Welcome!

Machine Learning Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Jack Jachner, Pat Romanski, Progress Blog

Related Topics: Machine Learning , Java IoT, Open Source Cloud, AJAXWorld RIA Conference & Expo, Agile Computing

Machine Learning : Article

AJAX on Rails: An AJAXWorld Interview

Full Transcript of Dion Hinchcliffe's SYS-CON.TV Interview with David Heinemeier Hansson

View David's AJAXWorld Presentation: AJAX 0n Rails

Dion Hinchcliffe:
Welcome to SYS-CON TV. My name is Dion Hinchcliffe, I'm CTO with Sphere of Influence and editor-in-chief of the Web 2.0 Journal. I have with me today David Heinemeier Hansson of 37signals and creator of Ruby on Rails. David, welcome and let me ask you, Ruby on Rails is one of the most exciting stories in the application AJAX server stack space. Could you tell us a little bit about what it is, why you created it, and what are its advantages?

David Heinemeier Hansson: Ruby on Rails is what we call a full stack. A full stack meaning that it has all the components built in for doing most Web applications. Unlike a lot of other open source software, you don't have to cherry pick a lot of different packages. We try to deliver one solution in the sense of Apple delivering one solution that spans across multiple layers. We like to think of ourselves as the Apple of open source Web application development, in the sense of dealing with the database, wrapping data objects, dealing with the controller and the control flow, and getting requests coming in and dealing with template languages, and of late also dealing with AJAX on the client side, and tying all of these things together seamlessly with knowledge of each other.

I started building this about two-and-a-half years ago. I had been doing PHP and Java for about five years and, frankly, I wasn't really enjoying the role of programmer. I wasn't really enjoying the actual programming work.

Hinchcliffe: Why, because you were mired in complexity or -

Hansson: I was mired in complexity, I was mired in stuff that couldn't be maintained, the hassles of ups and downs. Either you went with PHP, which I liked for its immediacy; you could get something done really quickly, but as soon as you tried extracting these things, making a framework, building on top of it, reusing and going back and changing things, this is not the most welcoming language for that. You could certainly do it, and I did it for a good number of years, but it just took more effort than it should. On the other hand, you have something like Java where it's actually possible to create something nice and maintainable if you have a thousand years to do it. I felt that there must be some split between these two things, where you can get something that's neither quick and dirty or slow and clean but perhaps quick and clean. And that's kind of the sweet spot I tried to approach with Ruby on Rails.

    I needed it for my own stuff. I work at a company called 37signals, and about two and a half years ago we were contemplating getting out of the consultancy business and getting into products. So we created our first application, Basecamp, on top of Ruby. At that time Ruby did have some things to do or some libraries and primers that dealt with the Web, but not any that appealed to my aesthetics.

Hinchcliffe:That was kind of my question: you have AJAX and you have application developers who know Perl or PHP or Java, and they have to learn a new application stack, they have to learn a new language, and AJAX on top of it. That's a lot.

Hansson: Right. One of the things we are trying to do with Ruby on Rails is actually make it extremely conventional. Most of the ideas in Ruby on Rails are the same ideas that people have been building Web applications on for the past 10 years; they just hurt a lot less. The actual practice of implementing these patterns that the industry has spent 10 years perfecting, is just a lot less painful in a language like Ruby than it is in a language like PHP or Java simply because Ruby is a better programming language. At the core of that, the core elements of the language just lend themselves better to building the kinds of frameworks that deliver that programmer happiness we are trying to chase with Ruby on Rails.

Hinchcliffe: Doesn't Ruby on Rails make the common task easier and put the complexity out into the edge cases. Isn't that part of it?

Hansson:  A lot of it is definitely making what most people do most of the time extremely easy, but still allowing for the fact that not everybody is doing what everybody else is doing most of the time; you need to jump off track sometimes and just get out of the way when that happens. But 80% of your application is just like 80% of somebody else's application, so that's stuff you can extract. Once you've extracted it, you can make it a lot nicer to deal with; you just don't have to repeat the same mundane details over and over again. That's what we're calling conventional configuration. We have a set of conventions in Rails that if you follow those, you learn the convention once and you never have to configure that again. That really racks up pretty quickly. A lot of these standard things and Web applications are stuff you need to configure over and over again. How does this object layer relate to the database? How do the URLs relate to the controller that's matching it?

Hinchcliffe: Same thing you always go through whenever you develop an application.

Hansson: That's the stuff that in Java we call XML sit-ups, the fact that you usually can produce just as much XML configuration as application code and that's just insane in online. Instead, get rid of that configuration, replace it mostly with conventions where you can learn the conventions once, reap the benefits over and over again, and then allow configuration for the edge cases.

