Friday, January 11, 2008

Programming in Ruby

I heard about Ruby in 2004 or thereabouts. I think there was an article on about it. I am a fan of object-oriented languages, having written my first Simula program in 1975, and I like typeless languages like Smalltalk, having used Digitalk Smalltalk on several projects in the late 80s. So Ruby looked interesting. I downloaded the compiler and bought the “PickAxe book”, Programming Ruby. I enjoyed reading that text like it was a novel. I found it engaging and a real page turner. I played around with the language, but didn’t have any real opportunity to apply it, since I was working for IBM as an Enterprise Architect.

We were promoting Java, J2EE, EJBs, Message-Driven-Beans, Enterprise Service Buses, web services, WSDL, and all the other stuff that IBM was out shoving down the throats of its enterprise customers. And I was helping, standing by with a glass of water and an explanation when a customer’s system choked on one of our latest offerings.

With the advent of Service-Oriented-Architecture, I thought that we had reached a tipping point in the complexity of our product offerings. There were very few customers who could absorb all this complexity, and in fact, they didn’t need it for about 90+% of their problems. We were focusing the big-guns on solutions that might reach 10% of the market.

There had to be a better way: Ruby-on-Rails

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