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Why Ruby? Rails?

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#1 sammysounder



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Posted 28 September 2013 - 06:24 AM

Hi all!  I've been a dev for about five years now.  PHP was my first languange, but since then I've completed projects in Python, RoR, C# and have played around with a plethora of other languages.  I've reached the point where I can join just about any project and be productive within a week.  

The problem is that I don't really have a home language anymore.  I'm competent in everything, but expert in none.  Recently, a dev I really respect told me I need to go deep in something. I've been debating between Java/Android and Ruby/Rails.  


I've been a Linux dev my whole career (save when I have to run Visual Studio at work), but my small software company is beginning to be successful, and I'm thinking of spending some corporate cash.  


My current dev box is a $500 netbook I bought in Thailand running Fedora.  I'm thinking of going out and purchasing a new Mac for dev work.(if I go RoR).  


Is this smart?  Should I stick with the Linux boxes for RoR development?  


Anyway, I'm looking for advice on RoR vs. Android and if I go RoR, should I spend the moolah to purchase the Mac.  You guys seem like the right folks to ask.


#2 Rowel



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Posted 28 September 2013 - 10:53 AM

You don't necessarily need a Mac to develop RoR.  You can install RoR on linux boxes, Ubuntu, etc.  


But that said, I love my Macs for web development.  I'm a consultant, been running my own web dev company since 1997, and went solo-full time since 2000. --  so take my advice for what it's worth to you. 


I can do Wysiwyg development on my Mac, alternating between source code and design view in Dreamweaver, or use Sublime Text2 or any pure text editor. It's *nix under the hood, so working on the command line is just a click away.  


I have all the Adobe Cloud apps, great for web development using Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, Acrobat, etc...  It's just $50/month, and I don't care much for open-source alternatives. They're all crap compared to Adobe. Adobe is not perfect, but better than these open source image editors. (my opinion). 


There's also Parallels Virtual PC for running/testing my work on different versions of Windows (2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8.1).  


The Windows running the virtual machine is also useful for running "windows-only-available" programs.... like MS SQL Enterprise Manager, VMWare server administration, IIS administration, etc.  


Yeah, also have an Ubuntu VM inside Parallels. 


Software packages like MAMP Pro, also lets you develop multiple PHP/mySQL sites easily on a Mac. 


 I'm looking for advice on RoR vs. Android


That's kinda like comparing apples and oranges. 

That's like asking PHP vs. iPhone apps? 


ps: Another reason to get a Mac, you can do iPhone/Objetive C development. 

#3 sammysounder



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Posted 28 September 2013 - 06:17 PM

LOL!  Rails vs. Android isn't a "how am I going to build application x" question.  It's me trying to figure out what technology to dive into.  I'm not really interested in Dreamweaver OR WYSIWYGs.  I've ran RoR on a windows machine and my fedora box.  I'm never going to try Windows RoR development again through.  I inheritied a site once doing Python development on IIS.  I have no idea why the previous guy thought that was a good idea.


Have you had any difficulty with the VMs?  I'm starting to lean towards the Mac just because I think it'll be easy to spin up other environments with the VM.  Frankly, I find Windows limiting and I'm just getting tired of having to fix basic stuff on my Fedora/Acer combo.  I had to modify a proprietary driver for a network card.  That was an absolute pain and I don't want to deal with it anymore.  I


I'm going to go check them out today.  I think I'm going to bite the bullet and buy my first Mac.

#4 Rowel



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Posted 28 September 2013 - 08:27 PM

RoR vs. Android.   It's me trying to figure out what technology to dive into. 


One is web development, and the other is for app development. Where do you want to go? What do you want to be known for? 


That's really a business decision, not a tech question. Only you can make that decision. Who's your intended target market? What do your existing clients want you to develop? or what do you think is in demand in your city/country/area.... or what technology is in scarce demand in your area (i.e. where there are few developers), that your skills will be in demand, and you can charge a premium for it?  


 I inheritied a site once doing Python development on IIS. 


Yea, that doesn't make sense on any level. 


Have you had any difficulty with the VMs?


Windows can be a pain in the ass when it doesn't work or got corrupted... but it's a VM... so I just blow it away and restore from snapshot or backup clone drive.  Restoring is as easy as copying a single file. 


I've bought/used VMWare Fusion and Parallels.  Parallels is better and faster. 

#5 AstonJ



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Posted 28 September 2013 - 11:24 PM

Here's what I wrote about ROR when I first fell for it :)


What's special about Ruby on Rails


And here's one about Ruby: What's special about Ruby


#6 james



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Posted 01 October 2013 - 06:55 AM

I work with Android and RoR daily and exclusively on Linux Mint (Recently ditched Ubuntu) although I am now getting into iOS development and am looking to get a Mac Mini, if I do this then I will most probably switch to mac for all my development. I would recommend going for a Mac just because you can develop for all platforms.


If you are going to get a Mac I would recommend buying new. Second hand Macs hold there value, you can probably save about £50 going for a 2 year old Mac Mini vs the latest spec Mac direct from Apple and that saving is not worth it IMO, at least that's my experience of looking at Mac Minis but it's worth looking around you never know.


Eclipse is OK on Linux for Android dev but it has a tendency to just disappear occasionally which is really annoying but I wouldn't recommend it for RoR development. I can plug my Android phone into a USB port and Linux just picks it up which is great for debugging but I'm not sure that is the case with all makes/models of Android, I think HTC can be a problem but I suspect that the problems would be similar on a Mac.


If you are going to take Android seriously you should use the Samsung App Store and slideme market places, do NOT rely on Google Play you will eventually face account suspensions and terminations without reasonable explanation or recourse, I have had two accounts suspended now with over 20 apps on each one. I wasn't in breach of any T&C's. All apps were approved by Samsung and Slideme with very rigorous testing and checks for breach of T&C's and all passed. I know of four other developers personally that have had exactly the same experience plus countless tales of woe can be Googled, some are in genuine breach of T&C's but many aren't. also if you are using advertising to gain revenue then spread the load, Leadbolt, Airpush, Samsung (has their own ad network) and GreyStripe (Changed their name now but can't remember what the new name is) are all good ad networks for mobile development but in app purchasing is where the real revenue comes from.


Also take a look at Tizen (Samsung's new OS for their devices) and Ubuntu Phone SDK plus the Firefox OS they all use HTML 5 for apps, this is the future. You really need to diversify to be successful.

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#7 Kevin



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Posted 21 November 2013 - 09:12 AM

if you're going for android, why don't try Chromebooks from google ?

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