Hinchcliffe:  Interesting. Some people who were used to traditional application development, they may even have heard Don Box say, "I wish .NET had a Ruby implementation," so they might start taking that seriously, but does it really scale? What is your experience with Ruby on Rails and Ruby in particular?

Hansson: "Does it scale?" is an interesting question, because just put like that with no metrics and specificity it doesn't really mean anything. But let's take the public perception of scaling, meaning you can add more hardware and then you can handle more clients. Is Ruby capable of doing that? The answer is unquestionably yes, simply because Ruby doesn't invent a new architecture. We use exactly the same architecture as people who have been building the biggest sites the Internet has used for the last decade, which is something called shared nothing, where you don't have state in the application or in the Web layer. You have pushed all the state out to the database, and if there's anybody who spent time figuring out how to scale, it's the database guys. Basically we're saying it's not our problem; it's the problem of the database guys, or NFS file stores or mem cache or any of these other technologies for managing large amounts of data fast. Once you have a Web layer and an application layer that doesn't contain state, you can add an unlimited number of application servers with no effort at all except a low balancer.

Hinchcliffe: Has it been your experience at 37signals? You guys actually host very large-scale applications using exactly this, right?

Hansson:  We started out building Basecamp, our first application, on a single server. We had a database, Web server, application server, all in one box. Today I think we have 13 boxes in our cluster that handle five applications and more than 400,000 people using our application in one form or another.

More Stories By RIA News Desk

Ever since Google popularized a smarter, more responsive and interactive Web experience by using AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript + XML) for its Google Maps & Gmail applications, SYS-CON's RIA News Desk has been covering every aspect of Rich Internet Applications and those creating and deploying them. If you have breaking RIA news, please send it to [email protected] to share your product and company news coverage with AJAXWorld readers.

Comments (14) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
j j 09/29/06 01:28:52 PM EDT

Ruby on Rails is what we call a full stack. A full stack meaning that it has all the components built in for doing most Web applications. Unlike a lot of other open source software, you don't have to cherry pick a lot of different packages. We try to deliver one solution in the sense of Apple delivering one solution that spans across multiple layers. We like to think of ourselves as the Apple of open source Web application development, in the sense of dealing with the database, wrapping data objects, dealing with the controller and the control flow, and getting requests coming in and dealing with template languages, and of late also dealing with AJAX on the client side, and tying all of these things together seamlessly with knowledge of each other.

SYS-CON Italy News Desk 08/23/06 04:13:13 PM EDT

AJAXWorld Interview with David Heinemeier Hansson

n d 08/22/06 04:56:40 PM EDT

Ruby on Rails is what we call a full stack. A full stack meaning that it has all the components built in for doing most Web applications. Unlike a lot of other open source software, you don't have to cherry pick a lot of different packages. We try to deliver one solution in the sense of Apple delivering one solution that spans across multiple layers. We like to think of ourselves as the Apple of open source Web application development, in the sense of dealing with the database, wrapping data objects, dealing with the controller and the control flow, and getting requests coming in and dealing with template languages, and of late also dealing with AJAX on the client side, and tying all of these things together seamlessly with knowledge of each other.

n d 08/21/06 11:53:08 AM EDT

AJAXWorld Interview with David Heinemeier Hansson

brazil 08/20/06 08:52:07 PM EDT

Hanson interview

n d 08/20/06 04:23:28 PM EDT

Ruby on Rails is what we call a full stack. A full stack meaning that it has all the components built in for doing most Web applications. Unlike a lot of other open source software, you don't have to cherry pick a lot of different packages. We try to deliver one solution in the sense of Apple delivering one solution that spans across multiple layers. We like to think of ourselves as the Apple of open source Web application development, in the sense of dealing with the database, wrapping data objects, dealing with the controller and the control flow, and getting requests coming in and dealing with template languages, and of late also dealing with AJAX on the client side, and tying all of these things together seamlessly with knowledge of each other.

n d 08/20/06 03:29:38 PM EDT

Ruby on Rails is what we call a full stack. A full stack meaning that it has all the components built in for doing most Web applications. Unlike a lot of other open source software, you don't have to cherry pick a lot of different packages. We try to deliver one solution in the sense of Apple delivering one solution that spans across multiple layers. We like to think of ourselves as the Apple of open source Web application development, in the sense of dealing with the database, wrapping data objects, dealing with the controller and the control flow, and getting requests coming in and dealing with template languages, and of late also dealing with AJAX on the client side, and tying all of these things together seamlessly with knowledge of each other.

