5 Reasons why I really hate Ruby on Rails

The story of a suffering idealist.

Early in 2006, I realized my office needed a job tracking system. We’re a mac/pc office, so I wanted something that would work for both.

I decided to use a web based system. So we could eventually publish our job system to clients so they could see where they were up to.
After looking around for quite some time, I bought in to the hype around Ruby on Rails. After a few weeks stuffing around with config files, mysql databases and servers I managed to get a nice little scaffold up and running. I thought this was great, so much better than creating the system from scratch in php!!
And yes, Ruby on Rails is probably easier than php. But …

  1. It’s easier to start a new project, but as it grows, it gets exponentially harder. That right, like grains of sand on a chess board, item 7 of my project was twice as hard as item 6, which was twice as hard as 5.
  2. No real debugging. I’m a VB man. I’m used to the debugger in Access and VB. It’s a nice, warm forgiving debugger, so simple. I tried all sorts of Ruby on Rails setups, from Ruby in Steel, Eclipse and everything else that had an IDE on Rails. And they all sucked. Yes that’s right, they stank.
  3. Documentation? Forget it. Figure it out yourself, or ask on the forums. I bought 3 Ruby Rails books, and downloaded some more. Since my project was different to the ones in the books, I found their lessons very hard to apply to my situation.
  4. Enjoy being poor? Learn Ruby on Rails. Walk with me here … Ruby on Rails is free, that’s why I chose it. But because there’s little money behind it, there’s poor doco, bad support and only a few sites using it. ( compared to apache/php or iis/asp ). If you want money, go to a client who’s willing to spend money. Chances are they’ve already spent money. On microsoft systems!! So, learn Ruby on Rails and work for people who don’t want to spend money, or learn asp.net and work for people who have and will spend money!
  5. Certification? Forget it!! Another reason big companies won’t take on RoR is because, with no certification, they have no way of knowing if potential employers are any good. Period.

So, I gave up on RoR, grabbed a copy of Iron Speed developer for IIS, which is what RoR would like to be in about 10 years, and had a draft system up and running that was working better than what my RoR system was after 6 months. I’d like to use only open source software, and support it, and eventually write my own open source, but I’ve got deadlines, requirements and a limited attention span!
So, call me stupid, but Iron Speed rocks, and Ruby on Rails sucks!