Confounding URL typists since 2007.

Monthly Archives: June 2011

“WTH is happening to Rails?” I’ll tell you.


I just read the blog post that got some traction on HN last night, entitled “What the hell is happening to rails?” It goes on to list a litany of complaints against changes in Rails 3.x, ranging from the default commenting of the catch-all route to, yes, of course, CoffeeScript. They all end up sounding a lot like “I don’t like change,” an argument we’ve all heard before. The difference is that Steve Coast, the post’s author, casts himself in the role of a crusader for the newbies. He says that he, personally, “gets” why these changes were made, but that the most recent versions of Rails are actually harder to learn than the older ones were. The post highlighted two things, to me:

  1. Some people still miss the point of Ruby on Rails, even after all these years.
  2. There’s a difference between “easy to learn” and “easy to use,” and when these competing goals butt heads, the latter should always win out.

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Filed under Blog
Jun 14, 2011

Scaling Web Applications: My “3 Questions” Philosophy


As I see it, any reasonable plan for scaling web applications is going to address 3 questions:

  1. How can we accomplish more work?
  2. How can we give the appearance of accomplishing more work?
  3. How can we avoid doing work that doesn’t matter?

So, how do we address these questions? Well, first, we remember that to the end user, the perception that the application is functioning correctly and with reasonable speed is of topmost importance. Everything else lines up behind these two considerations. Since perception is reality, we quickly discover that we can cheat, and the challenge comes in determining where, when, and how to do so.
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Filed under Blog
Jun 2, 2011