Sunday, November 12, 2006
The blogosphere and jumping to conclusions
In a previous blog entry, I commented on what it would take to certify Ruby on Rails as being enterprise ready. Let's look at some of the responses that folks have supplied:
1. Chris Petrilli in his blog entry entitled: Enterprise Ruby provides the following insights:
- The reasons to embrase the JRuby project are numerous, however, I’m not sure that scalability is really one of them. I’ve not seen any extensive benchmarking, but I find it difficult to imagine that JRuby is any faster than the CRuby1 interpreter. Certainly Jython was never any faster than the regular Python.
I generally agree with the perspective you hold in terms of benchmarking but this is simple to either prove or disprove. Don't assume. Anyway, your response is more about performance and less about scalability. I assume you know the difference and I will not attack you if you don't. If you would like to understand the differences, simply ask.
- Industry Analysts: I doubt it. Nobody’s going to pay them. My experience with the various firms is that if you don’t pay them, they don’t care. It’s largely like politics, and the results are just as odious.
Hmmm. Have you ever heard of a highly respected industry analyst named Stephen O'Grady whom within his blog on numerous occasions has positively blogged on Ruby and no one paid him to do so. Are you wandering alone in the wilderness assuming that absolutely every single industry analyst has no integrity and simply won't talk about the merits of something unless they are paid? If you spend ten minutes reading the blogs of Redmonk, Elemental Links and others, you would immediately disprove your own notions.
Besides, if anyone in the blogosphere ever read my blog, you would understand that generally speaking, I am not a fan of large analyst firms. Hence the disclaimer that says: The opinions expressed herein may or represent my own personal opinions...
- Um, once again, Mr. McGovern manages to ruin an otherwise interesting article with blinding ignorance. First, there is Rake, which manages to have 80% of the needed functionality of Ant, without the eye-bleed inducing syntax. This is proof that XML is not useful as a DSL, and people keep trying to cram it into places it really shouldn’t be.
Glad that you at least acknowledged that some of the Ruby tools still have a little bit of work to catch up to the world of Java but that isn't the point. The real statement you should have paid attention to was configuration and release management practices which is more than just Ant and its equivalents.
- Deep support implies integration into the language itself, which is damned foolish. SNMP is most assuredly not security-related, and is in actuality, often the point of attack for many systems. A lot of people turn it off as a matter of course. XACML is a funny thing to talk about “security”, since it’s really just yet-another-XML-wreck, masquerading as a wanna-be DSL
So you don't think it would be useful for Ruby to have the capability of issuing SNMP traps for enterprise applications? Yes, SNMP can be used to attack applications but also adds value in terms of providing alerting mechanisms based on standards? If you don't like SNMP, what alerting standard do you prefer? Do you not prefer any form of alerting for an enterprise application?
In terms of XACML, it can be incorporated into building of application logic but in the Java world, J2EE containers such as BEA WebLogic, JBoss, Websphere, etc are implementing. Do you think they are wrong for building XACML support into the container?
- CardSpace (previously InfoCard) is a Microsoft-specific approach to identity management. The Ruby world would be better served with tracking one of the more open standards, and not something Microsoft is likely to abandon at any moment, like all their other “initiatives”.
I would like to understand why the Ruby world would be better off? Wouldn't the applications built on top of Ruby benefit by using whatever standard is most pervasively used and not just one that is open? Isn't that kinda like James Robertson attempting to convince the CEO of BestBuy to get rid of VHS and start selling Beta again? Yea, I know this analogy isn't quite a match the focus should be on empowering the users to solve real-world problems.
Let's say I agree for the moment that the Ruby community should only do non-Microsoft stuff. Other than for small startups, should the masses of large enterprises not care about interoperability? I hope you will be successful with this approach.
- Ruby is primarily a UNIX toolset, including MacOS X, and I suspect covers 90% of the desired targets. z/OS is interesting, but it’s also an entirely separate beast. Most of my experience with Java on the z/OS platform is in Linux VMs, not in the z/OS (i.e., MVS-derived) world.
There are actually several flavors of OS for the mainframe. You have Unix System Services which runs on top of MVS and I am in full agreement that this is a beast that should be avoided. Z/Linux on the other hand has some merit in terms of the community considering embracing. My offer as Mr Enterprisey still stands to the Ruby community for anyone that would like access to a mainframe to get a port going.
- You can’t be serious by actually mentioning RMS as a “suitable” spokesperson. That shows so much ignorance that I can’t begin to quantify it.
Chris, no I am not serious about RMS and threw him in just to get a rise out of folks. The key point was though that I did throw in other names in which I was serious like getting Doc Searls, Jon Udell and others to start doing articles in this space.
- The Ruby community needs to stop solely speaking on Ruby at developer-oriented venues and start speaking in business-oriented venues.Oy, I don’t even know how to respond to that. So many assumptions that it really is only accurate in its own psychological universal echo-chamber.
Not sure why this would be difficult to respond to. If you can name a single conference where IT executives (or business executives) frequent and there has been a single speech given by anyone in the Ruby community, then you can prove my assumptions are wrong with facts.
- That isn’t to say “we” shouldn’t be thinking about this, but it’s important to keep things in perspective.
Ring the bell. Understanding the perspective of others is the key to success. Insular thinking and one-sided conversations don't result in anything productive...
- Complexity is the hubris of most architectures and is where they fail miserably. This is an unfortunate situation when many EAs are paid for their complexity. True insight, however, is in the reduction, not addition, of complexity.
If I could have a wish and only one wish for today, I would ask Chris Petrilli to provide the answer to the below four questions and only the below four questions?
- Does complexity increase within an enterprise that already has multiple languages and they attempt to bring in yet another language called Ruby?
- Have you ever wondered why James Robertson who has a vested interest in SmallTalk seems to always avoid talking about why SmallTalk is inferior to Ruby and instead prefers to amplify debates between me and the Ruby community?
- I would like for you to consider for a moment that not all EA's and what they conclude at work necessarily believe their thinking when at home. In my travels, I have met lots of folks who are enterprisey according to their day jobs yet use Ruby at home (many are on my blogroll). I have also asked them that if we both collectively agree to the merits of Ruby within large enterprises, how come we don't talk about it at work? What do you think the response to this question is?
- You are probably aware that I am one of the biggest on the record enterprisey contributors to open source, community-oriented and charity-oriented individuals you will ever meet in the blogosphere or even in person for that matter. Would love to know why you think I have taken such a position in talking about Ruby?
Do you believe it is out of spite, fear, evil, tough love, insight that others don't share, etc? I hope you don't say its traffic as I can statistically prove that blog entries commenting on the behavior of industry analysts and general topics on enterprise architecture drive way more traffic by factors than the mention of Ruby.