On a daily basis we receive emails containing things like
“I am looking for a host for a commercial ‘Ruby on rails’ website development that is due to go live in 3 weeks time. It is an update to a relatively busy PHP-based site, which is also on old hardware. The site features media streaming, user uploads and E-commerce functionality.”
“We are concerned about the long-term viability of Ruby on Rails as a development language.”
“My company has some concerns on whether or not Ruby on Rails is the right platform to deploy on if we have a very large scale app.”
These statements are interesting for a few reasons:
- The first requires a good deal of systems infrastructure and expertise that has nothing to do with the Rails framework: Rails is likely to be the least of their worries.
- The second equates Rails to a “language”, which it isn’t, Ruby is the language, Rails is a framework for certain kinds of applications. Both are open source and if one is truly concerned (as in “worried”) about the long term viability then you can easily invest in it by simply hiring people to work on them. That’s how we address our concerns.
- And the critical point about the last statement is that Ruby On Rails isn’t a platform. It is a development framework that allows people to code “modern” web-based applications, and is just one part of the platform required for releasing, sustaining and growing an application out in the wild. “Rails” is not a replacement for Java, Python or PHP, that would be Ruby.
But the word platform is in fact key, and exactly what’s missing for most people. What’s the best stack and how does that “scale” now (both up and down) and years into the future?
I thought why not take all of the questions and concerns that I’ve heard over the last two years and all of the issues we’ve studied and addressed ourselves, and present a platform?
That platform would not only be best practices for even the largest of companies (because we’ve all been in large Fortune 500 companies), but then we’ll frame the entire discussion in a set of questions that should be and likely are on anyone’s mind. A set of questions that in fact are unlikely to change. What you’ll get then is not blind Rails evangelism, but the perspective of an architect, engineer and executive who currently thinks that the answer to one of those questions was to use the Ruby and then the Rails framework (and sometimes it isn’t, sometimes C++ is).
The resulting workshop then is a two-day, focused, logical and complete bottom-to-top workshop where people can learn about how to staff, plan, manage, develop, stage, test, deploy, monitor, scale their Rails-based applications on an entire platform and actual do it in Solaris grid containers. And it won’t end there, you can keep those setups for another month after your workshop, and you’ll be part of an elite community that’ll have continued access to us and each other.
We’re a solid, revenue-funded company with a staff of about twenty people. Besides our Connector and Strongspace applications, we have a number of internal and external “enterprise” applications like customer.joyent itself, our e-commerce core, our store and our monitoring and management tools. We also founded and run the hosting service TextDrive. We’re fortunate in that each Joyent developer has been working with Rails since it’s public release in 2004, many have been with Ruby for longer, have solid backgrounds in other languages and a few of them are members of the Rails core team.
If you have any questions about the series, feel free to email me (jason at joyent) or Luke (lkanies at joyent).
Some have emailed me asking for little buttons for their sites, here they are and thank you for asking. Looking forward to seeing many of you at the workshops.
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