Monday, November 20, 2006


Maybe Ruby on Rails is ready for the enterprise?

What if all of us enterprisey folks were wrong to think that Ruby on Rails isn't ready for the enterprise and we decided to ignore lack of industry analyst coverage, lack of any quantity of knowledge in large consulting firms or even lack of a single hint that there is a single Fortune 100 enterprise whose primary business model isn't technology and how they have used it to develop a mission-critical enterprise application?

I wonder what would happen if the Ruby on Rails community instead of attacking enterprisey folks instead decided to show up respect like nothing ever seen before? Could an enterprisey insider be the one that helps Ruby climb to dominance? After all, if the Ruby community believes that all we do is follow the lead of each other and none of us are capable of independent thought then it would be logical for them to identify an enterprisey person who is open minded to community-oriented approaches and get him/her to talk about it.

What if the Ruby on Rails community figured out how to politely ask for the contribution of talent to their cause? After all, enterprisey folks have access to capital that dinky not worth talking about small consulting firms don't. Could this be leveraged to the communities advantage?

What would happen if an enterprisey person where to stand up on stage at a major conference that was going to happen in February encouraging other enterprisey folks to consider Ruby on Rails? Do you think analysts would stand up and pay attention? Do you think that would increase the potential uptake in Ruby on Rails within large enterprises?

Maybe you are fearful of enterprisey folks actually contributing to Ruby on Rails because they may not only make it better they will make existing participants feel inferior. Ruby on Rails has potential but the first thing the community at large needs to work on is the separation of expertise from those who are allowed to speak.

Chris Petrilli wisely caught me suggesting that Ruby on Rails find their own equivalent to Richard Stallman and suggested that this was a bad idea. I said it just to get a rise out of folks but there is some truth in terms of my thinking. Stallman was successful in getting large enterprises whose primary business model isn't technology to embrace Linux. He not only stood for something, he does speak in the language of a civilized human and has others that are equally capable of doing the same.

On the other hand, the Ruby community has David Heinemieir Hansson who is knowledgable and amusing but otherwise detrimental to the long-term success of Ruby. Maybe the Ruby community should encourage him to take a back seat in terms of future communications and find someone with more polish. Maybe, he needs to figure out how to make himself and his presentations more enterprisey ready...

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