Jumping ship to RubyOnRails

As anyone who has read anything here in the past will know I have been a long term fan of Python. I still am and Python is still a favourite for me. I still think it has the potential to be incredibly popular web platform and huge progress is being made on lots of different froonts towards that.

But (obvious there was going to be a but) now as a Probationary Methodist Minister doing development I need to recognise that I am in a different place to the past.

This has taken me a while. I enjoy talking about and thinking about tool development and that has taken me into a variety of Python things (Leonardo, TurboGears, WSGI, PythonPaste, SQLObject, CherryPy, RhubarbTart etc). However, I have not actually got much done in terms of application development.

Now I want to use my, limited, time to actually scratch some real itches I have. There are two applications that I want and want quite urgently. The first is simple Membership Management for the Churches over which I have pastoral charge (5 of them with from 4 to 100 members). The second is all about worship services and getting them onto Church websites so that they never display out of date services.

Anyway so I am starting mbrship.org as a place in which to develop, share and depoly church membership. There is a blog at mbrship.org/blog.

So developing a new application I needed to choose which technology to use. In the end I have decided not to use a python based solution and instead use RubyOnRails . Why?

  • All the python solutions are developing fast and so are not that stable at present
  • There is not a huge amount of documentation for the python solutions
  • It is good to learn new things
  • Learning Rails will help me understand the issues better and may allow me to contribute better to Python in the future
  • I am going to be hosting on TextDrive (with the VCII server I bought a while ago – lifetime hosting for a one off payment) and they are big supporters of Rails
  • It seemed like a fun idea

More later, taking the wife out to lunch now :-)

7 thoughts on “Jumping ship to RubyOnRails

  1. pam whitney

    Welcome back! Did you enjoy your lunch. I hope you took Jane somewhere nice since you deserted her on her birthday!

  2. Chris Taylor

    Great idea, I’ll be watching this development with much interest. To be honest, I don’t think there are many people that are thinking about what software (open source, free etc) they could develop specifically for churches, at least I haven’t heard of anyone doing that. That sounds like something that would be worth thinking about.

  3. Charles Follymacher

    Curious why you haven’t tried Zope? For what you need to do, plain ol’ Zope 2 ought to do the trick much more straightforwardly (?) than Byzantine Rails, no?

  4. DaveW

    First impressions of Rails are a much gentler learning curve than Zope 2. Plus hosting with my textdrive account should be simpler.

  5. Joel

    I second the Zope comment. Zope, especially combined with Plone, has excellent membership management out of the box and is built specifically for managing frequently changing content as well as making it available to other applications via RSS, ftp, webdav and more.
    You will find Ruby on Rails interesting and innovative but the green grass on the other side still needs mowing and has fire ants too.

  6. DaveW

    Joel, I have used Plone in the past and agree it is very powerful. However, the hostiung requirements and very steep learning curve that I have experienced with it rule it out for what I am doing here.
    Yes the grass can seem greener, but it is wise to check out alternatives. My experience so far shows me that for my needs in this situation RubyOnRails fits me better than Plone.


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