AJAXWorld News Desk 08/20/06 02:34:13 PM EDT

Ruby on Rails is what we call a full stack. A full stack meaning that it has all the components built in for doing most Web applications. Unlike a lot of other open source software, you don't have to cherry pick a lot of different packages. We try to deliver one solution in the sense of Apple delivering one solution that spans across multiple layers. We like to think of ourselves as the Apple of open source Web application development, in the sense of dealing with the database, wrapping data objects, dealing with the controller and the control flow, and getting requests coming in and dealing with template languages, and of late also dealing with AJAX on the client side, and tying all of these things together seamlessly with knowledge of each other.

n d 08/20/06 02:13:09 PM EDT

Ruby on Rails is what we call a full stack. A full stack meaning that it has all the components built in for doing most Web applications. Unlike a lot of other open source software, you don't have to cherry pick a lot of different packages. We try to deliver one solution in the sense of Apple delivering one solution that spans across multiple layers. We like to think of ourselves as the Apple of open source Web application development, in the sense of dealing with the database, wrapping data objects, dealing with the controller and the control flow, and getting requests coming in and dealing with template languages, and of late also dealing with AJAX on the client side, and tying all of these things together seamlessly with knowledge of each other.

SYS-CON Italy News Desk 07/11/06 06:00:52 PM EDT

Ruby on Rails is what we call a full stack. A full stack meaning that it has all the components built in for doing most Web applications. Unlike a lot of other open source software, you don't have to cherry pick a lot of different packages. We try to deliver one solution in the sense of Apple delivering one solution that spans across multiple layers. We like to think of ourselves as the Apple of open source Web application development, in the sense of dealing with the database, wrapping data objects, dealing with the controller and the control flow, and getting requests coming in and dealing with template languages, and of late also dealing with AJAX on the client side, and tying all of these things together seamlessly with knowledge of each other.

AJAXWorld News Desk 07/11/06 05:25:20 PM EDT

Ruby on Rails is what we call a full stack. A full stack meaning that it has all the components built in for doing most Web applications. Unlike a lot of other open source software, you don't have to cherry pick a lot of different packages. We try to deliver one solution in the sense of Apple delivering one solution that spans across multiple layers. We like to think of ourselves as the Apple of open source Web application development, in the sense of dealing with the database, wrapping data objects, dealing with the controller and the control flow, and getting requests coming in and dealing with template languages, and of late also dealing with AJAX on the client side, and tying all of these things together seamlessly with knowledge of each other.

SYS-CON India News Desk 04/05/06 05:19:15 PM EDT

Ruby on Rails is what we call a full stack. A full stack meaning that it has all the components built in for doing most Web applications. Unlike a lot of other open source software, you don't have to cherry pick a lot of different packages. We try to deliver one solution in the sense of Apple delivering one solution that spans across multiple layers. We like to think of ourselves as the Apple of open source Web application development, in the sense of dealing with the database, wrapping data objects, dealing with the controller and the control flow, and getting requests coming in and dealing with template languages, and of late also dealing with AJAX on the client side, and tying all of these things together seamlessly with knowledge of each other.

SYS-CON Italy News Desk 04/05/06 04:49:59 PM EDT

Ruby on Rails is what we call a full stack. A full stack meaning that it has all the components built in for doing most Web applications. Unlike a lot of other open source software, you don't have to cherry pick a lot of different packages. We try to deliver one solution in the sense of Apple delivering one solution that spans across multiple layers. We like to think of ourselves as the Apple of open source Web application development, in the sense of dealing with the database, wrapping data objects, dealing with the controller and the control flow, and getting requests coming in and dealing with template languages, and of late also dealing with AJAX on the client side, and tying all of these things together seamlessly with knowledge of each other.

SYS-CON Australia News Desk 04/05/06 04:48:52 PM EDT

Ruby on Rails is what we call a full stack. A full stack meaning that it has all the components built in for doing most Web applications. Unlike a lot of other open source software, you don't have to cherry pick a lot of different packages. We try to deliver one solution in the sense of Apple delivering one solution that spans across multiple layers. We like to think of ourselves as the Apple of open source Web application development, in the sense of dealing with the database, wrapping data objects, dealing with the controller and the control flow, and getting requests coming in and dealing with template languages, and of late also dealing with AJAX on the client side, and tying all of these things together seamlessly with knowledge of each other.

