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Another reason Rails doesn't suck

 
 
Phlip
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      09-10-2006
Rubies:

I got to the deceased equine flagellation party late, so I will find a
different angle.

Read:

http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?ConfigurationHell

That page lampoons a very well-regarded and highly successful servlet engine
called Tomcat. (Written in a language whose name begins with J.)

Installing and configuring Tomcat is a total pain in the sphincter. The
system depends on endless configuration files, in various languages, with
invisible connections between them, and no "trail of breadcrumbs" to lead
you through everything. If you get one line item wrong, the system will
might provide a log file, and might provide a cryptic error message. This
might lead you to the wrong module and config file, looking in the wrong
place to supply a fix. If you then screw that file up, you can't tell if the
new error message is progress or a regression.

Now compare Tomcat to our least un-favorite servlet system. Rails prefers
"convention over configuration". That seems like a new nuisance; for
example, some database table names must be plural (or something like that).

It's not a nuisance. The comparison to Tomcat illustrates just how powerful
this weak but flexible concept can get!

--
Phlip
http://www.greencheese.us/ZeekLand <-- NOT a blog!!!


 
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Stefan Scholl
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      09-10-2006
Phlip <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> Now compare Tomcat to our least un-favorite servlet system. Rails prefers
> "convention over configuration". That seems like a new nuisance; for
> example, some database table names must be plural (or something like that).
>
> It's not a nuisance. The comparison to Tomcat illustrates just how powerful
> this weak but flexible concept can get!


For English speaking countries.

 
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David Vallner
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      09-10-2006
Phlip wrote:
> That page lampoons a very well-regarded and highly successful servlet engine
> called Tomcat. (Written in a language whose name begins with J.)
>


To be honest, Tomcat is even by some people who like said unnamed
language considered a baroque beast. And Apache couldn't write
documentation to save their lives. You're beating a dead horse in the
wrong place here.

> Installing and configuring Tomcat is a total pain in the sphincter.
>


I see your Tomcat, and I raise you by Oracle Express Edition on Ubuntu /
Debian. Which won't even -start up- out of the box when installed from a
deb because their preinst and postinst scripts are buggy. Yay IT.
Tomcat at least lets you go with defaults and blissfully ignore all
config files that aren't your WEB-INF/web.xml when you just need a
development setup.

> It's not a nuisance. The comparison to Tomcat illustrates just how powerful
> this weak but flexible concept can get!
>


It's the very opposite of flexible, actually, in that it strictly binds
you to What They Know Better. Which works, and works well, until you
find that one edge case where it doesn't, and you're screwed. It's
cushy, but as it stands, it's actually a limitation

Where I work there's probably more people talking German than English,
and a lot of development gets done in Slovak - complete with code
identifiers (the documentation is easier to access if you don't have to
map from slovak legalese to geekish all the time.) Rails table name
conventions that can't be overriden short of jumping through some major
hoops have the usefulness of a chocolate teapot in that environment.

David Vallner

PS: Java trolls. GO HOME!

 
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Phlip
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      09-10-2006
Stefan Scholl wrote:

>> "convention over configuration"


> For English speaking countries.


Shouldn't a team already be practicing Ubiquitous Language? whatever its
base?

David Vallner wrote:

> I see your Tomcat, and I raise you by Oracle Express Edition on Ubuntu /
> Debian.


Whip me. Beat me. Make me install Oracle.

--
Phlip
http://www.greencheese.us/ZeekLand <-- NOT a blog!!!


 
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Kevin Jackson
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      09-10-2006
> To be honest, Tomcat is even by some people who like said unnamed
> language considered a baroque beast. And Apache couldn't write
> documentation to save their lives. You're beating a dead horse in the
> wrong place here.


Hey! We try to get the docs at least 50% right - for bad docs I
point to the poster child #1 hibernate - only way to get even
semi-decent docs is to buy a book

>
> > Installing and configuring Tomcat is a total pain in the sphincter.
> >

>


It's really not that bad by itself, but when you add in the large
amount of thirdparty cruft that most Java web-apps require, yes it
becomes a pain.

> I see your Tomcat, and I raise you by Oracle Express Edition on Ubuntu /
> Debian. Which won't even -start up- out of the box when installed from a
> .deb because their preinst and postinst scripts are buggy. Yay IT.


Oracle 10g for linux out of the box will not install - the install
shell files have hard-coded directory names for the engineers pesonal
workstations - you have to edit these shell scripts yourself after
downloading gigabytes of crap (why no cli installer?), and at the end
of your frustrating hell of installation + fixes to Oracle's own code
you get a crappy web interface - even 9i had an application to control
the db (as bad as it was). 10g is a hell of a mess - right now a
decent db with good support could take a fair-sized chunk out of the
Oracle market-share, it's just not going to happen when for not.net
projects it's the de-facto 'enterprise' db. - And all this is on the
Oracle supported platform Redhat enterprise.

> PS: Java trolls. GO HOME!


Ok I'll get me coat...

Kev

 
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David Vallner
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      09-10-2006
Phlip wrote:
> Stefan Scholl wrote:
>
>>> "convention over configuration"

>
>> For English speaking countries.

>
> Shouldn't a team already be practicing Ubiquitous Language? whatever its
> base?
>


Tell that to existing in-house codebases. Also, you "are allowed" to
other languages if you're sure noone that can't speak that language will
ever have to read the code. Which just so happens to be a not really
rare situation, and you can't really think bad of developers that prefer
to code in their native language when it's permissible.

David Vallner

 
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David Vallner
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      09-10-2006
Kevin Jackson wrote:
> Hey! We try to get the docs at least 50% right - for bad docs I
> point to the poster child #1 hibernate - only way to get even
> semi-decent docs is to buy a book
>


Well, Hani of bileblog's quotes from the Axis 2 API and docs are pretty
scary too. Although the link to Tomcat's DefaultServlet source was also
enlightening.

> and at the end
> of your frustrating hell of installation + fixes to Oracle's own code


And here I thought giving up when sqlplus rejected the SYSTEM password I
told the configuration 60 seconds before was being persistent...

David Vallner

 
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