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JRuby on Rails 3.2

I currently have to work on an application using JRuby on Rails 3.2. My background is 12+ years of Java centric web development using Eclipse or IntelliJ.

There are a few things that I love about working with Java in Eclipse or IntelliJ that I miss when working with Rails:

  • Java’s backwards compatibility
  • Java’s cross-platform consistency
  • That Java has a static type system and is a compiled language
  • The relatively rigid syntax of Java that prevents idiosyncratic DSLs
  • Being able to control mutability, extensibility and visibility at compile-time (private, final)
  • Java’s distinction of interfaces vs implementation classes
  • Powerful auto-completion and Refactoring in the IDE
  • Powerful code inspections and quickfixes in the IDE
  • IDE and compiler feedback about mistakes and design flaws in my code
  • The powerful and rich ORM features of JPA and Hibernate

Dynamic language fans might cringe at some of the points listed above. Feel free to provide constructive feedback or well-reasoned criticism.

There are however a couple of things that I like about Ruby on Rails 3.2:

  • Dependency management using gems and bundler
  • A very standardized project layout (directory structure and conventions)
  • Code generation (as a convenient way to quickly create sample code)
  • Out-of the box integration and support for JQuery, CoffeeScript, SASS
  • Cool gems like colorbox-rails for turning a regular view into a modal dialog
  • The asset pipeline

I am still in the early phase of my Rails experience and I will try to post more about it as things evolve.

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