Posts Tagged philosophy

Rails vs Merb ¿drama?

That’s official, according to Twitter the fight has started.

In this corner, weighing in at XXX LOC, from 37signals in the white trunks: Rails and in this other corner,  weighing in at YYY LOC from Engine Yard: Merb!

Yehuda Katz

Yehuda Katz

David Heinemeier Hansson

David Heinemeier Hansson


I wish I had a more aggressive photo of Yehuda, but oh well…

So people love drama, from American Idol to the Elections without forgetting Survivor, Heroes and other TV shows. Few weeks ago there was a tentative from Giles to create some controversy but he did not really work so well. The last big drama we had in the Ruby community was Zed and his infamous blog post…

The plot

Once upon a time, in a world where .NET, JAVA and PHP were ruling the internet development world, a not so well known programming language was getting more and more traction in the far east. Ruby, as it was known in Japan, only had very little documentation in English and real ninjas had to translate docs from obscure Japanese writings in order to become enlightened. Nevertheless, a courageous Danish student named David decided to build an application called basecamp using this “exotic” language. David decided to extract a framework from his work for 37signals. He called his framework “Ruby on Rails” and offered it to the world under the MIT license. Pretty quickly, as Ruby was getting more popular in the West, people looked at “Rails” and loved the MVC architecture, the conventions over configuration, testing framework and especially the language: Ruby.

As Rails was getting popular, a man from Polish descent known as Ezra Zygmuntowicz and who was working for Engine Yard got frustrated with some of Rails limitations. He needed something simpler, easier and faster. In fact he just needed a Mongrel handler, a way to process a request really quickly without going through then entire stack and without slowing down the main app. That’s how Ezra started Merb.

Let’s fast forward 2 years. The year is 2008, the place is Orlando, Florida. Yehuda Katz, Merb’s lead developer announces the 1.0 release of a Ruby web framework started 2 years earlier by Ezra. The framework’s selling points are: performance, modularilty, flexibilty.  In the mean time other Ruby frameworks were developed such as camping, Sinatra, mack, waves

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