@CloudExpo Stories
Blockchain is a shared, secure record of exchange that establishes trust, accountability and transparency across business networks. Supported by the Linux Foundation's open source, open-standards based Hyperledger Project, Blockchain has the potential to improve regulatory compliance, reduce cost as well as advance trade. Are you curious about how Blockchain is built for business? In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, will discuss th...
The question before companies today is not whether to become intelligent, it’s a question of how and how fast. The key is to adopt and deploy an intelligent application strategy while simultaneously preparing to scale that intelligence. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sangeeta Chakraborty, Chief Customer Officer at Ayasdi, will provide a tactical framework to become a truly intelligent enterprise, including how to identify the right applications for AI, how to build a Center of Excellence to ...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
While some vendors scramble to create and sell you a fancy solution for monitoring your spanking new Amazon Lambdas, hear how you can do it on the cheap using just built-in Java APIs yourself. By exploiting a little-known fact that Lambdas aren’t exactly single-threaded, you can effectively identify hot spots in your serverless code. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Dave Martin, Product owner at CA Technologies, will give a live demonstration and code walkthrough, showing how ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Elastifile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Elastifile Cloud File System (ECFS) is software-defined data infrastructure designed for seamless and efficient management of dynamic workloads across heterogeneous environments. Elastifile provides the architecture needed to optimize your hybrid cloud environment, by facilitating efficient...
As DevOps methodologies expand their reach across the enterprise, organizations face the daunting challenge of adapting related cloud strategies to ensure optimal alignment, from managing complexity to ensuring proper governance. How can culture, automation, legacy apps and even budget be reexamined to enable this ongoing shift within the modern software factory?
There is only one world-class Cloud event on earth, and that is Cloud Expo – which returns to Silicon Valley for the 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center, October 31 - November 2, 2017. Every Global 2000 enterprise in the world is now integrating cloud computing in some form into its IT development and operations. Midsize and small businesses are also migrating to the cloud in increasing numbers. Companies are each developing their unique mix of cloud technologies and service...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Golden Gate University will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Since 1901, non-profit Golden Gate University (GGU) has been helping adults achieve their professional goals by providing high quality, practice-based undergraduate and graduate educational programs in law, taxation, business and related professions. Many of its courses are taug...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo taking place Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 21st International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is ...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to w...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Grape Up will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company specializing in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the U.S. and Europe, Grape Up works with a variety of customers from emergi...
With Cloud Foundry you can easily deploy and use apps utilizing websocket technology, but not everybody realizes that scaling them out is not that trivial. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Roman Swoszowski, CTO and VP, Cloud Foundry Services, at Grape Up, will show you an example of how to deal with this issue. He will demonstrate a cloud-native Spring Boot app running in Cloud Foundry and communicating with clients over websocket protocol that can be easily scaled horizontally and coordinate...
From 2013, NTT Communications has been providing cPaaS service, SkyWay. Its customer’s expectations for leveraging WebRTC technology are not only typical real-time communication use cases such as Web conference, remote education, but also IoT use cases such as remote camera monitoring, smart-glass, and robotic. Because of this, NTT Communications has numerous IoT business use-cases that its customers are developing on top of PaaS. WebRTC will lead IoT businesses to be more innovative and address...
21st International Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Me...
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, CTO of Embotics, discussed how automation can provide the dynamic management required to cost-effectively deliver microservices and container solutions at scale. He also discussed how flexible automation is the key to effectively bridging and seamlessly coordinating both IT and developer needs for component orchestration across disparate clouds – an increasingly important requirement at today’s multi-cloud enterprise.
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to w...
Vulnerability management is vital for large companies that need to secure containers across thousands of hosts, but many struggle to understand how exposed they are when they discover a new high security vulnerability. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, John Morello, CTO of Twistlock, will address this pressing concern by introducing the concept of the “Vulnerability Risk Tree API,” which brings all the data together in a simple REST endpoint, allowing companies to easily grasp the severity of t...
Recently, WebRTC has a lot of eyes from market. The use cases of WebRTC are expanding - video chat, online education, online health care etc. Not only for human-to-human communication, but also IoT use cases such as machine to human use cases can be seen recently. One of the typical use-case is remote camera monitoring. With WebRTC, people can have interoperability and flexibility for deploying monitoring service. However, the benefit of WebRTC for IoT is not only its convenience and interopera...
Any startup has to have a clear go –to-market strategy from the beginning. Similarly, any data science project has to have a go to production strategy from its first days, so it could go beyond proof-of-concept. Machine learning and artificial intelligence in production would result in hundreds of training pipelines and machine learning models that are continuously revised by teams of data scientists and seamlessly connected with web applications for tenants and users.