I’ll admit it: for a long time I bought into the “web applications are a fad” line. Sure, they worked pretty well for things like online banking and stuff, but they weren’t a serious way to run a business. Besides, I was a long-time Delphi user and advocate, had a couple of million lines of code written in it, and there was no way, no how that I was changing platforms simply because a few upstarts were giving it a go.
Man, was I ever wrong.
So finally, I bit the bullet. I’d give ASP.NET a try, and spent six months learning and using C# to develop our first new hosted web application: Spice. Except it was taking longer than we’d expected, and anytime we tried to do something that seemed like it should be simple, we had to fight with WebForms to get it working. ASP.NET MVC was on the horizon, which would have helped, but it just wasn’t ready for prime time.
One afternoon, I decided to give Ruby on Rails a shot. There was a lot of hype about it floating around, and I thought maybe I should see what all the fuss is about. Doing this changed me forever.
After playing with Rails for a few days, it dawned on me: Rails is to web development what Delphi is to Windows development. It’s amazingly easy to get started, has a powerful out-of-the-box toolset, and takes a lot of the effort out of doing complex things. Additionally, as you start working with the finer details, you discover an elegance to the design of the framework that just makes your work easier.
I’m hoping to document some of my findings here, as well as provide guidance for people who are used to working in Delphi and want to get started using Ruby on Rails. I’m hoping that you find this unique perspective worthwhile!