hour on Google tracing error messages. By the time I’d got the ‘hello world’ site running I no longer had the enthusiasm to start learning it.

In contrast, I put Visual Web Developer on my laptop (which is a clean machine other than the huge amount of Ruby junk now on it). The install took 2 minutes, worked first time and needed nothing else.

So no, it’s not about the tools. It’s not about the language either. But I’ll take something that works first time over something that doesn’t…….

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